Sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics, even if you’re a seasoned business owner. Many of us write emails all the time, but as a business owner, this is most likely a big part of your communication with both customers and employees. Whether it’s a quick update on a project or responding to an upset customer, you want to put your best foot forward and be professional and clear.
There are skills that take time to develop, and writing is one of them. Don’t worry if writing isn’t a strength of yours. Thankfully, we have a post for you in our Resource Center to help you from start to finish with your emails. Let’s look at some tips to set you up for success!
First, here are some important questions to ask yourself:
1. Is email the most efficient way to communicate my message? Face to face tends to be the best and most efficient way to communicate, but it’s not always possible. Before you write an email, you want to make sure this is the best way to communicate about the subject. Is this critical information best discussed on the phone? In-person? Make sure email is the best route for you to take.
2. Does this email clearly say what needs to be communicated? This is the time to be clear and concise. Is the most important information early in your message? Do you elaborate too much in certain non-urgent matters? I tend to be wordy when I write, so proofreading is an integral part of editing out the least important information and keeping what matters.
3. Do I come across as professional? If you’re communicating with your close-knit team, you can be more casual when addressing them. In other situations with customers or stakeholders, you want to make sure you steer away from too much humor or relaxed writing.
Now that your email is written, it’s always important to go over it and proofread. There are a number of ways to do this but here are my top three:
· Read your email out loud · Edit grammar, spelling, and conciseness · Double-check that any documents/attachments are included
The Resource Center mentions many more but reading out loud is my favorite to make sure your sentences flow and make sense. Most programs like Word or Google Docs include some kind of grammar/spell check so make sure to utilize those so you don’t make little mistakes (especially when you’re in a hurry). Another thing that’s overlooked is if you say you’re attaching a bill or document, make sure it’s included. It’s a small mistake but will require a follow-up and takes away time from other important things on your plate as a business owner.