Business Dictionary – R


    Refers to insulation effectiveness in buildings, and to materials used in construction. Either term may be used. U-Value is the reciprocal of R-Value. The higher the R-Value the better the insulation. The lower the U-Value, the better the insulation.

Race To The Bottom

    A situation in which competition between nations could result in lower standards, cheaper wages, poorer working conditions, etc.


    A person who makes money through illegal business or crime, such as extortion, bribery, fraud, etc.

Rack Rate

    The full price of something before discounts have been offered, especially hotel rooms.


    Research and Development. Investigative work carried out by a business to improve and develop products and processes.


    Redundant Array of Independent Disks. On a computer, a way of storing data by spreading it across multiple disks, therefore providing greater security, faster access, etc.


    An employee, often an executive, who brings a lot of business and income to a company.

Rake It In

    To make a great deal of money relatively easily.


    A payment made to an intermediary, often calculated as a percentage of the value of goods or services provided.


    Random Access Memory. In computing, the place where current data is stored while a computer is being used. The data is removed when the computer is switched off.

Random Sample

    Often used in research, a method of sampling members of a large group, such as a population, in which everyone has an equal chance of being selected.


    1.General: Universe of all realistic possibilities.
    2.Cost estimating: Upper and lower possibilities of the forecasted costs for a product, program, or project.

Range Pricing

    The pricing of individual products so that their prices fit logically within a variety of connected products offered by one supplier, differentiated by a factor such as weight of pack or number of product attributes offered.

Rank And File

    The ordinary members of a group, such as enlisted troops in an army, or members of a union, who have no power.


    Slang term for an informer, or to inform, typically for personal gain. Rat is also a verb, meaning to inform or betray.

Rate Card

    A printed list of charges and details regarding advertising costs on television, radio, websites, newspapers, etc.


    To sanction formally. Validate an agreement with a vote or signature.

Ratings Point

    The measure of a size of an audience, i.e., one point equals one per cent of all households watching a television program or listening to a radio station at a particular time.


    The application of efficiency or effectiveness measures to an organization. Rationalization can occur at the onset of a downturn in an organization’s performance or results. It usually takes the form of cutbacks intended to bring the organization back to profitability and may involve layoffs, plant closures, and cutbacks in supplies and resources. It often involves changes in organization structure, particularly in the form of downsizing. The term is also used in a cynical way as a euphemism for mass layoffs.

Rat Race

    The exhausting, competitive struggle and routine of working and living in a large town or city.

Raw Materials

    Items bought for use in the manufacturing or development processes of an organization. While most often referring to bulk materials, raw materials can also include components, subassemblies, and complete products.

Real Estate

    Also called Realty. Property consisting of land with permanent structures on it, such as buildings, walls, fences, etc.

Real Time

    In computing, systems which receive information and update it at the same time.


    500 sheets of paper. A large quantity of written material.


    To switch a computer off and restart it again immediately.


    To ask customers to return a product which they have bought because it has been found to be faulty or dangerous.


    Loosley meaning ‘in return’, based on the stricter mathematical sense of the word, found in financial and scientific theories, where reciprocal refers to the number or fraction which when multiplied by a specified other number or fraction will produce the number one. For example a half is the reciprocal of the number two; and a fifth is the reciprocal of the number five. The word derives from Latin ‘re’ (back) and ‘pro’ (forward).

Reciprocal Trade/Trading

    Exchange of product or services. A simple example might be an accountant providing book-keeping services to a telemarketing company which in return performs telemarketing services on behalf of the accountant.


    Based on the notion of mutuality or return in the term ‘reciprocal’, reciprocity means give-and-take, such as to achieve a mutually agreeable balance.

Recognition Test

    Also known as Readership Test. A test carried out after people have read a newspaper, magazine, etc., to see if they have remembered or read a particular advertisement.

Recommended Retail Price

    The price at which a manufacturer suggests a product should be sold on the retail market, though this may be reduced by the retailer.

