Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 114 - A small company that you think is successful

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a small company in your hometown that you think is successful.

You should say:

  • how you know about this company
  • what they produce or do
  • why you think it is successful

and explain how you think it became successful.


Model Answer 1:

This is an interesting question because I think the answer I’ll give reflects what I think of as ‘success’ to me being a successful business isn’t necessarily about making the owner rich, or growing the company bigger each year, it can be about other things too.

I’m going to tell you about a small company I know, how I know it, what they produce and why I would call it successful. As to how it became successful, well I suppose I’ll have to just offer my best guess – if it was possible to explain why a company does well I think we would all be entrepreneurs in the making!

The company I am thinking of is run by a friend of mine. We met through a running club. She makes very high-quality bespoke cookies. The biscuits themselves are delicious, but actually, it isn’t really so much about the food, it’s about the way she designs and presents them. She will do any design or theme and create special shaped and decorated biscuits to order. So, for example, if you have a friend who is celebrating a special birthday, and they love cycling and rock climbing, she might make up a box of biscuits including one in the shape of a bike, some mountains and ropes to represent abseiling equipment. She does a lot of wedding favours – small biscuits with a personal design incorporating the initials of the bride and groom on e.g. the number plate of a classic car perhaps. She even did a special order for me. A friend of mine had a riding accident and broke her arm very badly. To cheer her up I asked my biscuit making friends make a very special box. It featured a cartoon version of the horse she had been riding; the back of an ambulance; a syringe – to represent the morphine injections the paramedics had issued, and a representation of my friend with her arm in plaster.  It was brilliant!

As to why the business is successful, I think it’s for a number of reasons. The actual cost of ingredients is quite modest so the overheads aren’t huge, so my friend is able to add value through her artwork. She meets a niche need, I don’t know of any similar businesses in the region so there is not too much competition. She can also send her biscuits through the post, and they both travel and keep well, so she can supply all over the world – in theory at least, a limitless market. It helps that she is good at what she does so repeat orders keep on coming. However, whilst that explains how she keeps in profit, for me what makes the business a success, is that she has found a way of working for herself that generates an income, but gives her a really good work-life balance. She can work flexibility and take time off when she needs to. If she wants to go for a run in the morning before work and start late she can; if she thinks the lovely weather means she’d be better off working on her allotment she can do that too – although, of course, the work has to be done later. It is fantastic that she has made a success of her business idea, and the company has grown enough that she is also able to employ a part-time assistant to help her in busy spells as well.

Setting up the business was an act of faith, there were no guarantees when she started out, but she has worked hard, built up and retained a good reputation, and her products always raise a smile of delight in the recipient. Her main problem is that customers complain about her biscuits look too good to eat. This frustrates her, they are made for eating,’ keep a photo eat the biscuits’ is her advice, and she should know, she baked them herself!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Sample Answer 2:

A small web design & development company in my hometown, in my opinion, is a successful company. The name of this company is ‘Net Gear’ (...say a name you prefer…) and it was established by two young IT graduate only 3 years back.

It has been proven to be a successful company because within 3 years it has expanded rapidly and now they have 2 offices with more than 30 employees. They have a good client base and since one of the owners is personally known to me, I know that they are making an enviable profit. They have been awarded as a promising IT firm last year and their success stories, as well as 2 of their world-class software, were reported in a local newspaper.

I know the owners personally and the company office is near to my home. I have visited this company several times and thus I know many details of this company including what type of works they do, who works for this company, what are their products etc.

This company is basically a web designing and development company and it mainly designs and develops the eCommerce website for the clients. They have some in-house software including Content Management software and accounting software.

After the owners started the companies there were only 5 employees including themselves. They had only 2-3 clients and their office was in their personal house. In 3 years they have worked hard and gained many successes including the office and employee expansion, the output they produce and the revenue they earn.


Model Answer 3:

I live in a medium-size town with a population of about only 2 million. However, even though, it is not a big commercial city, it still has a sizable number of local businesses and companies, which have gained some great popularity and success. Today, I would like to talk about one such company which has done really well with its business.

The company, I am talking about, is a bakery factory. I have known about this factory since my high school years as it provided regular Tiffin snacks, such as cakes and biscuits, to the students of our school on behalf of our school authority. Since those days, I have always enjoyed their bakery products which include all kinds of bread, cakes and biscuits, as well as many other kinds of pastries and snacks.

As far as I know, this bakery factory remains open pretty much every day, even though it has a varied opening and closing hours throughout the week.  Located in one corner of my town, this bakery factory supplies its products not only in its hometown but also to a number of other shops outside of its own town. Interestingly enough though, since the day the bakery had started its business, it never really extended its plant. Instead, what they have done, in order to meet the growing demand of their products, is that they have increased the number of working shifts so that more and more can work there, and that I would call a “smart” move.  

However, even though, it has increased production, still one would hardly find any of their products left unsold at their store at the end of their business hours. So, based on their sales and their operation outside of their own town, it is fair to conclude that it is a successful company.  

Anyway, to answer how the company became successful, I think that it did so by maintaining the good quality of their products. Besides, it is successful also because it never hesitates to diversify its products different times of the year, depending on the taste and preferences of its customers.


Sample Answer 4:

I am going to talk about a small business, located in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, which is successful and employes a good number of people these days. I saw an advertisement made by this company on TV first, at least 5 years ago, and then heard from others how this small company is contributing to employ many people while making a good percentage of profit.

The small company I am talking about produces a variety of food products, food cans and delicious sauce and additives. Approximately, its operation backs to over 15 years ago, when it was a small factory in the North of Iran. Gradually, it was expanded to other parts of the country, and its numerous branches made it a very prosperous business.

While the number of its branches was only 2 in 2000, it has reached almost 50 across the country. Besides, the number of products increased from 10 items to just over 100 items. Though this is still a small business, it is improving and expanding pretty fast.

Lastly, the quality of its products has been improved fundamentally compared to the past, leading it to open some branches in other countries and becoming a famous brand of food-company in our region.

[ By - Rambod Taghaodi ]


Similar Cue Card Topics:

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would also enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics:

  1. Describe a company you have visited or worked in.
  2. Describe a company or factory in your city.
  3. Describe a family business you know about.
  4. Describe an office or university you had been to.
  5. Describe a successful company in your country.
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