Financial Terms For Beginners

Hey, fellow freelancers! It’s time to get your vocabulary game on point! However, let’s be honest, even the most seasoned of us can feel a bit bamboozled by those financial terms. Don’t fret though, in this article, we’ll tackle them together and spend some time comprehending each of those terms!

What are Financial Terms? 

Finance terms refer to the vocabulary used in the world of finance and accounting. These terms are used to describe financial concepts, transactions, and analysis. Understanding finance terms is important for individual business owners or freelancers because it helps them to make informed decisions about their finances. 

Knowing financial terms can be a game-changer for business owners as it empowers them to manage cash flow, evaluate business profitability, and make sound investment and financing choices. It’s like having your own secret language to converse with accountants, lenders, and investors like a pro.

So, what exactly do all these terms mean? Let’s decipher them!

Basic Finance Terms Every Business Owner Should Know

  • B2B 

The first and foremost and rather simple term is B2B. It is when a business delivers services to another business! Examples of this can be software products, business management software and so forth! 

  • B2C 

The business model where businesses sell their products directly to the end customer is B2C. beauty products, daily supplies can be an example of B2C. 

  • B2G 

Some businesses deal with the government directly. Businesses which supply goods and services to governments can be said to work onB2G model! 

  • D2C 

Businesses delivering products direct to customers are D2C brands! 

  • MOAT

Business world is competitive and to survive, businesses have to continue ensuring they have an advantage over their competitors. This is known as MOAT! 

  • Revenue

Revenue is a crucial financial term that every business owner should be familiar with. Revenue refers to the total amount of money that a business generates from its primary activities, such as selling goods or services. It is often used interchangeably with sales or income. 

Revenue is an essential metric for assessing the financial health of a business, as it directly affects profitability. Revenue growth is a key indicator of business success, and it is essential for businesses to track their revenue and optimize their revenue streams to ensure long-term sustainability.

  • Expenses

Expenses are an important aspect of financial management for any business owner. Expenses are costs incurred by a business to operate; such as salaries, rent, utilities, and materials. It is essential for business owners to monitor and manage expenses to ensure that their operations are profitable. 

By tracking expenses, business owners can identify areas where they can reduce costs and improve efficiency. Understanding basic finance terms such as expenses is crucial for business owners to make informed decisions and keep their businesses financially healthy.

  • Investment

No matter whether today, tomorrow, or days after, every freelancer or business owner wants to gain benefits from existing money. And, this is an investment. When a certain amount of money is put into the process to gain more money. This can be through profits, interest, or so forth! 

It should be noted that there can be a range of ways to invest money and gain benefits!

  • Loss

It is a state of losing money. This can be due to a range of reasons. Maybe because your expenses went above your available money. Or, maybe due to your investment not returning desired returns. 

It often becomes a business’s concern when losses continue to show up in recurrent financial cycles! 

  • Credit Limit

Every borrower has a certain limit up to which they can borrow. And, this is a credit limit. It is the maximum amount a lender will allow you to spend on a credit card or a line of credit!

  • Assets

Assets refer to the resources that a business owns and that have a monetary value. Examples of assets include cash, inventory, equipment, and property. Assets are important for every type of business owner because they represent the investments made in the business that can generate future returns.

For small business owners and freelancers, assets can be used to obtain financing or credit for future growth opportunities. Assets can also be used as collateral to secure loans or lines of credit, allowing businesses to access additional funds for expansion or to manage cash flow during periods of low revenue.

  • Account Receivable

For a business, account receivable is the amount of money customers owe for the goods or services they received. This is often the amount when customers pay through credit cards or coupons sometimes! For most of the business, this is also considered as an asset! 

  • Account Payable

Every business has suppliers. And, the amount a business owes to its suppliers for goods and services is known as an account payable. These are said to be held accountable for clerical, administrative, and financial support for the company! 

  • Margin

Margin is key for businesses to expand revenues, profits, and even accounts receivable and payable. Broadly, It is the difference between cost price and selling price. In other words, it is the ratio of profit to revenue. 

  • Cash Flow

Cash flow is the movement of money in and out of a business. It is an important aspect of every small/big business owner’s or freelancer’s journey. Positive cash flow is essential for the survival and growth of any business, as it ensures that the business has enough money to pay its bills and invest in growth opportunities. 

Without sufficient cash flow, a business may struggle to cover its expenses, pay its employees, and invest in new projects. This can lead to missed opportunities and even bankruptcy.

  • Liabilities

Liabilities refer to the debts and obligations that a business owes to others. It includes loans, taxes, accounts payable, and any other financial obligations that must be fulfilled. 

As a business owner or independent freelancer, it is important to understand your liabilities and manage them effectively to avoid defaulting on payments. Failure to do so can lead to legal and financial consequences, such as fines, legal fees, and damaged credit scores.

  • GST

Noone is unfamiliar with GST . The hype around it also justifies the need to understand this. It is the  tax on final goods and services. GST is of great importance to businesses when they engage in business supplies and delivering final products to their customers. 

