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5 Steps To Sharpen Your Business Writing Skills

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    Taking time to improve your business writing skills can do more than help you communicate better. It can make you more valuable employee at your company.

    With businesses having to do more with less, there is no time for ineffective or poorly constructed business communications.

    Use these tips to sharpen your skills and become a better business writer.

    Identify your audience

    Knowing your audience is critical to writing business communications that get their attention and inspire them to take action.

    Your word choice, how you structure the message, and even the greetings and closing you use will be affected by the people you are targeting the communication to.

    Outline the piece

    Prior to writing the letter or article, it is a good idea to outline what you want to say.

    This is one of the easiest business writing skills that will go a long way towards helping you organize your thoughts so you can communicate them clearly.

    It is also easier to rearrange an outline than it is to change whole sections of text. In fact, long communications, like reports, should be first outlined to save time and avoid frustration.

    Improve your spelling and grammar

    Nothing screams unprofessionalism more than spelling and grammar mistakes. Not only that, these types of mistakes can lead to embarrassing situations occurring.

    For example, a wrong or missing letter can turn an innocent-sounding word into something extremely offensive.

    Take advantage of the many free resources online that can help you improve your spelling and grammar skills.

    Cut out extraneous wording

    An easy way to improve your business writing skills is to learn how to recognize extraneous wording.

    Instead of using “in order to”, just use “to”. Another example is “able to”. In this case, the word “can” is often a sufficient substitute.

    Take time to carefully proofread your writing. If you can cut out words while still retaining the meaning, then do so. Your writing will be tighter and better.

    Include a clear call to action

    Generally, when you send a communication with someone, you want them to do something after reading it. The most common mistake people make is not including a clear call to action.

    A good way to improve your business writing skills is to get into the habit of asking the reader to do what you want. If you want them to make a purchase, for example, then ask them to fill out the order form.

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