1 The Reception of Office
2 Duties of A Receptionist
3 Right Attitude to work 
4 Documents Handled by Receptionists
5 Office Correspondence 
6 Procedures for Handling Incoming Mails
7 Office Document
8 Trade  
9 Aids to Trade
10 Market





The reception office is the first contact office which is well furnished can decorated to create good and lasting impression in the mind of visitor. It is an office where visitors or callers are welcomed and attended to. The office is well equipped with telephone, newspaper, journal, magazine, computer, fan and others.

A receptionist is an employee charged with the responsibility of receiving and directly visitors in a reception office.

Importance of a receptionist

  1. The receptionist is important to receive and direct visitors
  2. He/she creates awareness about the arrival of a visitor
  3. Receptionist helps to keep and give necessary information on behalf of the staff
  4. He/she is important to receive telephone calls on behalf of the organisation.


  1. She must be neatly and smartly dressed
  2. They must be polite and patient
  3. She must have a good knowledge of the organisation and its personnel
  4. She must be courteous 
  5. She must be fluent in speaking English
  6. She must be punctual and be committed
  7. She should have a pleasing personally
  8. She must be cheerful


Exercise: (i) Who is a receptionist? 

(ii) Mention four qualities of a receptionist




The duties of a receptionist can be divided into two namely:

  1. Receiving callers or visitors
  2. Handling Telephone calls
  4. She receives visitors warmly
  5. She must make an appointment with visitors
  6. She makes visitors comfortable while waiting for an office
  7. She must receive and give information concerning the organisation
  8. She must direct the visitors correctly
  9. She must pleasantly and politely receive visitors with the use of “can I help you, please”?
  11. She must use clear and pleasant voice with short answers
  12. She must keep a log of calls
  13. She must not disclosed unauthorised information 
  14. She must write down the message received from telephone calls
  15. She must answer the call with the name of the organisation or department and not her name
  16. She must say thank you at the end of the call


The kind of approach given to visitors will determine whether the visitors are warmly received or not. These are cogent things a receptionist must know:-

  1. Approach – e.g. know what to say to them
  2. Assistance – e.g. offer a sear or direct well
  3. Attention – e.g. be attentive, listen to them
  4. Solution – e.g. provide solutions to their problems
  5. Conclusion – say welcome sir/ma and thank you at the end 

Appropriate Office Dress Code

“Dress the way want to be addressed”.

There are major dress codes which are:

  1. Casual dressing 
  2. Official/formal dressing

iii. Occasional/ceremonial dressings



  1. Work is any activity people engage themselves (Physical or Mental effort) in order earn a living e.g. teaching, barbing, engineering etc. 
  2. Right Attitude to work –is having a positive state of mind toward a particular job/work i.e. doing a particular job with a rightful purpose or determination to do good in an organisation.

Characteristics of people with positive attitude

  1. Interest 
  2. Commitment 

iii. Promptness 

  1. Consistency
  2. Punctuality

Rewards For Positive Attitude to Work

  1. High performance 
  2. Promotion 

iii. Respect

  1. Success
  2. Productivity

Negative Attitude To Work

This means having a wrong or bad state of mind towards a particular work. 

  1. Failure 
  2. Anxiety 

iii. Depression

  1. Stress
  2. Bitterness


Punctuality:- is driving at a place of work before or at an agreed time. Punctuality is said to be soul of business. Cultivate the habit of being punctual 

Regularity:- is to at the place of work everyday except when on leave or ill

Punctuality and regularity leads to 

  • High performance
  • Smooth running of the business
  • Promotion
  • Increment in salary and wages

Irregularity – is whereby an employees do absent from their duty 

Punishment is the discipline given to an irregular employees, irregularity leads to punishment 

Irregularity leads

  • Punishment 
  • Query 
  • Deduction from salary
  • Suspension from work
  • Dismissal 

Devotion to duty:- means spending time or energy in doing something. It has to do with total commitment, showing interest and consistency habit.

To improve the general working

The following must be considered 

  1. Have in mind that something can be done
  2. Never give up because you cannot be a failure until you give up
  3. Do not complain instead do what you can do and leave the rest
  4. Make hardwork your major goal
  5. Be organised and be reliable 



The documents kept by a receptionist include:-

  1. Visitors book
  2. Telephone message pad or form
  3. Business card
  4. Request form/visitors slip
  5. Telephone directory
  6. Appointment register
  7. Diary


  1. VISITOR’S BOOK:- is used for recording the details of all visitors that came to an organisation. It contains name, office visited, address, purpose of visit, time of arrival and departure, date, signature etc.
Date  Name of visitor Purpose of visit  Time of arrival Departure  Signature 
5/09/15 More Blessing  Official  8.30am 11.20am


  1. TELEPHONE MESSAGE PAD:- is used to record calls received for an officer who may be busy or not on seat while visitors are calling. The receptionist takes down the message at the time phone rings.


