Entrepreneurs have a lot of drive and motivation to do well and make their start-up venture a roaring success. But they also need to put in the work to make that possibility a reality. One part of entrepreneurship that can easily go unnoticed by many is good business writing skills.
Business writing usually involves writing emails to colleagues and seniors, writing proposals, plans, and reports as well as any external communication with partners and collaborators.
One thing in common in all types of business writing is clarity and conciseness. The contents need to be very straightforward/easily understood, and they should be as short as they can be without omitting relevant details. So, word choice and phraseology are very important.
Entrepreneurs need to have great business writing skills if they want to build new connections and find collaborators and partners. Poor writing skills can be an impediment to their start-up’s success. Proper communication is one of the key success factors of Entrepreneurship. So, in this article, we will check out some tips to improve business writing skills.
- Plan Out What You Want to Write in Advance
Before you can start writing, you need to think about what you want to write. People can sit down to write without thinking things through and that shows up in their writing. It makes the write-up very confusing and rambling. This type of writing is very irksome to the reader, and they will either stop reading it or misunderstand it.
And that is why you need to think about what you want to write before actually typing it out. Of course, just thinking is not enough. Even if you do sort your thoughts out, they will become jumbled again later on. This could even happen during the writing phase. Which would make part of the write-up very different and poorly written.
The only way to avoid this issue completely is to create an outline. Outlines are much more suited for writing proposals and plans. Memos and emails are usually small enough that they do not need outlines.
Anyhow, for the write-ups that do, you need to clearly define what you need and need not discuss in it. Outlines help you to stay relevant and prevent you from rambling off-topic.
- Be Straightforward and Brief
One thing new business writers tend to forget is that they aren’t writing a literary essay. They try to use fancy words and phrases to dazzle their readers in hopes of impressing them. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Business writing is first and foremost a means of communication. The least impediments to understanding there are, the better it is. That is why entrepreneurs should always make sure to keep their writing as clear and straightforward as possible.
They should write using the simplest words and phrases so that their reader cannot misunderstand their write-up in any way. This is necessary because:
- People have too many emails to read. They cannot find the time to deal with fancy wording.
- Functional illiteracy is a thing that many people have, so they are incapable of understanding writing above a certain reading grade.
Apart from straightforwardness, conciseness is also extremely important. As we said before, people are already swamped with too many emails and messages. To make things easier for them and entrepreneurs need to write summarized messages\emails that relay important information without dilly-dallying.
Summarized emails are very easy to right. First, you write your email as you would normally. Then run it through a summary generator. A summary tool can automatically create extractive summaries.
Then you can use the output of the text summarizer as your mail. Of course, don’t forget to go over it and edit it a little bit to make it flow better. In this way, you won’t have to trouble yourself by summarizing things yourself.
- Do not Use Technical Jargon
Technical jargon is any sort of phrase or term that only subject specialists know about. Ordinary people have no idea what they mean. Now, you may think that you are only communicating with people who are in the same field of work as you, so they must know the jargon. But that’s not entirely true.
Most people do not get the chance to come in contact with all the related jargon of their field. So, to avoid any confusion and miscommunication it is best to avoid it altogether.
Another reason to avoid jargon is a little bit more niche. It is possible that the person you want to communicate with has an assistant for dealing with their mail. The assistant may not be knowledgeable about the subject. They would be confused by the specialized terms, and that can lead to poor handling of your mail. In the worst case, it would fail to reach the actual person whom you sent it to.
- Use Active Voice and Avoid Passive Voice
While business writing is about communication, it is also about getting your desired reaction from your reader. When it comes to intercompany communication, the matter is pretty simple. Your employees have to follow your orders, and they will do so as long as they are clear and precise.
However, matters get tricky when dealing with collaborators and partners. They are on the same level as you and have no obligation to listen to your ‘orders’. In that case, you can only persuade them through writing. In this writing, you should strive to use an active voice all the time.
Active voice is very commanding, and it instills a persuasive quality in your write-up. On the contrary, passive voice makes your text sound weak and unconvincing. You will understand better with an example, so here it is:
Active Voice: We have successfully bought the shares.
Passive Voice: The shares were bought by us successfully.
From the given example, which sentence is more confident? It is the active voice sentence. So, entrepreneurs should start using active voice in their business write-ups to get more favorable responses.
- Proofread Your Drafts, Edit Where Necessary
This is actually a tip for all kinds of writing. Naturally, that includes business writing as well.
Entrepreneurs should always re-read anything they have written for their business. Re-reading, or proofreading is necessary for finding mistakes. All the writers in the world make mistakes. The first draft of most writers is usually very messy, and it needs a lot of editing work. Only after multiple rounds of editing is the pristine final product created.
Entrepreneurs are no exception to this rule. So, here’s what they should do. The first thing they need is to read their work aloud or get someone else to read it. This will identify any confusing sentences and a few grammar errors.
The second thing they need to do is to look for a grammar check. A grammar checker is an online tool that can find out spelling mistakes, wrong word usage, and missing or incorrect punctuation.
With a grammar checker, you can make sure that you didn’t make any typos and missed some periods or commas. Proofreading and editing this way ensures that your writing remains clear and understandable.
Business writing does not need to be difficult. After all, it is something that many people have to do daily. A daily task should be kept simple so that it is easy to repeat it. Keeping that in mind, we have discussed five ways in which entrepreneurs can improve their business writing skills.
These tips are not hard to implement, in fact, you can start applying them to your writing from this very moment. Do that, and you will find a noticeable improvement in your business write-ups.