7 (More) Business Plan Writing Tips

How you present yourself in writing has a big impact on your career. Your written communications whether an email message, a business letter, or a formal report represent you. They make an impact on the reader, whether positive or negative, and form the basis for the reader's opinion of you. Effective written communications can enhance your business relationships, present you as the kind of person other people want to do business with, and showcase your talents in other areas.

There are seven skills you can develop to enhance your business writing. Mastering these skills will improve the effectiveness of all your business communications.

    1. Understanding Business writing serves a purpose: to communicate a message to a target audience. It could be a memorandum to company employees, a letter to a prospective client, or one of dozens of other business communications. In every case, you are writing to communicate something. To effectively communicate your message, you must understand both the message you're trying to convey across your target audience.

    2. Good English and grammar Have you ever received a letter with a typo? It can be pretty distracting, and it detracts from the message the writer was trying to communicate. Poor English or grammar is ten times as distracting. To the reader, these errors suggest that the writer is careless, sloppy, or simply doesn't know any better. It leaves a negative impression and that's not the kind of impression you want to leave.

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    3. Good spelling Just like poor English and grammar, misspelled words leave a negative impression with your reader. Most word processing programs have a spell checker feature. Use it. But don't let that be a substitute for careful proofreading. Using the wrong form of a word (their, they're, there) wont show up on your spell checker. If in doubt, look it up in the dictionary. It will be time well spent to maintain your professional image.

    4. Clarity Effective business communications shouldn't read like a complicated legal contract. The goal here is to communicate, not confuse. State the facts as clearly and simply as possible, using language your reader can easily understand. Use examples when necessary to make a point. Answer any questions your communication may suggest.

    5. Empathy Put yourself in your readers shoes. Empathize with your reader. Write with your reader in mind. Anticipate how your reader will feel about the message you're communicating and try to make the message easy to receive. Make your communication as easy to understand as possible. Answer any questions you anticipate the reader will have. Include contact information so the reader can follow-up with you if there are additional questions.

    6. Goodwill Whenever possible, you want to maintain goodwill with your reader. Even if the message you are communicating is negative, you can still phrase your communication as positively as possible. Don't compose a business communication when you're angry or upset. Always keep your long-term business goals in mind and try not to burn any bridges.

    7. Creativity You can get more creative with some business communications than others. For instance, an advertising message lends itself to creative writing more than an annual report. With all the communications that cross a readers desk each day, a little creativity can make your message stand out from the stacks.