English Business Vocabulary for Professionals

Agenda: A list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting.
The chairperson emailed everyone the meeting agenda the day before.

Benchmark: A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.
They used last year’s sales figures as a benchmark for this year’s targets.

Brainstorm: A spontaneous group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.
We will have a brainstorm session on Thursday to generate ideas for the upcoming project.

Buy-in: Agreement on a course of action, especially among members of a group or organization.
We need buy-in from all departments to proceed with the new operational strategy.

Cash flow: The total amount of money being transferred into and out of a business, especially as affecting liquidity.
A healthy cash flow is essential for maintaining the day-to-day operations of any company.

Deliverables: Items that must be provided upon completion of a project, such as products, reports, or services.
The consultant outlined the deliverables in the proposal that will be given at the end of the analysis phase.

Empower: Give someone the authority or power to do something.
The new policy is intended to empower employees to make their own decisions regarding customer service.

Fiscal: Relating to government revenue, especially taxes.
The fiscal year ends in April, at which point all accounts must be settled.

Headhunter: A person who identifies and approaches suitable candidates employed elsewhere to fill business positions.
The firm hired a headhunter to find the new Chief Financial Officer.

Incentivize: Provide someone with an incentive for doing something.
The company hopes to incentivize innovation with a bonus scheme.

Leverage: Use something to maximum advantage.
The company plans to leverage its brand reputation to expand market share.

Milestone: A significant stage or event in the development of something.
Reaching 100,000 sales was a major milestone for the product team.

Networking: Interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
The conference provides an excellent opportunity for networking with industry leaders.

Outsource: Obtain goods or services from an outside supplier; to subcontract.
The company decided to outsource IT support to reduce costs.

Paradigm shift: A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
The adoption of digital media has caused a paradigm shift in advertising.

Quota: A limited quantity of a particular product which under official controls can be produced, exported, or imported.
Each salesperson was assigned a monthly quota to meet.

Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment.
The ROI for this project has exceeded all initial expectations.

Stakeholder: A person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business.
Stakeholders will be meeting next week to discuss the company’s future strategies.

Synergy: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
The synergy between the software and hardware teams led to a successful product launch.

Touch base: To get in contact with or update someone.
Let’s touch base next week to discuss the project’s progress.

Value-added: The amount by which the value of an article is increased at each stage of its production, exclusive of initial costs.
The company focuses on providing value-added services to enhance customer satisfaction.

Venture capital: Financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, growth startup companies.
The startup secured venture capital to fund its expansion.

White paper: An authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter.
The department released a white paper on policy changes that will affect the industry.

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can enhance your professional vocabulary and improve your ability to communicate effectively in a business environment.

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