Business Idioms

On Steve’s first day at his new job, he had a talk with his new boss. His boss told him that he wanted some ball park figures on the Richardson account. Steve asked him to be more specific. So his boss told him he didn’t want the prices to be jacked up and to keep them low so they would be competition for the other companies. “Because they really mean business” his boss said. “We have plenty of on hand products that they need to have shipped in.” Steve was excited now because he knew these products would sell like hot cakes. So Steve got straight to work.

Ball park figure/estimate” means a very general estimate.

  • Mike, can you give me a ball park figure on how much it is going to cost?
  • I don’t know the price exactly. I can only give you a ballpark figure.

“Jack up” means to raise the value of something.

  • People will pay anything for it, so jack up the price.
  • They buy those for cheap and then jack up the price.

Mean Business” means to be very serious.

  • Don’t make any extra charges with that company, they mean business.
  • I wouldn’t get Frank mad, he means business.

On hand” means inventory that is physically with the company.

  • We have a total of 15,000 products on hand.
  • How much milk do we have on hand?

Sell like hot cakes” means something that people want and will buy really fast.

  • These toy bunnies are selling like hot cakes.
  • Once we open, everything will sell like hotcakes.

Get straight to work” means to immediately focus on work.

  • I can’t do that now, I need to get straight to work.
  • Jared took a long lunch so he went straight to work.

On Steve’s first day at his new job, he had a talk with his new boss. His boss told him that he wanted some ball park figures on the Richardson account. Steve asked him to be more specific. So his boss told him he didn’t want the prices to be jacked up and to keep them low so they would be competition for the other companies. “Because they really mean business” his boss said. “We have plenty of on hand products that they need to have shipped in.” Steve was excited now because he knew these products would sell like hot cakes. So Steve got straight to work.