Recorded Delivery

    A postal system for which an extra fee is charged in addition to postage. The sender is given a receipt at the time of posting and the recipient signs a form to confirm delivery..


    To seek employees for a business or organisation. To enlist military personnel.

Rectification Note

    The authorization for more work to be done to improve a product that did not originally meet the required standard.


    The practice of protecting the salary of employees whose jobs have been downgraded because of the restructuring, etc., of the company.

Red Ink

    Term used when referring to a company’s financial loss.

Red Tape

    Excessive bureaucracy or unwillingness to depart from rules and regulations.


    A situation in which an employer intends to cease business, so therefore the workforce lose their jobs, or an employee is made redundant because their job no longer exists in the company they work for. Employees in these situations often qualify for redundancy pay.


    The initiation and control of the change of processes within an organization, in order to derive competitive advantage from improvement in the quality of products. It requires a review and imaginative analysis of the processes currently used by the organization. Reengineering, therefore, has similarities to benchmarking, as this review of processes can reveal critical points where significant improvements in quality can be made. Reengineering was at the height of its popularity in the early to mid-1990s. It has been criticized as one of the root causes of the bouts of downsizing and delayering that have affected many parts of industry. It has also received a negative press because few reengineering projects have delivered the benefits expected of them.


    A letter/statement written about a person by someone who knows them, detailing their abilities, character, qualifications, etc., which is sent to a
    prospective employer.


    The reimbursement of the purchase price of a good or service, for reasons such as manufacturing flaws or dissatisfaction with the service provided.

Registered Capital

    Also called Authorised Capital. The maximum value of shares which a company can legally issue.

Registered Office

    The official address of a company, which is reproduced on its letterheads and to which all legal correspondence and documents must be delivered.

Registered Trademark

    A distinctive symbol, name, etc., on a product or company, which is registered and protected by law so it cannot legally be used by anyone else.


    A person in a company or organisation who is in charge of official records.


    A government official or body that monitors the behavior of companies and the level of competition in particular markets, for example, telecommunications or energy.

Regulatory Framework

    A system of regulations and the means to enforce them, usually established by a government to regulate a specific activity.


    The practice of sharing insurance risk among several insurance companies, in case of major disasters such as floods, hurricanes, etc.


    Units of output that fail a set quality standard and are subsequently rectified, sold as substandard, or disposed of as scrap.

Related Company

    A company in which another company makes a long-term capital investment in order to gain control of it or influence its decisions.


    The transfer of a business from one location to another. Relocation occurs for a variety of reasons, including the need for more space, the desire to centralize operations, or to be nearer to suppliers, customers, or raw materials.


    To pay a person for services rendered, goods, losses incurred, etc.

Remuneration Package

    The salary, pension contributions, bonuses, and other forms of payment or benefits that an employer gives an employee.

Renewal Notice

    An advanced notice of payment required to renew insurance cover, subscription, etc., by a certain date.

Rental Fleet

    Cars, vans, etc., which a business leases from a vehicle leasing company for its workers to use, usually sales teams, executives, service engineers, etc.

Reorder Level

    A level of inventory at which a replenishment order should be placed. Traditional "optimizing" systems use a variation on the computation of maximum usage multiplied by maximum lead, which builds in a measure of safety.

Repeat Business

    The placing of order after order with the same supplier. Repeat business can be implemented by an agreement between the customer and supplier for purchase on a regular basis. It is often used where there are small numbers of customers, or high volumes per product and low product variety. There is market competition for the first order only, and customization is usually available for the initial purchase only. Sales and marketing have a diminished role once the business has been gained.

Reporting Line

    In a business or organisation, employees, managers, etc., who report to the next person higher up, usually their boss.


    To take back property, goods, etc., usually from an individual or organisation who has failed to repay a loan or has defaulted on a repayment plan.


    Refusal to perform a contractual duty or repay a debt.


