The world is full of cliches. It’s full of phrases, idioms, and ideas that have been used so often that they now hold no real resonance. They have no real weight when used because they are just so, well, cliche! However, there is still room for cliches in the world of business. There is still some validity to the messages that they try to convey. Read on to find out just a few of them.

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By Jerry Mooney

Prepare for the worst but hope for the best

This is a longstanding cliche that, when said, probably makes you think ‘uhh’. It probably makes you say things like ‘whatever’ or ‘I’ve heard it all before’. Yes, this is a cliche that is used far too often in life, and this means that it has generally lost its validity. But when you relate it to the world of business, you’ll find that it is still very much valid. In business, you simply have to prepare for the worst. Specifically, if you are a business owner you have to prepare your business for criminality — both on- and offline. To prepare your business in the fight against online criminals —such as hackers, spied and blackhats — you would have to get yourself the best antivirus software possible. And you would also have to protect your business from losing a significant portion of it’s data too; by having a disaster recovery plan in place you would be able to achieve this. But it’s not just about protecting yourself online or in relation to technology. No, there is still a call for physical safety to be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind. This means you should have your workspace fitted with cameras. Your doors reinforced. And your locks changed — just in case the old occupants of the building seek to access your office space via their old set of keys.

And once you prepare your business for the worst in these ways, you will then be able to hope for the best for it. And, unfortunately, hoping is also, still a massive part of business today. At the end of the day, a business can’t guarantee income, no matter what it does to ensure it. It can’t guarantee that a customer will walk through it’s door in the morning. It can’t guarantee that a customer, even a longstanding one, will bring their custom to it. Yes, it can do all it can to try and facilitate this custom and the eventual profit, but it can’t guarantee it. It can’t guarantee it because the customer holds the power of the sale, and he or she does so at all times. Therefore, hoping for the best is, as well as preparing for the worst, still something every business has to do.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

This cliche may be a cool one to say, but it is still a complete yawn-fest simply because of how much it has been said and written in the past. But, despite how boring it may be, it still holds resonance in the world of business. It holds resonance in it because it can be directly linked to the instance of a business’ owner refusing to give up or share any power. It could relate to a business’s owner trying to do everything by themself, therefore making them the ‘absolute power’ of their business. But when this happens, the business is ‘corrupted absolutely’. Why? Because nobody — no matter if they are the owner of a business — can run a business single handedly. If you tried to do so you would make your business susceptible to a host of things. The fact that you are not specifically and professionally trained in an area you attempt to work in may mean the work you do isn’t up to scratch. This could then mean you spend less time than you need to on the areas that you are meant to be working on. And it could mean you are too exhausted to be able to tackle other, far more important areas of your business. So, prevent the ‘one-man band syndrome as best you can by hiring, delegating and outsourcing!

Make or break

This age-old adage has been used so many times in the past that it is now, quite frankly, just a normal thing to say in any kind of situation. And in business, it is very much a normal thing to say as it can relate to a whole host of aspects within it. If a business that is in the production stage of a B2B (business to business) timeline doesn’t make the products it has been asked to make, it will break the trust the other business’s in the timeline have put in it. If a business owner doesn’t make it to an important business meeting on time, he or she may break their chances of sealing a deal. If a business isn’t able to make it’s necessary monthly outgoing payments — for their bills and payroll — it will result in the business breaking financially. There are a whole host of different ways the cliche ‘make or break’ can be attributed to business. So, if you are business owner make sure you are doing all you can to ‘make’ it. If you don’t, you may ‘break’ your business. 

Wake-up and smell the coffee

This one is probably the most cliche of the bunch. Despite this, it quite literally relates to the world of business. Every morning a business owner, as well as their employees, must hit the ground running. They must hit the ground running with their work if they want to both complete and optimize it during their working hours. Therefore they need to wake up, smell the coffee, and drink it! Well, they have to do that if they want to be able to be proactive throughout their working day

Build from the ground up

This may be a cliche, but it is possible to build a business from the ground up. It is possible for an entrepreneur to take their business idea and make it a reality — if you didn’t know this, then where did you think businesses came from? To do this an entrepreneur would need to do a host of things. They’d need to define their potential business’s brand. They’d need to start connecting with potential customers. And they’d need to turn them from potential customers into full-blown customers. And these are just a few of the things they’d need to do — take a look here to see more. Now, you may think that the building of a business from the ground up cannot be a valid cliche as it is still metaphorical. But, it is, in fact, possible to literally build from the ground up too. If a business owner was to have their very own workspace planned and constructed, would this not constitute to them building their business from the ground up? The answer is — it would! 

So, even though cliches may be tiresome in the real world, it doesn’t mean they don’t hold valid and resonance in the world of business!

co-founder of Jerry Mooney Books

co-founder of Jerry Mooney Books