  1. BUSINESS CARD:- also known as complimentary card or introductory card. It is used to identify oneself and organisation. It contains name of company, address, name of the owner, position and telephone number.
  2. REQUEST FORM:- is used in some office to inform an office of the presence of a visitor who is willing to see him/her



  1. TELEPHONE DIRECTORY: is a compilation of names, address of the telephones subscribers and telephone number of an individual and organisation within a region or country. It is used by receptionist for easy tracing of names and number.
  2. APPOINTMENT REGISTER: it records information concerning visitors on appointment and the office they wish to visit.
Date  Time  Name of visitors Account  Personnel  Sales  Admin 


  1. DIARY: this shows the daily activities of an organisation.it is used to record future appointment, interview, important events/happenings.


Exercise: Design beautiful business card and request form




Correspondences are mails, letters suit and received in and out of an organisation. Correspondence can be sent either by post, by hand, electrically by fax and email.

Types of correspondence 

  1. Mail inward book
  2. Mail outward book
  3. Despatch book 
  4. Postage book
  5. File movement book
  1. MAIL INWARD BOOK/ correspondence inward register – is used to record the details of all official correspondence received in organisation. It serves as a proof that the document sent is received.
Date  Received Sender’s name Subject Ref. No Attention  Reply date 

It is also known as incoming mail

  1. MAIL OUTWARD BOOK – is used to record the details of letters leaving an organisation to an individuals, firm or organisation. It is a proof that a reply has been made on a particular issue. It is also known as outgoing mail or correspondence outward register.
Date Sent  Name and Address of Addressee Method of delivery  Delivery  Name and signature of receiver 


  1. DESPATCH BOOK: almost serve the same purpose as mail outward book. It is used when letters are to be delivered by hand, the letter must be signed by the receivers to serve as evidence that letter has been delivered to the right person.
Date Addressee’s Name Delivered By Receiver’s Signature


  1. POSTAGE BOOK- is used for recording the details of the letters posted and the amount spent on stamp. Franking machine is hired to print the stamp impression on the envelope to be posted.
Date  Stamp bought  Name and Address of Addressee Postal service used Postage Amount 


  1. FILE MOVEMENT BOOK: is kept by filing clerk to record the movement of file from department to another in an organisation.

Exercise: Design beautiful mail inward book and postage book.



Incoming mail contains new orders, enquiries, cheques, reports, complaints and any other letter from other business organisation received either by hard or by past.

The procedures are: 

  1. Receive mail from post office box or from their personnel
  2. Check mail one after the other
  3. Sort the mail into private, official and confidential
  4. Send mails to officer concerned 
  5. Open non-confidential mail by clerk
  6. Remove the contents for cheques, receipt, bill etc
  7. Record mail in inward book
  8. Place file and sent them to officer concerned


Procedures for handling outgoing mail are:

  1. Collecting mail ready to be sent
  2. Preparing the mail for posting from mail room

iii. Folding mails

  1. Insertion of letter/mail into envelope
  2. Weighing of mail on scale
  3. Stamping of mails 

vii. Despatching mails


FILING: is the act of putting or arranging documents in a row. It involves the collection, arrangement, safe keeping of information and the retrieval of such information for decision making.


Documents are filled for these reasons:

  1. To keep letters in safe custody
  2. To keep document clean

iii. To keep the office tiding

  1. To be able to retrieve document for easy accessibility without delay



  1. Mail room equipment is used for processing large volumes of mail. It can mail receiving equipment which includes letter openers, security mail, scanners, envelope sealers, folder/inserters, labels
  2. Mail sending equipment allows to automate outgoing mail processing e.g. labelling machine, stickers, tabbers, sales flying, envelope sealers. Envelope sealers are used for high volume making.



  1. Name two major methods of filing?
  2. List and explain four filing equipment.






Office documents are documents used in an office for business transactions. There are basically two types of office documents which are (i) Sales documents (ii) Purchases document 

  1. SALES DOCUMENT: are documents used in keeping records of sales transactions i.e. it is used to record goods sold either in cash or credit, undercharged and overcharged. They are:
  2. An invoice
  3. Debit note

iii. Credit note

  1. Delivery note
  2. An Invoice: is prepared sent by the seller to the buyer to indicate value of cost of goods sold to the buyer.it contain name, address quality, description, amount and terms of trade.
  3. Debit Note: is sent by the seller to the buyer to show that account has been debited as a result of undercharged
  4. Credit Note: is sent by seller to the buyer to show that some goods has been overcharged. Credit note is like invoice but the same and it is usually printed in red colour.
  5. Delivery Note: is prepared and sent by the seller along with goods to the buyer to show quantity of the description of goods sent. The buyer use the delivery note to check the goods delivered sign it and send a copy back to the seller through the driver.