    An official written request or demand for something.


    To make void or cancel, for example a law or contract.


    An act of rescinding or annulling a contract.


    The gathering of information, facts, data, etc., about a particular subject.

Research and Development (R & D)

    Systematic activity combining both basic and applied research, and aimed at discovering solutions to problems or creating new goods and knowledge. R&D may result in ownership of intellectual property such as patents. In accounting for R&D costs, the development costs may be carried forward but the basic and applied research costs are often written-off as incurred.

Reserve Currency

    A foreign currency which is permanently held by a country’s central bank, and is used for international transactions.

Reserve Price

    The lowest fixed price at which a seller will sell an item at auction. If the bidding does not reach the reserve price then the item is not sold unless the highest bidder comes to an arrangement with the seller.

Residual Income

    Part of a person’s income which is left over after taxes and living expenses, for example mortgage, bills, etc., have been deducted.

Residual Value

    Also Called Salvage Value. The market value of an asset which is no longer in use or has reached the end of its useful life.


    Expansion and restructuring of business activities, including an increase in the number of staff employed.


    A proposal put to a meeting, for example, an annual meeting of shareholders, on which those present and eligible can vote.

Resource Allocation

    The process of assigning available finances, materials, labour, etc., to a project.


    Anything that is available to an organization to help it achieve its purpose. Resources are often categorized into finance, property, premises, equipment, people, and raw materials.


    Money paid by an offender in compensation for loss, damages or injury. To give something back to its rightful owner.

Restraint of Trade

    A term in a contract of employment that restricts a person from carrying on their trade or profession if they leave an organization. Generally illegal, it is usually intended to prevent key employees from leaving an organization to establish a competing organization.

Restrictive Practice

    A trading agreement between businesses or industries which prevents free competition. The practice of workers, often trade unions, of protecting their jobs in a manner which limits the freedom of other workers.


    To reorganize the financial basis of a company.


    Used to describe a type of corporate strategy focused on outcomes and achievements. A result-driven organization concentrates on meeting objectives, delivering to the required time, cost, and quality, and holds performance to be more important than procedures.


    A written summary of a person’s education, employment record, qualifications, etc., which is often submitted with a job application.


    The sale of small quantities of goods to the general public.

Retail Banking

    Also called Consumer Banking. Banking services provided directly to the public, such as savings accounts, credit/debit cards, mortgages, etc.

Retail Cooperative

    An organization for the collective purchase and sale of goods by a group who share profits or benefits. Retail cooperatives were the first offshoot of the cooperative movement and profits were originally shared among members through dividend payments proportionate to a member’s purchases.


    A business or individual who sells products or services directly to the customer.

Retail Park

    Usually situated on the outskirts of a large town, a large retail development consisting of shops, stores, car parking, and often cinemas and restaurants.

Retail Price

    A price charged to customers who buy in limited quantities.

Retail Price Index

    RPI. An inflation indicator, usually calculated on a monthly basis, reflected in the retail price of everyday goods, such as food, fuel, fares, etc.

Retail Therapy

    Shopping which is done for enjoyment and to relieve stress.


    A fee paid in advance to someone, such as a lawyer, to engage their services as and when they are required.


    1. Finance

    The holding back of money due until a condition has been fulfilled.

    2. HR & Personnel

    The process of keeping the loyalty of existing employees and persuading them not to work for another company.


    1. Finance

    The act of paying the balance owed on a loan.

    2. HR & Personnel

    The act of leaving a job or career voluntarily at the usual age or time for doing so.


    To cut down on spending, economise, for example to reduce a workforce.

Reverse Auction

    A type of auction in which there are several sellers and only one buyer. The buyer usually purchases the goods or service from the seller who offers the lowest price.

Reverse Billing

    A payment method used for messaging on mobile phones in which the recipient pays for the text message.

Reverse Merger

    When a private company acquires the majority of a public company’s shares, therefore enabling the private company to get a public listing on the stock exchange.

