Effective business writing skills are necessary for any management position. They will improve communication by providing you the opportunity to convey plans and ideas to one or more people, while also providing a paper trail of information.
Developing and improving your business writing skills will also help to create a professional image for your company.
Emails, business plans, letters, reports and proposals are some of the items that managers may be required to address throughout the course of business. Developing effective writing skills that convey your intentions while also protecting yourself and business are imperative.
8 tips for effective business writing skills
The most important point to remember is that anything that is written could potentially be used against you or the company in a court of law. Minimise the possibility of this happening.
Identify your objective before you begin to write your document. Are you writing a company update, policy, or creating a new business plan?
Consider the audience and their pre-existing knowledge on the subject.
The KISS principle – Keep It Short and Simple – is an excellent tool when writing. People often read the first and last paragraphs and skim the main body.
If you have multiple readers, providing a brief overview and objective allows those people who don't need to know the details enough information to grasp the key messages. The full report or technical details would cater for those readers that need more detailed information.
Create an outline of your key points then go back in and fill in the details and edit. Proofread to check spelling errors and the flow of the text.
Business writing skills will make you and the company either appear professional or not. It is imperative to project your professional image in a positive manner.
Sales managers and other professionals often use terms referred to as 'business speak'. These terms do not always translate well when written and will reduce the effectiveness and image of the email or business plan. Consider how investors, board members or prospective clients would view the document when writing.
Be courteous and polite at all times. Use the correct salutations and closings for business correspondence. Developing effective business writing skills requires a professional tone without lengthy explanations.
Include contact information and the best time to reach you if the recipient has questions.
Proofread one last time prior to sending. Ensure the points and objectives of the document have been met in a clear, concise manner and that the tone is what you wish to convey.
Using online tools
Word programs include a spell checking tool that is easy to use, although they may miss simple errors such as confusing the words 'to' and 'too'.
Nothing helps to perfect your business writing skills better than practising these skills.
Project yourself and the business in the best light by perfecting and developing effective writing skills.