  • Equity

Equity is one of the most important financial terms that every business owner should know. It refers to the ownership interest in a company, which can be held by shareholders, partners, or owners. Equity represents the residual value of the assets of the business after all liabilities have been paid. 

It is an important source of capital for a business, as it can be used to finance growth and expansion, and can also be sold or traded on stock exchanges. Understanding equity is essential for business owners to make informed decisions about their business finances and to attract investors.

  • Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment (ROI) is a financial metric used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. It measures the amount of profit or loss generated by an investment relative to its cost. 

ROI is important for every type of business owner as it helps them to determine the effectiveness of their investments and make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources. By evaluating the ROI of different investments, business owners can prioritize their spending and invest in opportunities that are likely to yield the highest returns. 

  • Gross Margin

Gross margin is a key financial metric that every business owner should understand. It refers to the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold, expressed as a percentage. Essentially, gross margin shows how much money a company is making on each product or service sold, after accounting for the direct costs of producing that product or service. 

A higher gross margin generally indicates better profitability, as the company can keep more of each dollar earned. Understanding and monitoring gross margin is also critical for making informed business decisions and staying financially healthy.

  • Break-even point

The break-even point is a financial term every business owner or freelancer should be aware of. It refers to the level of sales at which a company neither makes a profit nor incurs a loss. In other words, it’s the point where total revenue equals total expenses. 

Understanding the break-even point helps business owners set pricing and sales goals, and make important decisions about their company’s financial health. Further, by knowing this metric, entrepreneurs can also determine the minimum level of sales needed to cover fixed costs and start generating profits.

Advanced Finance Terms


EBITDA is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. It is a measure of a company’s financial performance and is often used by investors, analysts, and business owners to evaluate a business’s profitability and cash flow. 

EBITDA provides a clearer picture of a company’s operating performance by excluding the effects of financing decisions and accounting practices. By focusing on a company’s core business operations, EBITDA allows business owners to make more informed decisions about their company’s financial health and growth opportunities.

  • Working Capital

Working capital is the amount of money that a business has available to cover its daily operations. It is calculated by subtracting a company’s current liabilities from its current assets. 

Positive working capital indicates that a company has enough resources to meet its short-term obligations, while negative working capital means that a company may struggle to cover its expenses. Maintaining a healthy level of working capital is essential for any business to remain operational and achieve its growth objectives.

  • Capital Expenditures (Capex)

Capital expenditures (Capex) refer to the expenses incurred by a business in acquiring or upgrading assets that will have a useful life beyond the current accounting period. Capex includes expenses for purchasing property, plant, and equipment, as well as expenses for investing in research and development. 

Business owners should pay attention to Capex as it affects the long-term growth and profitability of their company. By investing in capital expenditures, businesses can improve productivity, and efficiency, and expand their product or service offerings. Understanding Capex and managing it efficiently is essential for a business’s success.

  • Cost of Capital

Cost of capital is a basic finance term that every business owner should know. It refers to the minimum rate of return that a company must earn on its investments to satisfy its investors and lenders. 

This rate is determined by the cost of debt and equity, as well as the risk level of the investments. Understanding the cost of capital is important for making informed decisions about investments, financing, and other financial strategies.

  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio

The Debt-to-Equity Ratio is a basic finance term that every business owner should know. This ratio measures the amount of debt compared to the equity that a company has. A high debt-to-equity ratio indicates that a company has taken on more debt relative to its equity, which can be risky for investors. 

A low debt-to-equity ratio means that a company has a stronger financial position and is less reliant on borrowing. Business owners need to monitor this ratio to ensure they are maintaining a healthy balance of debt and equity.

  • Return on Equity (ROE)

Return on Equity (ROE) is a key financial ratio that measures the profitability of a company by comparing the amount of net income it generates to the amount of shareholder equity invested in the business. ROE is calculated by dividing net income by shareholder equity and is expressed as a percentage. 

A higher ROE indicates that a company is generating more profits from the funds invested by shareholders. ROE is an essential metric for business owners as it helps them evaluate the effectiveness of their company’s management in generating profits from shareholder investments.

  • Net Present Value (NPV)

Net Present Value (NPV) is a financial concept that helps businesses determine the value of a future investment based on its expected cash flows. It takes into account the time value of money and factors in the cost of capital to calculate the net present value of the investment. 

A positive NPV means that the investment is expected to generate more cash than the cost of the capital, while a negative NPV indicates that the investment is not profitable. Understanding NPV is considered important when evaluating potential projects or investments.


In summary, understanding basic finance terms is essential for any business owner or industry freelancer to make informed financial decisions. Knowing terms such as ROI, cash flow, and NPV allows one to understand their financial standing, evaluate investment opportunities, and develop a sound financial strategy. 

Further, by having a grasp of these terms, authorities can make better financial decisions, ultimately leading to increased profitability and success.


Freelancer FAQ