Business Dictionary – T

Table d’Hote

    Technically ‘table d’hôte’ – a food menu which offers a full meal with set courses and limited choices at a fixed price, from French ‘host’s table’.

Tactical Plan

    A short-term plan for achieving the objectives of a person, business, or organization.


    A word or words assigned to or associated with electronic data, usually on a website, to aid searching, finding, analysis, display, organization, etc., of the data. Used as a verb also, for example, to tag or tagging articles, content, etc., when posted onto a website.

Tag Line

    A memorable slogan or catch phrase used in advertising.


    Adapted or made for a particular purpose or individual.

Take-Home Pay

    The amount of money received by an employee after deductions, such as tax, insurance, etc.


    The purchase of one company by another.

Takeover Approach

    The price at which a prospective buyer offers to purchase a controlling interest in a business or corporation.

Takeover Battle

    The activities surrounding a contested takeover bid. The bidder may raise the offer price and write to the stockholders extolling the benefits of the takeover. The board may contact other companies in the same line of business, hoping that a white knight may appear. It could also take action to make the company less desirable to the bidder.

Takeover Bid

    A bid made by an organisation or individual to acquire a company, usually by offering to purchase the shares of the company’s shareholders.

Takeover Panel

    A panel set up in certain countries to ensure that all company takeovers comply with laws and regulations, and that all shareholders are treated equally and fairly.

Takeover Ratio

    The book value of a company divided by its market capitalization. If the resulting figure is greater than one, then the company is a candidate for a takeover.

Takeover Target

    A company that another company has chosen to acquire by buying enough of its stock to control it.

Tangible Asset

    Physical assets, such as machinery, buildings, vehicles, cash, etc., which are owned by a company or individual.


    The weight of packaging used in wrapping and protecting goods which is deducted from the total weight of a product in order to ascertain the actual weight of the goods. The deduction in weight of a vehicle used to transport goods in order to determine the actual weight of the goods.


    1. An end toward which effort is directed and on which resources are focused, usually to achieve an organization’s strategy. There is considerable discussion on whether target, objective, goal, and aim are the same. In general usage, the terms are often interchangeable, so it is important that, if an organization has a particular meaning for one of these terms, it must define it in its documentation.

    2. A company that is the object of a takeover bid.

Target Company

    A company that another company or organisation wants to acquire.

Target Market

    A specific group of people with similar characteristics, needs, lifestyle, etc., at which a company markets its products or services.

Targeted Repurchase

    A company’s purchase of its own stock from somebody attempting to buy the company.

Target Stock Level

    The level of inventory that is needed to satisfy all demand for a product or component over a specific period.


    A government tax on imported and exported goods.

Task Force

    A group of people formed to work on a particular project or assignment.


    A fee imposed by a government on personal or corporate income, products, services, etc., in order to raise revenue to pay for public services.

Tax Abatement

    Also known as a Tax Holiday. An exemption or reduction of taxes by a government for certain companies for a specific period of time, often as an incentive for industrial development.


    Television Commerce. The purchasing and selling of products and services using interactive television.

Team Player

    A person in any type of profession who works well as a member of a team.

Teaser Ad

    A brief advertisement which reveals only a little bit of information about a product, usually not yet available, in order to arouse widespread interest.


    A person who is very knowledgable, or an expert, in technology, especially computing.

Technical Support

    A service provided by the vendor of technology products, such as computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc., which the purchaser can use if they need help using the product.


    Known informally as Telecoms. Communicating over long distances by telephone, e-mail, etc.


    An employee who spends a substantial amount of working time away from the employer’s main premises and communicates with the organization through the use of computing and telecommunications equipment.


    A conference involving two or more people at different locations, using telecommunications equipment, such as computers, video, telephone, etc.


    Also known as Telesales. The selling of goods or services by contacting potential customers by telephone.

Telephone Number Salary

    A six- or seven-figure salary, especially one aspired to or considered undeserved.


    An arrangement in which the employee works at home and contacts their office or workplace by telephone or computer.

Tenancy in Common

    A type of ownership in property in which two or more people each have the right to enjoy the entire property but have no right to automatically inherit other owners’ shares.


    An individual or business who pays a fee for the use of land, property, etc., to the owner. An occupant.

Tenant At Will

    A tenant who continues to rent land, property, etc., past the expiration of the lease. Also a tenant who rents property without a written lease, therefore they can be forced to leave without notice from the owner.


    1. To offer to undertake work or supply goods at a specific price, usually in response to an invitation to bid for a work contract in competition with other suppliers.

    2. A statement of what a person or company is willing to accept when offering to undertake a major piece of work or supply goods, given in response to request to bid competitively for the work.

Tender Offer

    An offer, usually above the market price, made to the shareholders of a company by another company or individual as part of a takeover bid.

