Business Terms

The 70 Business Terms Every Manager Needs To Know

Business terms can be confusing. To help you get familiar with this specialized language, the management experts at Sling have created a list of the 70 business terms every manager needs to know.

Finance Business Terms

1) ROI

Return on investment (ROI) refers to all the benefits — monetary or otherwise — received from an investment.

2) Incentivize

Provide an incentive (a motivation) for using a product or service.

3) Monetize

Make money from a product or activity.

4) Deliverable

Manager writing business terms

A product or service developed by a business.

5) Margin

Profit from a product or service after all expenses have been covered. Often referred to as a percentage.

6) Accounts Payable

A record of the money you owe to the people and businesses that helped you create your product or service.

7) Accounts Receivable

A record of the money that other people and businesses owe to you.

8) Capital

Capital often refers to money, but it can also be used to refer to everything your business owns and uses to function (e.g., equipment, vehicles, buildings, land, etc.).

9) Fixed Costs

Costs you must pay whether your business is doing well or not. Expenses such as utilities, rent, and employee salaries are considered fixed costs.

10) Variable Costs

Variable costs are expenses that fluctuate based on your volume of business. They include:

  • Shipping
  • Commissions
  • Supplies
  • Hourly wages

11) Gross

Gross refers to the total amount or quantity BEFORE deductions or expenses.

12) Net

Net refers to the amount or quantity AFTER deductions or expenses.

Systems & Technology Business Terms

Manager using technology to learn business terms

13) Benchmarking

The process by which you measure various aspects of your systems (e.g., speed, efficiency, cost, amount of product).

14) SWOT

SWOT is an acronym that refers to a form of analysis that examines your:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

15) KPI

KPI is an acronym that stands for Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are usually numbers that tell you how effective your business is in a specific area.

16) Metrics

Any quantifiable (countable) measurement your business uses to assess performance.

17) Performance Review

A performance review is a process by which a manager evaluates each member of his or her team. During the performance review, the manager provides feedback and helps the employee see how they can improve.

18) R&D

Short for research and development.

19) B2B

B2B is short for business-to-business and describes a business transaction with another business.

20) B2C

Short for business-to-consumer and describes transactions with individual consumers.

21) B2G

Short for business-to-government and describes transactions with government entities.

22) Scalable

Manager working on two computers

Able to be changed in size.

23) Responsive Design

This term refers to a website that changes based on the type of device (tablet, phone, laptop, desktop) used to view it.

24) Core Competency

A core competency is a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes you from your competitors.

Sales & Marketing Business Terms

25) Unique Selling Proposition

A specific factor that differentiates your product or service from your direct competitor (e.g., cost, quality, added use).

25) Niche Market

A very specific segment of a larger market.

26) Marketing

The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.

27) Market Research

The action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences so you can provide just the right product or service.

28) Market Penetration

A measure of the extent of a product’s sales volume relative to the total sales volume of all competing products.

29) Inbound Marketing

Digital (i.e., internet-based) marketing that includes podcasts, video, email broadcasts, social media, ebooks, and SEO.

30) Buyer Persona

The characteristics of your ideal buyer.

31) A/B Testing

Testing two versions (an A version and a B version) to see which one performs better.

32) Analytics

Data from a variety of sources used to inform marketing efforts.

33) Brand

A product, identity, or image that generates awareness and separates your business from others.

34) Bounce Rate

How often people visit your website and leave without clicking on anything.

35) CTR

Click Through Rate tells you how many people are moving through your website toward purchasing your product or service.

36) CMS

Short for Content Management System and refers to a program (usually software) that manages all aspects of creating digital content.

37) Conversion Rate

Percentage of people who take a desired action (usually on your website).

38) CRM

Short for Customer Relationship Management. Refers to software that helps you organize your marketing activity.

39) CPL

Short for Cost Per Lead and refers to the total marketing cost necessary to acquire a lead (potential buyer).

40) Demographics

Demographics are data points that apply to your target market, such as age, sex, income, and family status.

41) Digital Marketing

Example of digital marketing as a business term

Marketing conducted solely on the internet.

42) Evergreen

Content that is valuable to a consumer regardless of when it is read.

43) Friction

Any aspect of your image, brand, product, or website that is hard to understand (causes friction between it and the consumer).

44) Infographic

Content that combines words and images to make complex information easy to understand.

45) PPC

Pay Per Click — advertising on the internet where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

46) SEO

Search Engine Optimization — optimizing your website so that it ranks higher on the results page of a search engine.

47) Sales Funnel

The entire sales process as a whole.

48) TOFU

Top Of The Funnel — refers to the initial stages of the sales funnel, where the consumer is looking for answers to a problem that may involve your product or service.

49) MOFU

Middle Of The Funnel — refers to the middle stages of the sales funnel, where your business positions itself as the solution to the consumer’s problem.

50) BOFU

Bottom Of The Funnel — refers to the end stages of the sales funnel, where a consumer is ready to buy.

51) User Experience

The total experience — from purchase and beyond — a user has with your brand.

General Business Terms

52) Run With It

Take an idea and investigate it further.

53) Loop You In

Include in the discussion.

54) Live And Breathe It 24/7/365

Work at something all the time to the exclusion of everything else.

55) Be Proactive

Take the initiative.

56) Don’t Go There

We’re not discussing that right now.

57) A Walk In The Park

Used to refer to a simple task.

58) Take It To The Next Level

Step up your efforts.

59) Aggressive Timeline

A timeline that is too short and doesn’t provide enough room to get everything finished.

60) 4th And Inches

Football metaphor that means you’re close to the end and you need to put everything you have into reaching completion.

61) Manage The Optics

Move the facts around in your favor.

62) Circle Back

We’ll get back to that if we have time.

63) Ballpark

Estimate something.

64) Think Outside The Box

Example of a manager's workspace

Get creative.

65) Go Back And Sharpen Your Pencils

Come up with some new ideas.

66) Not Enough Boots On The Ground

Not enough people working on a task.

67) Housekeeping

Mundane organization and project issues.

68) Clean House

Fire a large group of people.

69) Square The Circle

Do things differently.

70) Cash Cow

Someone or something that brings in a lot of money.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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