When beginning your start-up or finally chasing that business dream, it is difficult to make time to improve your business writing. However, in other to grow your company or brand, it is essential to know. Here are some tricks to being a better business writer that don’t require much time.
1. Spend the majority of time planning
You should be spending half of the time on what you’re writing planning. This is one of my favorite business writing tips from Instructional Solutions. While it may be tempting to dive right on in, ask questions first about your audience, what they need from you, and the type of document this is going to be. Draw up an outline of the main points you want to hit or ask co-workers what they know about the subject. Do whatever is needed to fully prepare to write. Then, once you’re comfortable with the end goal, the writing will do itself.
2. Don’t use jargon
While it is tempting to convey how much you know through buzzwords and complicated business terms, keep it short and sweet. This is a great tip from Mary Walton. This goes for cliches as well. Your readers will be more apt to pay attention if they know what you’re talking about and don’t have to read for minutes on end.
3. Write to an uneducated audience
Not everyone will have contextual knowledge on the topic you’re writing about. Don’t get bogged down in detailed descriptions, but be sure that your audience understands the basic concepts you’re discussing. Your main point could be lost if a reader doesn’t understand the premise.
4. Write professionally
While this may be an obvious point, business writing can often become unprofessional. Even in emails, don’t use too conversational a tone. While you don’t want to appear rigid, it is important to convey professionalism through your writing.
5. Use the active voice
This means that you make clear who the subject is that is performing a verb. This will not only clarify your message, it will also improve your writing and tone.
6. Focus on the facts
Many times when marketing a product, its utility gets lost in the fluff. Portray exactly why the consumer needs the product and make that the focal point.
7. Speak to what you know
More now than ever, readers can spot embellishment. If you’ve never tried a product or taken that business course, don’t act like you have. Readers and consumers will be able to see right through it.
8. Be specific
Co-workers and employees won’t always know exactly what you want. Spell out what you need and let them reach that goal in their own way. This pertains to project sheets, emails, and agendas. Don’t leave them guessing.
9. Check your grammar
As with all writing, correct grammar is an absolute must. Nothing strikes down your credibility faster than spelling mistakes and poor grammar.
10. Read the end product out loud
You would be surprised how much is missed when you’ve been writing and revising the same piece for a while. Reading it out loud helps you to hear any mistakes you’ve glossed over.
All entrepreneurs are busy with the next project. Writing well can only take those pieces to the next level. These tips are easy to incorporate in all of your writing and will soon become second nature.