Termination Clause

    A clause that explains how and when a contract can be terminated.

Terms Of Reference

    A document which describes the objectives, scope and purpose of a project, committee, meeting, etc. See ‘agree specification/terms of reference’ in the project management section. Separately the acronym BOSCARDET provides a useful example structure for TOR headings/sections: Background, Objectives, Scope, Constraints, Assumptions, Reporting, Dependencies, Estimates, Timescales. Note that this particular structure has no specific heading for costs/budgets, and so care must be taken to include these considerations, logically within ”Constraints’ or ‘Estimates’.

    There is no standard universal structure for a Terms of Reference document because the situations vary widely in which TOR are used. Responsibility lies with the project manager or leader to ensure all relevant and necessary issues are included in TOR. Local interpretation often produces TOR headings and document structure which may be unique to the particular situation.

    Where an organization oversees many projects/activities requiring Terms of Reference documents it is likely that organizational ‘standard’ TOR formats are used. Obviously it makes sense to follow such standards where they apply, mindful of the risks of omission, over-complexity, or unnecessary work, which can arise from routinely applying a standard structure.

Terms of Sales

    The conditions attached to a sale and agreed to by buyer and seller, for example, payment due dates, method of payment, and delivery date.


    A multidisciplinary technique that combines the areas of management, finance, and engineering with the goal of optimizing life-cycle costs for physical assets and technologies. Terotechnology is concerned with acquiring and caring for physical assets. It covers the specification and design for the reliability and maintainability of plant, machinery, equipment, buildings, and structures, including the installation, commissioning, maintenance, and replacement of this plant, and also incorporates the feedback of information on design, performance, and costs.


    Term used to describe broadcasting systems, such as television, which operate on land, rather than from a satellite.

Tertiary Industry

    Third sector of a country’s economy which covers the provision of services, such as transport, schools, financial services, etc., rather than manufacturing or production.

Tertiary Sector

    The part of the economy made up of nonprofit organizations such as consumer associations.


    The legal position of somebody who has died leaving a valid will.

Test Case

    Term used to describe a court case which establishes legal rights and serves as a precedent for future similar cases.

Test Market

    In marketing, a product or service which is tested in a particular area of the country before it is launched nationally.

Text Message

    A written message sent from one mobile phone to another.


    Describes the converting of text into audible speech on a computer by using speech synthesis techniques.


    A set of assumptions, propositions, or accepted facts that attempts to provide a plausible or rational explanation of cause-and-effect (causal) relationships among a group of observed phenomenon. The word’s origin (from the Greek thorós, a spectator), stresses the fact that all theories are mental models of the perceived reality.

Theory Of Constraints

    Theory originally developed by Dr Eliyahu Goldratt, which states that every organisation must have at least one constraint that should be overcome by recognising and dealing with the cause of the ‘bottleneck’, thus enabling the company to achieve its goals.

Theory X

    Developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s, a theory which states that most people in the workplace do not enjoy work and will take every opportunity to avoid doing their job because they are lazy and need to be closely supervised, threatened and disciplined by management.

Theory Y

    Developed by Douglas McGregor. The opposite to Theory X, a method of managing people in the workplace based on the idea that most workers enjoy their job, are self-motivated and want responsibility, and the managers role is to help the workers realise their full potential by giving them more responsibility, including them in decision-making, etc.

Theory Z

    A Japanese management style based on the theory, developed by William Ouchi, that workers like to build relationships with other workers and management, to feel secure in their jobs, develop skills through training, and have their family life and traditions valued.

Think Tank

    A group or organisation which researches and advises on issues relating to technology, economy, politics and social strategy.


    3G. Describes wireless technology which has been developed to send messages and data over networks using mobile phones, computers, etc.

Third Line Forcing

    A situation which occurs when a supplier will only sell a product or service to a customer on condition that it is purchased from a third party nominated by the supplier.

Third Party

    A person or organisation not principally involved with the other two parties but who has an interest in an agreement or contract. In an insurance policy, the third party is the person whose car, etc is damaged by you in an accident.

Third Sector

    Part of a country’s economy which is non-profitmaking, such as voluntary work, charities, etc.

Third World

    Refers to poor, underdeveloped nations in South Africa, Asia and South America.

Three-Dimensional (3D) Management

    A theory outlining eight styles of management that differ in effectiveness, four that are effective and four that are less effective. Different styles may be used in different types of work settings and managers modify their style to suit different circumstances.

360 Degree Branding

    Taking an inclusive approach in branding a product by bringing the brand to all points of consumer contact.


    The point at which something begins or changes.

Threshold Company

    A company that is on the verge of becoming well established in the business world.

