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Apprentice shows why clarity is key with your words


Here’s a question: have you ever needed help to “plan, climb and summit your very own business growth mountain”?

Like me, you probably can’t answer as you haven’t a clue what it means.

This was a statement from one of the BBC Apprentice’s contestant’s business plans on last night’s (16/12/15) show, who also claimed it was a ‘unique proposition’. Yet no-one – including a number of the UK’s keenest business minds – knew what they were talking about. Indeed one interviewer went so far as to call his claims as ‘bulls***’. When questioned further, digital marketing owner Richard Woods, revealed his grand plan was to be an outsourced marketing department for SMEs and spend the whole of their marketing budget to get them the sales they need.

So why didn’t he just say that?

Like a lot of business owners, he probably feels the need to fluff up his language to make it sound more grandiose and meaningful than it actually is. But the problem is with this approach, is that people can’t grasp what you’re talking about. And if those people are potential investors like Lord Sugar or potential customers, they’re not going to give you any of their hard-earned pennies.

The internet is stuffed with websites full of these weasel words and statements you can’t make head or tail of no matter how many times you read them. Customers won’t read them more the once – they’ll just move on and find someone else.

I’d like to see a world where we don’t see horrible phrases like ‘we empower your brand to always inspire’ or my personal pet hates ‘low-hanging fruit’ and ‘synergy’ anywhere. Keeping things simple gets better results and makes the world a much nicer place.









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Nick Pagan