Business English Idioms – war
There are a lot of expressions used in business which are borrowed from the army and from war. Here are some examples:
You can ‘gain ground’ on your competition.
- We’ve gained ground in the Japanese market. We now have a 20% market share, up from just 7% last year.
You ‘ don’t give up without a fight.’
- I don’t think we should just withdraw the product because we have such a poor share of the market. Let’s not give up without a fight. Let’s try some other marketing strategies.
You may need to ‘reinforce’ your marketing position.
- Our sales team is doing badly against the competition. We may need to reinforce the team with some new recruits.
You can ‘join forces’ with another company.
- In China, we’ve decided to join forces with a local company and set up a joint venture.
If you receive a lot of enquiries, you can say you are ‘bombarded’ with them.
- After our last radio campaign, we were bombarded with calls to our customer lines.
If you don’t want your boss to notice you, it’s a good idea to ‘keep your head down’.
- The boss is very angry. It would be a good idea to keep your head down for a few days.
You can ‘set your sights on ‘ an objective.
- I’ve set my sights on being the next sales manager.
Often different departments of a company have a ‘battle’ over budgets.
- There isn’t much money and Accounts and Marketing are having a big battle over the advertising budget.
Some people seem to do things which make them look bad – they are ‘their own worst enemy’.
- He’s always irritating the boss by being late for meetings. He’s his own worst enemy.
Most companies set ‘targets’ for their employees.
- Our target this year is to increase sales by 10%.
You can ‘capture’ a larger share of a market.
- We need to capture more of the youth market.
When businesses fail because of a poor economy, they can be said to be ‘casualties’.
- They were a casualty of the last recession.
If there are a lot of potential problems in doing something, it can be described as a ‘minefield’.
- The workers are very unhappy and so are the customers. Taking over that company would be a real minefield.