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How to Use Business Jargon in English

25 December 2013
business meeting

When you study business during an English course or work in an international environment, you often come across abbreviations and specific vocabulary that sometimes only apply to business. This might be called business jargon, also known as business slang.

Here is a guide to the most common business-related acronyms and vocabulary that you are likely to use in a professional environment.

FYI: For Your Information
You will use this quite often when forwarding some information to a colleague.

KPI: Key Performance Indicator
This is a measure created to help evaluate the performance of a team or a business.

SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
When analysing your business or your market, you’ll go through the SWOT analysis, in order to get a better understanding of the market at the moment and your situation compared to competition.

TBA / TBC: To be announced / to be confirmed
When you are unsure of the day of a meeting or the launch of a new product, one of these two might become useful to inform your co-workers!

B2B / B2C: Business to Business / Business to Customer.
Your business can be either or even both of those, depending who you sell to: is it to the final customer of the product or service, or to a company that will resell or reuse your product before offering it to the final customer?

ROI: return on investment
Making sure your investment is efficient.

HQ: Headquarters
Most of times, international companies have offices in different countries or cities, but have a main central office. Kaplan International’s HQ is based in London.

WoW, MoM, YoY: Week on Week, Month on Month, Year on Year
When you analyze your performances, you can choose which time period you compare against.

Another acronym used in business is YTD, Year To Date, when referring to the amount of business generated from the beginning of the year up to today.

A service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This does not apply for business communication only of course, but can be a service you seek or offer to your customers.

1-2-1 / 1-to-1:
Meeting face to face with a manager or a colleague to discuss work. You can also take one-to-one courses sometimes, for personalized tutoring!

Can you think of any other example of acronyms or abbreviations used in business? Let us know ASAP (as soon as possible) if you do and check out our Business English courses if you want to learn more!