A Comprehensive Guide to Business Writing

Guide to business writing

Good business writing is a skill you must cultivate to succeed - you'll lose money and influence if your business proposals, e-mails, and other corporate documents fail to win people over. An impressive business copy (clear and concise) has the future-altering power to bring in more clients when it’s at its fullest potential.

In this guide, you will get clear ideas on business writing and tips to prune your business writing skills so you can effectively speak to corporate personas.

A lot goes into bringing a product or service to the customer. What you see is McDonald’s serving you a Big Mac in less than five minutes. But before that, the corporate giant has spent years in creating a legacy of hamburgers and more than that, in creating a brand that makes consumers from across the globe fall in love with it. 

Building such a brand without effective business communication is not possible. The right message and positioning are crucial to business success.

What is Business Writing?

Business writing is the key to building an authentic, empathetic, and reliable brand through written communication with internal and external stakeholders. It refers to any communication happening in a professional setting, such as memorandums, emails, periodic reports, policies, and more!

Business communication must follow professional communication standards and protocols. Business-to-consumer conversation must be professional, respectful, considerate, and bias-free. And for that, you require professional business writers that create result-oriented business writing. 

Types of Business Writing to Master 

There are 4 types of business writing styles you should master as a professional business writer:

1. Instructional

Follow instructional writing style if you want to guide your audience about performing a task. Memorandums and user manuals follow instructional writing styles with detailed information on how to perform a task. 

It also sets the standards for everyone performing the same action. For example, setting the protocol for taking annual leaves.

The instructional writing style is to-the-point and focused, with a formal approach to educating the audience. You would break down the process into steps, making it easier for the audience to follow the procedure.

2. Informational

The informational writing style is best for documenting information, such as minutes of the meeting. It is used for record-keeping and focuses on accuracy and consistency. The informational writing style is used for legal documents and fulfilling contractual obligations.

Follow informational writing style when writing reports communicating technical information, record events and recommendations, and more. You would see informational writing in financial statements as well.

3. Persuasive

The persuasive writing style is used to influence the audience and convince them of certain actions. It presents information in a way that convinces the audience to work with the company or purchase its products. For example, product reviews and unboxing are great ways to encourage viewers to buy. 

This writing style uses persuasive words to influence. It is an excellent marketing and sales tool. You will frequently see it in sales emails, press releases, business proposals, advertisements, and more. The goal is to make the audience believe that this is the best choice to make. 

4. Transactional

Transaction writing is for everyday communication, such as emails, invoices, and more. The goal is to quickly communicate information between clients, employees, and other stakeholders. Most communication between the Human Resource department and employees is of transactional nature. 

Job acceptance letters, business letters, reference letters are also great examples of a transactional writing style. You will see such writing in day-to-day communication in the company.

10 Business Writing Tips Every Business Writer Should Know

Anyone can open a Word document and type but very few people know how to create audience-centric and result-oriented content that gets the job done. Let’s have a look at some must-know tips for professional business writers.

1. Write for the Audience

You have probably heard this a hundred times, but it is still not enough. Remember that you are communicating something to the audience and you cannot do it successfully unless you keep your audience in mind.

Start by assessing who you are writing for and what motivates your readers. Business writing for employees differs from the one for investors. The tone, vocabulary, and structure for each will be different.

As a professional business writer, you should know what inspires your audience to take action. For example, investors are driven by data and numbers. On the contrary, employees value respect and authority. 

The more you know about your audience, the better!

2. Create Visual Hierarchy

It is important to create a pleasant experience with your business writing. It is not only about what you have written but also how you have presented it. Don’t write long paragraphs that instantly feel like a hassle to read. Instead, create a visual hierarchy by dividing your content into headings and sub-headings – just like this guide.

A well-organized text is easier to read and comprehend. It allows readers to jump to their area of interest without having to go through all the content. 

Make sure that the headings are self-explanatory, so readers know what to expect from the section. For example, make a conclusion sound like a conclusion from the heading too!

3. No Beating Around the Bush

If you review some business writing examples on the internet, you would see short and crisp content that jumps right to the point. People in the business world don’t have to go through thousands of words for something that could be a paragraph. 

Building the plot is essential, especially if you have unpleasant news to share. But taking too much time and space agitates the audience. Don’t state the obvious or repeat how much the company cares for the audience. 

Be creative in your business writing and prove that you are a professional business writer by keeping it short yet effective. 

4. Be Careful with Names & Genders

Dear Alexander will always be more effective and attention-grabbing than Dear Sir. People want to feel recognized and appreciated and your business writing must make your audience feel important. But check twice to ensure that you are addressing the right name and title. You don’t want to end up called Alexander as Jonathon. 

