A document that is written poorly can irritate clients, fail to galvanize people, damage the reputation of an organization. Conversely, a well-written document is a crucial business tool. It can show expertise and knowledge, influence decision making, win new business and help to build a brand.
For most people, writing is a challenge. Even if you are an expert on the topic you are covering, you will still have to sit down, put your thoughts on paper, refine your ideas, rewrite, edit, and repeat the process.
Business writing has its obstacles because the goals are different. These projects may involve training new employees, interacting with shareholders, or building a brand and professional image.
Business writing is less about entertaining the reader and more about conveying information, persuading readers, or getting people to act.
Here are six common mistakes in business writing:
Typos, Poor Punctuation, And Grammatical Errors
Avoid careless errors at all costs. It gives the impression that the person does not care enough to check what they have written. And often leads a client questioning how much care you take with their business. Read through everything. Check and then recheck.
Sub-editing is difficult and another set of eyes often spots something that you have not.
Readers should easily understand the information you are trying to get across, as well as what you want them to do. That is why it is important to be clear about what you are hoping to accomplish and the information you want to convey.
Even that will not be enough if your writing is vague and cryptic. So make every effort to be very clear.
Forgetting The Reader
Rather than just concentrating on getting it written, spare a thought for the reader first. What information do they want? What is the chief message to leave them with? Design and structure your document based on what the client needs. Only then should you begin to write it.
Using a Formal Style
Many business writers make the blunder of using a tone that is overly formal for the situation. Most business writing projects are better with a conversational tone. Another advantage of using a simple conversational style is that it will help you avoid the first mistake of being vague.
Long Words And Complex Sentences
Long words and Complex sentences are not a sign of intelligence and your readers are too busy to spend time deciphering them. Clear and concise content gets a message across. Be simple and stick to the point. Intellectual does not have to mean difficult.
People do not give business documents their complete attention. Odds are they will have other things on their mind, so help them out by avoiding long complex sentences that they have to keep re-reading.
It does not matter how tight the deadlines are, time spent planning is never wasted. The temptation to begin writing immediately may be strong, but the result is often lengthy and confused content that may quickly be dismissed. Decide what information is necessary, what information is desirable and what information is unnecessary. Then prioritize your work in that order.