Threshold Price

    In the European Union, the lowest price at which farm produce imported into the EU can be sold.


    The practice of not spending too much money or using up too many resources.


    To be on course to meet a series of objectives.

Tied Agent

    A sales agent or business who represents or sells and/or offers advice only on one company’s products, such as insurance.

Time and a Half

    Rate of pay which is 50% more than the regular rate, usually for overtime work.

Time and Motion Study

    The study and analysis of a specific job within an organisation, the results of which are used to improve efficiency and production.


    A lease on a (usually holiday) property jointly owned by several people who have the right to use it during agreed times of the year, usually for one or two weeks. The industry is often associated with high-pressure or unethical selling methods.


    A legal right to the ownership of property. If somebody has good title to a property, proof of ownership is beyond doubt.

Title Deed

    A legal document which proves a person’s rights of ownership of property or land.

Token Charge

    A small charge that does not cover the real costs of providing the goods or services.


    The practice of doing the minimum required, especially by law, by making small token gestures, such as employing or including a single person who represents a minority or ethnic group..


    1. General: Allowable departure from a specification or standard, considered non-harmful to the functioning of a part, process, or product over its life cycle.

    2. Engineering: ability of an item or system to withstand high levels of stress or overloading without suffering irreparable harm.


    On a computer screen, a set of icons or symbols, usually under the menu bar, which allow you to perform different tasks on your computer, such as print documents, change font size, use a paintbrush , etc.

Top Brass

    The most important people in a company or organisation.

Top Dog

    The person who has the highest authority and is in charge of a whole operation, business, etc.

Top Dollar

    The very highest price paid for a product, service, worker, etc.

Top-Down Approach

    An autocratic style of leadership in which strategies and solutions are identified by senior management and then cascaded down through an organization. The top-down approach can be considered a feature of large bureaucracies. A number of management gurus have criticized it as an out-of-date style that leads to stagnation and business failure.

Top Management

    The upper-level managers of an organization or company, especially the senior management or a board of directors.


    Describes a company or business which has too many managers and/or administrators in comparison to the number of workers.

Top-Level Domain – TLD.

    The last part of a domain address on the Internet, for example .com (commerce), .gov (government), etc.


    A wrongful act, other than a breach of contract, which is not criminal but harmful to another person, against which legal action for damages may be taken.

Total Cost of Ownership

    A structured approach to calculating the costs associated with buying and using a product or service. Total cost of ownership takes the purchase cost of an item into account but also considers related costs such as ordering, delivery, subsequent usage and maintenance, supplier costs, and after-delivery costs. Originally designed as a process for measuring IT expense after implementation, total cost of ownership considers only financial expenses and excludes any cost-benefit analysis.

Total Costs

    In business, the costs of manufacturing, overheads, administration, etc. – i.e., the sum of fixed costs and variable costs. In investments, the price paid for a share, security, etc., plus brokerage fees, taxes, interest due to the seller, etc.

Total Quality Management – TQM.

    A company management system which seeks to improve the quality of products and services and to improve customer satisfaction by giving everyone in the organisation the responsibility of achieving and keeping high standards.

Total Responsibility Management

    Systems and procedures to ensure responsible business practices and management. It is used to describe the codes of practice and systems that organizations are developing to manage their social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities in response to pressures from stakeholders, emerging global standards, general social trends, and institutional expectations. Some issues, linked to labor, ecology, and community, are included because they are subject to increasing assessment or regulation, while others are raised intermittently as a result of public controversies.

Touch Base

    To make contact, usually managers who want to communicate with their staff.


    The buying and selling or exchange of goods and services. The buying and selling of shares on the Stock Market. A skilled occupation such as builder, carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc.

Trade Agreement

    An agreement, usually between countries, to limit or change their policies when trading with one another.

Trade Barrier

    A condition imposed by a government to limit the free exchange of goods internationally. Nontariff barriers, safety standards, and tariffs are typical trade barriers.

Trade Deficit

    The difference in value between a country’s imports and exports when its imports exceed its exports.

Trademark – TM.

    A symbol, logo, word or phrase which is used exclusively by a company, individual, etc., so their products or services can be easily identified, A Trademark cannot legally be used by anyone else.

Trade Name/Trading Name

    Business Name, which is loosely interchangeable. These are vague terms and care needs to be taken if deciding serious matters based on interpretation. Precise interpretation may depend local state/national company law definitions. Generally business names and trade/trading names may be registered and licensed.

    A lot depends on the interpretation of the term ‘Business name’ which could refer to a legal/parent/holding company, or merely to a branded product or division. A trade name could be a brand or a division or branded operation/service within/of a (legally titled) business. Avoid applying a strict definition to these terms, and if there are serious implications then seek expert local clarification, or a ruling from your legal department/advisor.


