When it comes to English for business you'll find there are a number of expressions that you probably won't encounter in casual speech. Here are five expressions that you might hear if you are going to a business meeting or you are in a business situation.
1. Manage expectations
To ´manage expectations´ means to ensure that the client has realistic expectations. For example, a company may take an order to deliver a certain amount of products. The client, who does not know how long it takes to manufacture and prepare a product might expect in a week. When you ´manage their expectations´ you make sure they know exactly how long it will take and what to expect. In this way, the client is not disappointed, and you are not under increased pressure from an unhappy client.
Example: "We need to manage their expectations so they know they will not get delivery of the product before April."
Anyone who has to deal directly with clients will need to know how to manage expectations.
2. At the 11th hour
If you do something, or deliver something at the 11th hour then you are doing it at the last minute. If you had two weeks to write a report but you leave it until the last minute, you are doing it at the 11th hour.
Example: "Jane always delivers her reports at the 11th hour. One day she will miss the deadline if she is not careful."
A company might finish a project at the 11th hour, or an individual can finish a task at the 11th hour.
3. The lion's share
The lion´s share is the largest share. If you are talking about a competitor and the fact that they have the lion's share of the market, then they have most of the business.
Example: "Martins have the lion's share of the market as they make 80 percent of the sales. We need to increase our efforts to increase our market share."
This is phrase is generally used when referring to companies or organisations.
4. Dot your i's and cross your t's
If you are told to dot your i´s and cross you t´s you are being told to make sure you get all the details right. You have to check and recheck your information to make sure that the end result is perfect.
Example: "This project could bring in 2 million dollars in sales so make sure you dot your i´s and cross your t´s. We need to make sure everything goes smoothly.
A manager or director will use this expression to ensure employees and other colleagues are careful when preparing the project.
5. Get your foot in the door
To get your foot in the door means to get an introduction to someone or something. You can get your foot in the door of a company by getting an introduction to the director or by selling a small amount of product to a company. If you do well and make a good impression, you can go on to increase your involvement with the client or the company.
Example: "Make sure they agree to trial our latest products so that you can get your foot in the door. If they like it we can introduce the rest of our product line to them."
Both individuals and businesses can get their foot in the door.
All the best,