As an entrepreneur, you want to inspire confidence in clients, staff members, and business associates — and good business writing is a primary way to do just that. Your written word is part of your image, and it should always reflect well on you and your company. Create communications that are crisp, clear, concise, and direct, and stay away from the writing pitfalls that dilute your message and weaken your image. By organizing your thoughts before you start putting words together and practising good habits, you can flex your writing muscles and elevate your standing in the business world.
Practise Business Writing
Good business writing is not the kind of writing you learned in school or university, so you may need a little practice to get a feel for the correct tone and format. Business prose is clean and concise, and it makes an immediate impact by getting directly to the point. If you want to improve your business writing or brush up rusty writing skills, read some good business writing and consider taking a course specifically tailored for the needs of the business community. Editing tips and feedback from instructors and fellow students provide invaluable learning opportunities, and resources such as style guides keep you on track while helping you avoid common grammar mistakes. When you have all the tools, improved writing becomes a matter of practice.
Steer Clear of Business Buzzwords
Don’t worry if you aren’t up to date on the latest business buzzwords. Buzzwords flash like shooting stars into the world of business, and their value fades quickly. These words and phrases typically add little to your business writing, and they can definitely undercut your ability to make your point. If you start going on about rocks in your calendar or the like, you’re likely to lose credibility. Readers can become so distracted by buzzwords and business jargon that your message becomes secondary to the language being used. Good business writing relies on sound structure and strong, simple words that support the main idea of your piece.
Check Before You Send
Typos, spelling errors, and misuse of grammar makes you look bad — and you don’t want that. Whether you’re sending emails to staff, mailing out letters to clients, or writing accounting service proposals, proofread your writing and make corrections before it reaches your recipients. Run your work through programs that check for writing and grammar errors, but don’t rely on them exclusively. Your own eyes can find homonyms and tense errors that electronic checkers don’t pick up. Spell all names correctly, and make sure your auto fill function hasn’t hijacked your message. It only takes a short time for error-riddled messages to give you a reputation for shabby writing, and it takes much longer to change that image.
Hire a Pro
Don’t berate yourself if the time comes when you need to delegate. If you have a project that requires flawless writing but you can’t spare the time or don’t have the skills to do it yourself, you can always bring on a professional writer. As long as your budget permits, this solution can reduce your stress and allows you to focus on more productive areas of your business. Providing clear, concise business communications delivers your message effectively and presents your organization professionally.