    An act of exchanging one thing for another as part of a business deal.

Trade Secret

    A secret device or formula used by a company in the manufacturing of a product which gives it an advantage over the competition.

Trade War

    A conflict between countries in which each country puts up trade barriers in order to restrict or damage the others trade.

Trading Company

    A company that specializes in buying and selling goods.


    An innovator or pioneer. An individual or company who is the first to do or discover something, and leads where others follow.

Transaction File

    A file for keeping track of inventory use and replenishment.

Transfer Deed

    Also called Deed Of Transfer. A legal document which shows that the ownership of property, land, etc., has been changed from its legal owner to another party who now legally owns it.

Transfer Price

    The price at which goods or services are transferred between different units of the same company. If those units are located in different countries, the term international transfer pricing is used.

    The extent to which the transfer price covers costs and contributes to (internal) profit is a matter of policy. A transfer price may, for example, be based upon marginal cost, full cost, market price, or negotiation. Where the transferred products cross national boundaries, the transfer prices used may have to be agreed with the governments of the countries concerned.

Transfer Pricing

    A pricing method used when supplying products or services from one part of an organization to another. The transfer pricing method can be used to supply goods either at cost or at profit if profit targets are to be achieved. This can cause difficulties if an internal customer can buy more cheaply outside the organization. Multinational businesses have been known to take advantage of this pricing policy by transferring products from one country to another in order for profits to be higher in the country where corporation tax is lower.

Transit Time

    The period between the completion of an operation and the availability of the material at the next workstation.


    Multinational. Refers to businesses, organisations, etc., which operate in or between several countries.


    1. Legal
    A written agreement between nations, such as the Treaty of Rome (1957), that was the foundation of the European Union.

    2. Insurance
    A contract between an insurer and the reinsurer whereby the latter is to accept risks from the insurer.

    3. Real Estate
    The sale of land arranged by seller and buyer without a public auction.

Trial Offer

    A temporary offer by a company usually aimed at first-time buyers in which a customer can try a product or service free or at discounted rates for a short period of time.

Triple Bottom Line

    Environmental sustainability and social responsibility used as criteria when judging the overall performance of a company, in addition to purely financial considerations.

Triple I Organization

    A type of corporate culture in which the focus is on three areas: information, intelligence, and ideas. The triple I organization recognizes the value of information and learning. It minimizes the distinction between managers and workers, concentrating instead on people and the need to pursue learning, including personal, lifelong, and organizational learning, in order to keep up with the pace of change.


    To identify and solve problems which arise in the workplace.


    A wealthy young person, who gives the appearance of being unemployed and living a bohemian lifestyle in less than comfortable circumstances, but who is living off a trust fund.


    A government agent whose job is to break up monopolies or corporate trusts under the anti-trust laws.


    Unpredictable and swift changes in an organization’s external or internal environments, or in an economy, that affect its performance. The late 20th century was considered a turbulent environment for business because of the rapid growth in technology and globalization, and the frequency of restructuring and merger activity. 2008 was an especially turbulent period for financial markets, when banks worldwide could not meet their loans and had to receive government support.


    1. A term for the act of making a company profitable again.

    2. A term for the value of goods sold during a year divided by the average value of goods held in stock.

    3. A term for the process of emptying a ship, plane, etc., and getting it ready for another commercial trip.

    4. A term for the time it takes to process orders and send out the goods.

Turnaround Management

    The implementation of a set of actions required to save an organization from business failure and return it to operational normality and financial solvency. Turnaround management usually requires strong leadership and can include restructuring and job losses, an investigation of the root causes of failure, and long-term programs to revitalize the organization.


    Program, project, solution, or system where the contractor or provider undertakes the entire responsibility from design through completion and commissioning. The client or customer only has to turn the proverbial key to make everything function as it should.

Turnkey Contract

    An agreement in which a contractor designs, constructs, and manages a project until it is ready to be handed over to the client and operation can begin immediately.

Turnover Ratio

    A measure of the number of times in a year that a business’s inventory changes completely. It is calculated as the cost of sales divided by the average book value of inventory.


    A person who uses vinyl records, a turntable of a record player and a DJ mixer all together as an instrument to create sounds.


    A wealthy, prominent, successful business person, also referred to as a mogul, magnate, baron ,etc.

Type A Personality

    A temperament characterized by excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focus on quantity over quality and unrealistic sense of urgency. It is commonly associated with risk of coronary disease and other stress-related ailments.

Type B Personality

    A temperament characterized by moderate ambition and drive, accommodating attitude, cooperativeness, focus on quality over quantity and, in general, an easy going approach to life.

Tyre Kicker

    A person who appears to be interested in purchasing an item, especially a secondhand car, but has no intention of buying it.