Reverse Takeover

    The takeover of a large company by a smaller one, or the takeover of a public company by a private one.


    An attachment which makes amendments or provisions to an original contract or official document. In the entertainment industry, a rider is a list of demands made by a performer, usually before a show, sometimes including particular foods and drinks, hotels and transport, free tickets for friends and family, etc.


    Corporate restructuring, or rationalization, with the goal of reducing costs and improving efficiency and effectiveness. Rightsizing is often used as a euphemism for downsizing, or delayering, with the suggestion that it is not as far-reaching. Rightsizing can also be used to describe increasing the size of an organization, perhaps as an attempt to correct a previous downsizing, or delayering, exercise.

Risk-Bearing Economy of Scale

    Conducting business on such a large scale that the risk of loss is reduced because it is spread over so many independent events, as in the issuance of insurance policies.

Risk Management

    1. The variety of activities undertaken by an organization to control and minimize threats to the continuing efficiency, profitability, and success of its operations. The process of risk management includes the identification and analysis of risks to which the organization is exposed, the assessment of potential impacts on the business, and deciding what action can be taken to eliminate or reduce risk and deal with the impact of unpredictable events causing loss or damage. Risk management strategies include taking out insurance against financial loss or legal liability and introducing safety or security measures.

    2. The process of understanding and managing the risks that an organization is inevitably subject to in attempting to achieve its corporate objectives. For management purposes, risks are usually divided into categories such as operational, financial, legal compliance, information, and personnel.

Risk Perception

    The way in which people and organizations view risk, based on their concerns and experiences, but not necessarily on objective data. Risk perceptions can influence such things as business policies and investment decisions.

Risk Profile

    1. An outline of the risks to which an organization is exposed. An organizational risk profile may be developed in the course of risk analysis and used for risk management. It examines the nature of the threats faced by an organization, the likelihood of adverse effects occurring, and the level of disruption and costs associated with each type of risk.

    2. An analysis of the willingness of individuals or organizations to take risks. A risk profile describes the level of risk considered acceptable by an individual or by the leaders of an organization, and considers how this will affect decision making and corporate strategy.


    A service which enables a person to connect to the Internet, or use their mobile phone, while they are travelling.


    Product, process, or system designed for continuous operation with very low downtime, failure rate, variability, and very high
    insensitivity to a continually changing external environment.

Rolling Contract

    A contract which runs for a specific period of time and continues to be renewed for further periods, subject to review.

Roll-On Roll-Off

    Ro-Ro. describes ferries which vehicles can be driven onto at one end and driven off at the other end on reaching their destination.

Romalpa Clause

    A clause in a contract whereby the seller provides that title to the goods does not pass to the buyer until the buyer has paid for them.


    1. An illegal or underhand strategy
    2. To manipulate or break the rules of a system for personal gain.


    A device which connects at least two computer networks and sends data from one to the other.


    A fee paid for the use of another person’s property, for example a copyrighted work, a patent, a franchise, etc. A payment made to a writer, composer or singer when a book, CD or performance of their work is sold. A share of the profit paid to the owner of the land which an oil or mining company is leasing.


    Repetitive Strain/Stress Injury. Damage caused to hands, arms and neck due to continual computer use, or by repetitive movements while performing a task.

Running Cost

    The day to day running costs of a business, for example wages, rent, utilities, etc.

Run Of Network – RON.

    Describes when an advertisement is placed on any page on one or more websites and the advertisers have no say where their advert is placed, usually because the advertising rates are cheaper.

Rush Hour

    The peak periods at the beginning and end of the day, usually longer than an hour, when people are travelling to and from work.

Russell 2000 Index

    Published by the Russell Company, an index which tracks the performance of 2000 smaller companies in the US.

Rust Belt

    Also called The Manufacturing Belt. An area which contains many old, unmodernised factories, such as steel works, many of which are now closed or not very profitable.