Also, be careful with the genders. A great note loses all its charm if it is not gender-accurate. If you are unsure of the gender, confirm it from a colleague or the HR department. And if you still don’t know, use gender-neutral language. 

Business writers must know how to write messages with incomplete information!

5. Write Inclusive Business Messages

We are living in a highly inclusive world today where people are learning to treat everyone equally, irrespective of their gender, race, nationality, or religion. One bias or discrimination can bring your business down and drown it once and for all. 

Make sure your business writing represents everyone in the audience. It must not discriminate or eliminate anyone, such as people of color. Do not support causes that hurt the sentiments of another group or community. 

Direct your business writing towards making everyone in the audience feel equal. For example, saying Dear Gentlemen clearly shows that you are not talking to the women. Instead, replace it Dear Team to include everyone!

6. Identify Your Business Writing Goal

Every writing has a purpose. For example, some emails are written to communicate information while some are to warn employees of something. 

Before you start writing, determine your business writing goal. Here are some examples:

To welcome a new employee

To convey changes in company policies

To justify your actions or clarify misunderstandings

To inform about mergers and acquisitions

To send warnings and notices

To communication minutes of the meeting

Make sure that you focus on achieving your goals without adding irrelevant information. For example, a termination email must not include the company’s recent achievements. Instead, a key to writing for business is to keep it specific and short. 

7. Include Call-to-Actions

It is important to direct your audience towards action. It does not always have to be a physical action, but could also be a feeling. For example, at the end of a welcome email, you may want the employee to feel welcome.

On the other hand, a memorandum for an annual meeting would require employees to prepare for it.

Your call-to-actions are directly linked to the goal of your content. Identifying the purpose of your content will allow you to create a structure for your content. 

Don’t leave the readers hanging and wondering what to do with the information. Instead, clearly stating the expected actions is great for both parties. 

8. Be Professional & Sometimes Informal

We often mix professional writing with formal writing. Business writing must always be professional but not necessarily formal. Unless you are legal documents, some bit of informal writing will do no harm. 

If you are writing an appreciation email, you can refer to a few memorable moments with the employee to show your love and acknowledgment for their efforts. But make sure to avoid personal comments and gossips. 

The goal is to create engaging content that your audience will like reading without overdoing the formalities. Hiring professional business writers will make the job easier for you with the right balance of professional and creative content!

9. Avoid Using Foreign Language

Write your content in simple English language. Not everyone is aware of phrases from a foreign language and including some will make it difficult for some people to read and comprehend. 

Even if you believe that the phrases are common, avoid using them. Business writers should write content that makes everyone feel part of the game. 

Similarly, don’t include references to Netflix shows and movies because not everyone is a Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad fan!

Creative business content does not mean snarky content that takes you away from the goal. 

10. Check Twice for Grammatical Accuracy

You cannot produce good content without ensuring grammatical accuracy. And it’s okay to make a few mistakes in your first draft. We all do that. Make sure that you reread your document before circulating it. You may also hire a professional proofreader to review the content for you. 

There are a couple of free tools for grammar checks. Run your document through one of the platforms to ensure that your business writing scores well in engagement, correctness, clarity, delivery, and more. 

Importance of Business Writing

Effective business writing charms, captivates, and converts.

Listed below are some points stating the significance of business writing:

It helps create a consistent and authentic brand image for your company.

It fosters relationships with your employees and stakeholders based on honesty, empathy, and reliability.

It is a great way to show your concern, care, and compassion for your people and make them feel welcomed and appreciated.

It helps you in establishing credibility by showing your attention to detail. 

Reasons to Hire Professional Business Writers

Hiring professional business writers has tremendous benefits, helping you improve your professional communication. 

Here are some reasons why you should trust professional business writers:

Professional business writers master the art of audience-specific content, using the right vocabulary. 

With expert business writers, you will avoid making grammatical and contextual mistakes in your content.

Professional business writers know how to compare and contrast concepts and ideas without any bias or discrimination. 

Having experienced business writers will bring new ideas to the table, allowing you to improvise your content.

Professional business writers will avoid jargon and cliché content, giving you authentic and creative content.

Professional business writers know the tricks to create content for different platforms and purposes, meeting the necessary criteria for each.

Over To You

Writing for business means weighing every word, ensuring that your messages are inclusive. Your business communication must be authentic, empathetic, and responsible, and hiring professional business writers is a great way to get started. Having a team of experienced business writers will ensure the right vocabulary, empathetic tone, and clear messages. It will effectively communicate your message to the audience in a manner they best understand. 

We hope that this guide helps you in revamping your business writing strategy to create authentic and profitable copy for your company, strengthening your relationships with your stakeholders. 

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