How to talk about practical skills in the IELTS Speaking Test
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Describe a small business that you would like to own.
You should say:
What this business would be
How you would start/open this business
How you would run this business
and explain why you would like to run this kind of business.
I’ve always been interested in different kinds of handcrafted jewelry, such as macrame, beading, Chinese Knot tying, and other kinds of knotting and stitching with cord or wire. So I’m thinking I’d like to go into business selling and making that kind of jewelry.
It wouldn’t even have to be a big production, just a few people making and selling bracelets, necklaces, and other accessories. Maybe if we become popular and more people start buying our products we could even open a small shop and take special orders. We could also have classes, where we teach people how to make their own jewelry. I was thinking that my cousin could help me since she is quite good with her hands; I think she has some friends who are good at macrame so they could help also. We could put an ad in the newspaper or on the Internet and sell our wares that way. During holidays we’d travel around China and sell our jewelry at famous parks and places that tourists frequent. We’d each just make the things that we’re best at so that we get a bunch of quality products in as short an amount of time as possible.
The main reason I’d start a business like this is because it’s something that I enjoy doing, and 1 don’t think I could work at a job that I don’t like.
1. What challenges and difficulties do people face when they try to open a small business?
One of the main challenges for small businesses is just staying open. Most small businesses close within a year after they’re open, so if they get past that hurdle the next most important thing that they’ll have to tackle is getting long-term customers. Depending on what kind of business they’re starting they’ll also have to advertise their products and services. Good advertisement is really what makes the difference between the success and failure of their business.
2. What arc some of the advantages and disadvantages of small businesses compared to large companies?
One advantage of having a small business is that you don’t have to be lied down by company rules, regulations, and protocols. You are free to operate as you please and don’t have to worn, about getting the approval of the CEO or some other person higher up on the ladder than you. There are some disadvantages, though, to having a small business. The main one is that if you’re not careful, the big businesses will put you out of business by slashing their prices or advertising heavily. You see, they can afford to make their prices lower than yours simply because they have more money.
3. How can small businesses benefit the people in their community?
Small businesses are able to cater to the whims and wishes of the people that they are near. They get to know’ their customers and can specialize in taking care of them. Small businesses can even watch out for community members: if they are used to seeing them and they notice a change in their routine, the business could report this to someone who would lie concerned about them. Having a small business, like a restaurant for instance, creates a family-like feeling in the neighborhood, as opposed to going to McDonald’s for instance, where they don’t know you from Adam.
4. Compare small shops with big (international) department stores and supermarkets.
I really don’t think there is any comparison. Small shops retain a personal touch and give you the feeling that the owners are more than people who just want to make money. Small businesses make you feel that you arc contributing to keep the community going by shopping there. Of course the big stores have a lot more variety and are able to have sales and cut their prices when they need to.
Other possible questions
5. What kinds of small business are most popular in China?
Well you see them everywhere and new ones pop up almost daily, what are they? Well, you guessed it, beauty salons and hairdressers and haircutters. If you walk down any given street you will see one or two on each comer. People arc much more interested in style and being in fashion, so that is why these businesses are so popular. If you look around you will sec so many new hairdos.
6. Why do some people open their own business?
People want to be able to say, “this is mine.” They want to be able to do something on their own. They want to see something grow that they had a direct part in. People also want to make money, of course, and this might even be the main reason.
7. What qualities does a small business owner need to have?
A small business owner would have to be diligent with his business, wanting to make sure that things are done right, lie would need to have patience, the ability to wait until the business starts succeeding. He would have to have plenty of capital to get his business off the ground. A small business owner would also have to have a sense of humor, to laugh when he feels like crying.
8. How have small businesses changed in recent years in China?
There is a lot more freedom here in China to start your own business and make it succeed. There are a lot more small businesses than in the past. Because of China’s entry into the WTO. there are a lot more products and therefore more businesses. As I mentioned before, style is becoming more popular so more businesses open to keep up with it.
9. How do you think small businesses will change in the future in China?
I think that people are working together more and want to gel their small businesses going and progressing so that they can branch out and grow. You will see small businesses Hexing their muscle in the rural areas and expanding their support base. You will see small businesses affecting life much more than they do now. Small businesses are the future of China and will continue being so as time goes on.
10. Compare owning and running a small business to being an employee in a large company.
I think that I am passionate about this. 1 feel that owning and operating a small business is everything good and working as a cog in a wheel for a large company is everything bad. Maybe it’s just me, but 1 like to experiment and try new things and when you have your own business you can do this. I’ve got to feel like I am making a difference; owning a small business would do this for me.
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