These are documents used in keeping records of goods purchased. They are:

  1. Letter of enquiry
  2. Quotation
  3. Order
  4. Receipt 
  1. Letter of Enquiry – Is used by the buyers to find out from various suppliers whether certain foods are available. It can also be sued to confirm the terms of sales, quantity and mode of delivery.
  2. Quotation – is a purchase document sent by the seller in reply to the letter of enquiry. It indicates goods available, current prices, date of delivery and mode of delivery.
  3. Order – states the quantity of goods expected from the supplier. It is sent after receiving price list or quotation.
  4. Receipt – is issued to the buyer by the seller to indicate that the amount of money paid for a particular goods. it is a legal proof of payment. 


Design a receipt for any company of your choice.



Trade means buying and selling of goods and services to satisfy human wants. 

In the olden days, trade was carried out by barter system whereby goods are exchanged for goods and services for services without the use of money.

Importance of trade

  1. Trade helps in bringing producer and buyer into contact
  2. It facilitates means of selling surplus goods
  3. It prevents wastage of some products
  4. It helps producers to market their goods
  5. It brings two or more countries together through international trade.

Forms of trade

Trade can be divided into two: (i) Home trade (ii) Foreign trade

  1. HOME TRADE: is buying and selling within a geographical boundary e.g. Lagos – Port/Harcourt, Oshodi – Idumota. It is also known as internal or domestic trade

Home is divided into: (i) Wholesale trade (ii) Retail trade

  1. WHOLESALE TRADE – is buying in large quantities/bulk from manufacturer/producer and selling in small quantities to the retailer.
  2. RETAIL TRADE – is buying in small quantities from the wholesaler and selling in units to the final consumers
  3. FOREIGN TRADE – is buying and selling between two or more countries e.g. Ghana – Nigeria, Germany – Nigeria. It is alsoknown as international or external trade.

Foreign trade involves the use of different currencies and different languages.

Foreign trade is divided into:

  1. Import – takes place when goods are sent from outside country into a particular country e.g. imported goods to Nigeria are television, machine, vehicles, drugs etc.
  2. Export – takes place when a particular country sends goods to another country e.g goods sent from Nigeria to China are export goods e.g. crude oil, cassava, cocoa etc
  3. Entrepot – is importing of goods for re-exporting purpose. The goods already import into a country for the purpose of re-exporting 


Exercise: (i) Explain five roles of customs and excise in foreign trade




These are services that make trade easy or facilitate trade. They are:

  1. Advertising 
  2. Banking 
  3. Communication
  4. Insurance 
  5. Tourism
  6. Transportation 
  7. Warehousing 
  1. Advertising – is creating awareness in the mind of the public about the existence of old and new in the market. There are several media of advertising such as radio, magazine, television, newspaper, cinema, billboard, internet, journal etc.
  2. Banking – is making fund available for business and individual. It makes trade easy. Banks make money available inform of loan and overdraft. Banks helps to keep money, valuables and give financial advise.
  3. Communication – is a means of sending and receiving information from pre place to another. It makes trade easy because it links suppliers with the customers through telephone, telex, internet, E-mail etc.
  4. Insurance – make a security/protection against the risk/loss in business because business is full of risk. 

There are different types of insurance – marine, motor vehicle, fire, life assurance etc.

  1. Tourism – is a a place for recreation holidays. Tourist centres increase trade activities e.g. Olumo Rock, Zakari game reserve, Obudo cattle ranch etc
  2. Transportation – provides the means of carrying people and goods from one place to another. Transportation could be by land, water, air and pipeline 
  3. Warehousing – the provision of facility to store goods and materials until they are needed. It ensures steady supply of goods.it could be ordinary warehousing bonded and public warehouse. Warehouse is a place where finished goods and kept until they are needed.


Exercise List and explain five services that make trade easy.




MARKET:- is a place where buyer and seller meet together to transact business. Has a place where there is transfer of ownership of goods and services.

Examples : Idumota market, Katangowa market etc

Market can also take place through communication between the seller and buyer without physical contact e.g. GSM, Internet, Jumia, OLX etc


Types of Market

  1. Commodity market
  2. Capital market

iii. Money market 

  1. Commodity Market – open market, market stall, mobile shop etc
  2. Capital Market – institutes that trade in capital market are :

– Stock Exchange market

– Merchant banks

– Insurance companies 

  1. Money Markets – 
  2. Pension funds manager
  3. Commercial banks

iii. Brokerage firms

  1. Cooperative societies 


Give ten examples of commodity market.

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