Business Jargon Words: Examples, Meanings, Definitions

Business jargon words and slang can define yourself to others.
Use caution and use these forms of communication carefully.

Business jargon words, expressions, and slang can be good communication tools if/when inserted into a conversation appropriately.

Business people commonly use specialized words and phrases (ie. jargon). Although you'll find different opinions on how or even whether jargon should be used in business (or life in general), what it really comes down to is using it cautiously, infrequently, and at the right times.

That's why this page is included on our business coaching website. It's one of many things you'll find here that have helped others to start making great changes happen, to get ahead, and enjoy life more as well.

You will find ideas, suggestions, action steps, and maybe even a bit
of humor, to help your business organization, career, and personal life.

Links to Other Jargon Word Examples and Cliches Pages
Examples of Jargon
Business Jargon
Police Jargon
Understanding Computer Jargon
Business Cliches
Popular Cliches
Misleading Cliches

Definition of Business Jargon Words

Business Jargon are words and phrases that are often memorable; normally business jargon concisely illustrates a common point or business situation.

An example of Internet Jargon is "BFF", which means "Best Friend Forever" (or at least until next week)!

Business jargon originates from many places. Often it's from sports, since both business and sports are typically quite competitive. In business, we might say: "We need to increase our batting average" - a baseball term. This can mean that we need to increase the percentage of the time we succeed (find hot leads, close additional business, etc.).

Business Jargon vs. Business Slang: One key difference between jargon and slang is that jargon tends to be more "technical" and slang tends to be less technical and often used more by the general public.

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Examples of Business Jargon Words

Here are a few examples of business jargon words and how they can apply in business.

"10,000 Foot View" - another way of saying this bit of jargon might be the "view from 10,000 feet". At times, a situation calls for a broad overview - looking at the big picture - and not a real detailed view. Seeing a business proposition or proposal from a 10,000 foot view often means that you're just beginning to delve into a business idea. You can, at a glance, get an initial feel for what the project or proposal entails without first getting into the nitty-gritty details.

"Bang for the Buck" - is one of the most used and favored business jargon words or phrases these days. Giving your customers the best bang for the buck means you're delivering an excellent product for the amount they spend. It could also mean that your business is getting the most for your money by buying your materials from one vendor over another; your "bang" (ie. return or profit) will likely be higher.

"Shotgun Approach" - this strategy is when you're using a BROAD approach. For example, it can apply to a specific marketing strategy businesses may use to cover a large number of people, to show their product or service in front of almost anyone and everyone. One typically uses this marketing approach and expects (or hopes) that a small percentage of these people will actually make a purchase, enough to be a cost-effective strategy.

Another way to say this is the shotgun approach is when you throw a lot against a wall and see "what sticks". A very different strategy is the "rifle approach".

"Rifle Approach" - this strategy is very focused on very specific targets. In marketing, it's when you target a small number of "hot prospects" and you expect to have a high "conversion rate" (get business from a high percentage of your prospects).

In other words, when people use the rifle approach, they often do more planning up front and the subsequent activities and actions are often more efficient and productive - you have a higher "batting average".

"Due Diligence" - Are you considering an investment in, or purchasing, a business? It's smart to conduct "due diligence" on the company prior to making such as big decision. So what is "due diligence"?

The due diligence process is a formal investigation into the business, right down to the nitty-gritty details of its history, reputation, customer base, and financials. Due diligence helps you uncover things that might be hidden deliberately ("buyer beware"), or just not easy to see at first. Due diligence may include reviews of transactions, income, client satisfaction, credit checks, appraisals, lien searches, UCC searches and more.

Choosing to buy (or NOT buy) a particular business is typically a BIG decision. And, if you do choose to make an offer, how much you pay can be the difference between success and failure. The due diligence process, normally done with the help of at least a business attorney and knowledgeable accountant, will help you make much smarter decisions.

"Learning Curve" - It's really unfortunate that it normally takes a long time to master new talents, or to even get "fairly good". That's because there are so many things to learn and then practice over and over until it becomes automatic or routine. In other words, these things have significant "learning curves".

There are a number of ways to reduce learning curves. Some people hire experienced business coaches who teach them many things, including how to avoid obstacles - to speed up the learning curve/process" - they may not even be aware of.

"Sweat Equity" - - Many business, particularly recent start-ups, do not have money available to pay for key employees or consultants. Instead of paying them a salary, hourly, or a retainer, they let them earn "sweat equity". This means the work/sweat put into the business gets compensated by equity/ownership in the business.

Like everything in life, earning sweat equity has its pluses and minuses. Two common minuses are: 1) Money is not often received for a long time and 2) Compensation is sometimes NEVER received, if the business ultimately fails. Two potential pluses are: 1) Often, no taxes are due following tax preparation until compensation is received and 2) the POTENTIAL upside is often much higher than working hourly or for a salary; this is usually determined by the terms of the agreement and how financially successful the business becomes.

Examples of Business Coaching Jargon

"Ah Hah Moments" - The theory of business coaching is that the client potentially has all of the answers already (or can figure them out). The purpose of the business coach is to help the client figure that out with some guidance! Typically business coaches ask lots of smart questions to get the client to really think deeply, recall things they haven't thought about in a long time, and put all the pieces together.

When the pieces of the puzzle finally come together, the client is often quite pleased to have found her own solution AND, sometimes even blurts out "Ah Hah".

Other Examples of Business Jargon,
Expressions, Lingo and Slang

"actionable", "axe", "back burner", "bait and switch", "ballpark", "bang for the buck", "behind the eight ball", "best practice", "bean counter", "bearish", "brain dump", "bullish", "buzz", "change agent", "circular file", "core competency", "down and dirty", "downsize", "get your ducks in a row", "gofer", "golden handcuffs", "face time", "fall guy", "food chain", "free lunch", "game changer", "headcount", "hired guns", "in bed", "in the black", "in the loop", "in the red", "level the playing field", "leverage", "lost in the sauce", "low-ball", "low-hanging fruit", "micromanage", "mom and pop organization", "not invented here", "org chart", "out of pocket", "out of the loop", "ping", "pushback", "put to bed", "rubber check", "Rube Goldberg device", "silver bullet", "skillset", "stakeholders", "take away", "talk turkey", "timeframe", "traction", "value-added", "zero sum game".

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Remember to Use Care When Speaking Business Jargon

Hopefully you've just learned a bit more about jargon. Here are some final thoughts about using business jargon words:

Don't go Overboard!: Jargon can be overused. And business jargon can be used (and misused) to try to impress others, especially when people don't fully understand the situation.

So, it's best to 1) understand the jargon commonly used around you, 2) learn to use business and some internet jargon words and phrases properly, but 3) DON'T overuse jargon; this can turn people off!

Learn!: It can be embarrassing when people use jargon they don't understand; it can hold them back, as well. So, whenever you can, learn some jargon that is appropriate to your field.

Remember these guidelines about using business jargon words, and you should be fine!

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