Did you know that writing is one of the most important business skills you can have? Think about it – business writing covers everything from emails to company blog posts to press releases. Whether you are managing your own business or working as an employee of a business, being able to write well is critical to the health of your company. Clear, concise, and grammatically correct writing will build your brand and make your company stand out from the competition. Here are three best practices that you should use every time you write.
While business writing might find use for creative writing tools (simile, metaphor, apostrophe), the name of the game is clear and concise English. You’re not writing a novel when you’re writing a businessproposal! If your message isn’t immediately clear, you’re hindering your chances of success. Shorter sentences and paragraphswill avoid confusion. Bulleted lists are a great way to break up long sentences. Don’t forget to add headings so your readers can skim for the exact information they need!
Which are you most likely to take seriously – a website with a thoughtful navigation and copy that adheres to rules of grammar, or a website with haphazardly sized text, spelling errors, syntax errors, and more? I’m willing to bet you will favor the first scenario. Poor grammar reflects poorly. It suggests that whoever was building the website (or sending an email, or writing a business proposal, etc) didn’t take the proper time and care to ensure that grammar rules were followed. Poor grammar is unprofessional and makes you sound unintelligent.
You might be surprised to see this one on my list, but tone is important. Tone indicates what you think about yourself. Are you an expert on your subject? Are you projecting confidence so your audience will trust you? Do you come across as authentic and approachable to potential clients? These things affect tone. Use the active and not passive voice, and avoid informal habits like slang or multiple exclamation points while writing.
You will also benefit from having someone else read over your content. You could ask a friend or a coworker to proof your work, but why not a writing professional? Not only can I give you valuable feedback on tone and clarity, but I am a master grammarian and can assist you in improving your functional writing skills.
Do you find the thought of business writing overwhelming? Contact me for a consultation!