Business Communication is Key
When it comes to your business, the way you communicate is essential. Remember how your 10th grade English teacher would tell you how important your writing skills will be in life? The teacher was right. When you own a business, everything you communicate gives an impression.
And what do you want that impression to be? Believe me, first impressions are everything in business. So now might be the perfect time to shine up your writing skills a bit.
When you write, the purpose should be to convey information to someone else or ask for information from them. That is how it works in business. Whether you are asking for information, or trying to sell an idea or product, you need to be complete, concise and accurate in your writing. Do not go overboard. Simply right in a way that is easily understood. You want the reader to know exactly what you are saying or asking.
It is surprising how the vast majority of business writing is poorly written, disorganized, littered with jargon and incomplete. I have worked with many government agencies in making their information more organized and easier for the public to understand. In my opinion, all business writing should be reviewed using those two objectives. Make it organized and easier to understand. The idea is not to bring up questions here. It is to answer them.
Whether you are writing a sales proposal, an email or an instruction manual, what you write has long lasting effects. Communications are key in any business. I recommend the following steps in writing any communication you send out from your desk:
- Organize your information. The easiest way is to organize it in an outline form.
- Consider your audience. You want your information to be presented in a way that ensures that it will be understood and read.
- Start writing.
- Proofread for mistakes and edit for content. Again, make it simple and easy to understand. This is one last chance to re-organize information.
When organizing, the key is put thought into what you are going to write. This helps to eliminate the sitting and staring at a blank screen for hours. If you are writing an email, it may just take a few minutes to organize your thoughts. If you are writing up a business proposal or other complex document, you will need to write out a multi-level outline. Without an outline, you will not be sure that you included everything. The writing will not be focused or truly efficient in saying what you want.
As you write, be aware of the length of the article. Use only enough words to make your meaning clear. Too many people go the long way in trying to say something. Or to edit that sentence: people include unnecessary words. Business writing should be clear and to the point. No one has time to read any more than is necessary.
On the other hand, you should be inclusive of all necessary information. Do not use jargon or abbreviations. Remember, different readers can derive different meanings from text. Make absolute sure you are saying what you want to say.
The more you write, the better you will get at it. If you need a second opinion on a document, choose someone in your business that communicates very well. Your writing should absolutely sell the idea that you need it to sell. Keep that in mind at all times. What are you really trying to say?