10 Business Clichés to stay far away from & why

We’re surrounded by them every day yet we never really take the time to notice them. There’s a reason why, too – people don’t give a shit about dumb catch phrases they’ve heard a million times before. Just like ad-blindness on the web, people get used to seeing and hearing the same stuff and eventually turn it off in their heads and stop paying attention. This is why Guerrilla Marketing works so well – it’s different, fresh and unique. So what are some of the biggest business cliches to stay far away from?

Let’s review 10 of the biggest business cliches!

#1. Thinking outside the box

If I hear someone else say “thinking outside the box” again, I’m going to jump off a building. Well, not really, but you get the point. People overuse this phrase and have beat it into the ground in recent years. Really, it’s just a failed attempt at telling people you’re creative – show them instead.

#2. It’s a win-win situation

This phrase reminds me a lot of a used car salesman. Sure, it sounds like a good idea (a win/win situation even) but I just can’t help but think that there’s a load of bullshit covered up ready to be stepped on.

#3. Giving 110%

Giving all you’ve got is something that should always be done – if you have to tell people you’re giving 110%, you’re really not doing everything in your power to be the best that you can be. Action speaks louder than words, right? So instead of talking about it, start hustling and people will take notice.

#4. At the end of the day

… you go to sleep. Yeah, this phrase is one that’ll definitely put people to sleep after using it a few times. It’s like people saying “um” during a speech – it’s filler. Condense your pitch and resubmit it again tomorrow because at the end of the day (ha), that phrase will cause people to run the other way.

#5. Low hanging fruit

I don’t even know what to say about this one. Besides the fact that it’s way overused in business, it doesn’t even give the person you’re talking to a clear understanding of what you’re talking about. Do you go after the low hanging fruits because they’re easier to get or are they considered less valuable because they’re so easy to get? Tip: don’t confuse your target audience with phrases that are open-ended.

#6. Push the envelope

If there was one phrase on the list that’s been overused the most, this one just might be it. So you push the envelope? So what? Again, actions speak louder than words so instead of trying to use witty words to convince people that you’re awesome, be proactive in your daily actions and show them instead.

#7. Knock the ball out of the park

This one is just plain dumb. Not every good play involves a home run. One home run in a game might get you (at most) 4 runs, but what if you got base hits 5 times in every inning? You’d end up 10 runs and win. Same goes for inside the park home runs, doubles, triples, etc.

#8. All your eggs in one basket

Are you the Easter Bunny? If not, stop using this phrase right now! There’s plenty of other ways to talk about being diversified with your income sources. Passive income is a great way to get started earning money in other areas, so focus on that instead of this overly used catch phrase.

#9. The ball is in your court

The ball is on the court, not yours or mine. The game is played on the same court, so why do you think that every player has their own court? Stop using this phrase now because it’s not making you look intelligent in your target markets eyes.

#10. Rome wasn’t built in a day

No shit. Neither was the hole-in-the-wall bar down the street from your house, but the length of time it takes to build something doesn’t really matter – it’s the quality you put into it that matters the most. Are you putting out the best product possible? Is your service 10 levels above your competition? If not, you need to reevaluate your freelance business in it’s entirety.

That’s what you need to focus on more than the time it takes to build something – you can build something awesome in a few hours (see WP Guerrilla for proof of that) or take months to build something and watch it crumble (see Throwing in the towel).

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Author: Mike Smith

Mike Smith is a WordPress designer & developer at GUERRILLA and the owner and main blogger here on Guerrilla Freelancing.

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