Every style of writing has its own rules for what makes good writing and what makes bad writing. Just as there are entire classes (or even majors) devoted to poetry, fiction, and screenwriting, all types of non-fiction have their own rules as well. Business writing is a critical skill that many companies need. Great business writers are hard to come by, and they are always in high demand.
10 Best Effective Business Writing Tips
Pay attention to what I believe are the best 10 effective business writing tips.
#1: Clear and Concise
This could also be called the “less is more” piece of advice. A great piece of advice for writers is to “Never use a $10 word when a $1 word will do.” Writing should be clear, have one meaning, and be easy to understand at a 6th to 8th grade reading level. This might sound too simple, but clear writing shines over flowery writing.
#2: Jargon Is Your Enemy
You don’t get results by showing fellow business people how much jargon you know. Even if everyone else in the room understands it, a clearly written paper or presentation will be easy to act on, have solid meat to it, and look so much better than anything using “industry terms” that take paragraphs to understand.
#3: Always Check and Re-Check Your Work
One period accidentally typed as a comma or semi-colon can sink a document. One misspelled word or using “there” instead of “their” will do the same. Precision matters in the business world, and you need to always manually re-check your writing. Don’t just trust Microsoft Word’s spellcheck to catch it for you.
#4: Active Verbs Sound Better
Active verbs always sound better than passive ones whether reading silently or out loud. “He ate three steaks at dinner,” sounds better than: “At dinner, three steaks were eaten by him.”
#5: Professional Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Formal
Writing professionally is important, but there is a difference between being professional and being overly formal. If your writing is stuffy and you find yourself looking for the right word to “keep the tone,” it is time to use simpler language.
#6: Don’t Give Too Many Options
Good business writing is direct and to the point. If your letter or report has multiple open options and seems to read like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, then it is time to tighten up your writing to one or two clear choices.
#7: Organization Is Your Friend
You want a greeting, an opening, a body, a call to action, and then a solid conclusion. When in doubt, remember, if your organization’s description is veering off from that, then it’s time to re-write.
#8: Remember It’s About Them, Not You
This is a key rule for business writing. Even when you are bragging about your company, your performance, or what you do so well, the takeaway is that your best business writing delivers what you want your customers to remember.
#9: Always Have a Call to Action
Never, ever forget your call to action. What’s your reason for the piece? What do you want those reading it to do? The most critical part of any business writing is to make your customers take action. Yet, it’s often left out or forgotten.
#10: Save Your Best Templates
While you want to make sure you’ve injected some degree of personal touch into every piece of business writing you create, why not start with your best templates? Some days, you are simply going to be better. When you write a truly great business piece, save that as a starting point for future pieces.
Good Business Writing Affects Everything You Do
If you harness these 10 effective business writing tips, you will find all your business writing, from financing plans to sales copy, will be sharper and clearer. The bottom line is that you will get the best results you are looking for when you follow these ten tips.
After you write your business document, make sure you have it professionally edited by a WordsRU editor. Keep your professional appearance and preserve your business integrity with your clients.