A business is only as good as its reputation. This means that customer service must be impeccable, the frontline staff must be helpful, and managers must have control of their ambits of responsibility. Another factor that few consider is the fact that the correspondence a business sends out also reflects on it.
Poor communication that is full of grammatical and spelling errors gives the overall impression of dysfunctionality. Writing business correspondence in flawless English and in the correct register and tone are vital skills. They can make or break a business’s reputation.
Correct application of business writing skills can make your business grow. Here are some tips for applying business writing skills:
1. The topic
Before commencing a business writing piece, it is important to understand the content you are writing about. Have a list of the things you wish to communicate in the writing piece. Business writing is not flowery and does not digress from the topic. It needs to be straight to the point and offer the reader clarity.
The function of business writing is to share information. Be brief and avoid the use of too many adjectives and adverbs. If you use powerful verbs and descriptive nouns, you won’t need to use them. Make sure that you have included everything at the end of the writing piece. If you haven’t, your piece is incomplete and will leave your reader dissatisfied with not being in possession of all the facts.
2. Your choice of words
Remember the target audience you are writing for. You do not want to come across as sounding as though you are superior to them. Avoid using words that they may not understand. Don’t consult a thesaurus for lesser-known synonyms. If you didn’t know them, why would your reader?
When people read a piece of correspondence that is full of jargon and advanced vocabulary, it puts them off. They’ll stop reading if they don’t understand what you’re trying to say. This can result in your business losing clients. You’ll unwittingly be giving your competitors who use business writing skills correctly an advantage over you.
Business communication that is effective separates you from the pack. If your business communication skills are not up to scratch, they’ll leave the reader more confused than he/she was to start off. Take the content you’re conveying and brainstorm the most effective way to communicate it with the reader.
Determine how comprehensive and detailed the correspondence should be. The aim is to give enough, but not too much, information for the recipient to digest.
A good business writing piece cannot be completed and sent as is. It needs to be revised and edited. There are several online grammar and spell-checking tools. There are also tools that verify the readability of your work. The final check should be done by someone else in the organization. The person should be looking out for mistakes that the writer may have missed.
He/she should also be checking that all the content has been included. Discuss the tone and register of the letter with him/her to make sure that it suits the context of the written piece. This attention to detail can be the difference between a well-crafted piece and a disaster.
Good business communication advances the credibility of your organization. When your written pieces are full of mistakes or the tone is incorrect, it creates the impression of incompetence. It may be unintentional on your part but can cause reputational damage that is hard to recover from. Your critics and competition are looking for any reason to hold you back and put themselves forward.
They can tarnish your reputation and paint you as less than credible if you give them the ammunition. Since you may be required to write business communication in a second or third language, it can be challenging. It is advisable to have a home language speaker to help you or engage the services of one.
Good business writing pieces command respect and influence in the market. An organization that issues top-class correspondence may well have the advantage over one that doesn’t. Persuasive writing is an important business communication skill. If you include this in your correspondence, you are likely to grow your business.
Getting a bigger part of the market share is vital for your business’s survival. Using good written communication can help with this. Your readers like to feel that you are knowledgeable about what you’re writing and put effort into your correspondence. That gives them the chance to put their faith in you.
The courtesy and deference that are present in good business writing impress the reader. People set great store by being treated with respect and dignity. They also like to feel that they are important to the organization. Well-crafted business correspondence can make them feel connected. This is where the tone and register of your business writing are critical.
You want to sound formal and business-like. At the same time, you want the reader to feel valued as a human being. There is no need to be obsequious, but a few well-chosen words such as ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘valued’ go a long way. They make the reader feel validated.
Rather than phone calls, written business correspondence helps with better record-keeping. If you’re keeping records of phone calls, you’re doing double work. You not only have to make the call, but you also must write a report on what transpired during the call. If you send out a written business communication, you need only to draft and send it. Then you can file it together with any responses you receive from the reader.
9. Try a creative approach
These days, the competition between organizations is tough. The way you present your written pieces may be valuable in maintaining your market share. That’s why even though you’re communicating something briefly and in a business-like manner, there is some room for creativity. One of the easiest ways to express creativity in a business communication piece is the way you deliver it.
A bit of market research in this regard might be to your advantage. Find out how your customers like to get their information. They may prefer visual slideshows, videos, blog posts, or letters. One of the key ways to grow your business is to ‘give the people what they want.’
Tailor what you want to say with how your customers want to hear it. It sets you aside from organizations that are using the same boring communication conventions they’ve used for many years.
10. Online presence
In the digital age with social media and all the other tools available, a well-established online presence is critical. Using good business writing skills on your website, blog, or social media pages gives your organization a boost. The most important factor in creating a good online presence is content.
What you present to your readers is critical. Remember that you should be using certain keywords in your writing to attract customers when they search them. This is called Search Engine Optimized writing. If your written pieces do not contain good keywords, they will be overlooked in the digital tidal wave of information on the web. Do some research on the types of keywords you need to use to attract traffic to your online platforms.
The post How to Apply Business Writing Correctly to Promote Your Business appeared first on Home Business Magazine.