What is Business Writing?

Updated on August 2nd, 2022
What is Business Writing?

Are you interested in knowing what business writing means? Then you are at the right place. 

Business writing is used in a professional environment. It is an intentional piece of writing that delivers pertinent information to the reader concisely and effectively. It includes reports, memos, client proposals, emails, and notices.

What is the Purpose of Business Writing? 

The purpose of business writing is transactional. While the content of business writing relates to a business entity, it also relates to a specific and intended transaction between the writer and their audience.

There are four types of business writing:

  • Instructional: Instructional business writing aims to guide the reader through the steps of completing a task. A user manual falls appropriately under the instructional category, and a memo is issued to all employees outlining how to complete a task in the future.
  • Informational: Informational business writing pertains to documenting business information accurately and consistently. Business writers comprise documents necessary to the company's main functions for outlining plans, tracking growth, and following legal obligations. For example, minutes of the meeting, the financial statements of a company, and report writing.
  • Persuasive: Persuasive writing aims to influence the reader's decision through your own writing. It communicates relevant information to persuade them that a specific service, product, company, or relationship offers the best value. Persuasive business writing is associated with sales and marketing. It includes sales emails, proposals, and press releases. 
  • Transactional: Daily communication at the organization falls under the transactional business writing type. The majority of such communication is by email but includes forms, official letters, and invoices in the business world.

The main purpose of a business document is to deliver practical information. Irrelevant or inaccurate content impacts the purpose of the document. For effective business writing, information must be complete and valuable.

What are Examples of Business Writing?

The following are some examples of business communications and writing.

Emails

Emails are the most typical type of business writing. They have superseded face-to-face interactions in most business scenarios. Therefore, you must present yourself professionally in emails.

Emails have become so ubiquitous that getting sloppy in your messages can be easy. Remember, you're emailing colleagues, so remember to use correct pronunciation and capital letters and spell-check your messages.

More importantly, master the appropriate salutations and introductions when you write emails to convey respect.

Reports

In a business report, you describe a project or event in your business. You describe what is going on and what happened. If you give your opinion on the subject, you do it briefly in one section of the report.

The most important part of writing reports is learning how to write objectively. If you insert your personal opinion throughout these documents, you seem unprofessional.

Memos

Memos are concise messages sent to people to share their thoughts on a topic. For example, you can write a memo to thank someone for their hard work or to update them on a project's progression.

A business memo can be tricky because they are brief and more informal than most types of business writing. However, remember to remain professional.

Getting this balance between informality and professionalism is crucial. You do not want to waste people's time with a long letter filled with complicated business terminology. But at the same time, you do not want to come off like you are just conversing with a friend.

Handbooks

Once you become a valuable, trusted employee, your supervisor can ask you to assist in writing an employee handbook.

The writing style isn't creative or academic. Instead, it is pretty dry. You need to describe processes so that even the least informed employee can understand your company's policies when they read your manual.

Writing a handbook includes many step-by-step instructions. Handbooks are probably more standard in your business than you know. For example, have you ever read a human resources handbook about behaving at work? How about an accounts reports guide explaining retirement or payroll? So, get started on how to write a handbook.

Newsletters 

Many companies send out newsletters on a weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Whether you are assigned a project or volunteer, think of writing a newsletter as an easy and fun method to impress your manager.

You can take a more journalistic method with newsletters. For example, write about important projects the company has completed since the last newsletter, the employee of the month, and upcoming big events.

Press Releases

If you work in marketing or advertising, chances are that you will end up writing a press release.

Press releases are official announcements about products or events your company is launching. They are published online or in newspapers, so like with newsletters, you can use a similar approach to writing them.

Writing that goes within the company can be structured and formal. However, pieces such as press releases and newsletters that reach the public eye need to have a little more flare—practice keeping things interesting but also professional.

Meeting Agendas

Meetings can be a little longer if they are without any plan—volunteer to write a meeting agenda for your department. If everyone has a printed schedule, they are more likely to stick to the topics.

Master the outline format to write agendas for the meetings. No need to use fully structured and complete sentences. They are all about bullet points and short phrases. The sooner everyone gets done with the meeting, the sooner everyone can do more work. 

Inventory Trackers

All shipping and distribution employees out there are extremely familiar with inventory trackers.

There is a good chance you track your business's inventory using Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, this task does not involve any English writing skills.

However, your boss will need a report explaining which items sell, which ones don't, and what needs to be ordered again.

Resumes and Cover Letters

Resumes and cover letters go together because people must never present one without the other.

If you work in human resources, there is a good chance you will glance at applicants' outlines and cover letters to see if they are the right fit for your organization.

You will be reading rather than writing in this scenario. But it is still necessary to know how to write these two documents so that you can spot a strong candidate from the crowd. 

Customer Complaint Letter Responses

You can expect to respond to complaints if you work in customer service. Still, you can get involved in this case regardless of your department.

Responding to adverse feedback about your business is never a comfortable position to be in.

Customer complaints can be irritating, but keep in mind that someone took out the time to write your business a letter. So you need to respect their time by responding professionally and graciously.

And if this does not inspire you, remember that you want your company to look acceptable. So the better your answer, the better the business seems to the customer.

As long as you appear sincere, this becomes an opportunity to show empathy and present your writing skills simultaneously.

What are the Benefits of Business Writing?

Business writing offers numerous benefits for organizations.

Effective Business Communication

Business communication helps a company connect with partners and stakeholders. Therefore, everything you write must be tailored proficiently, comprehensively, and informative. Hence, the receivers will unquestionably understand your message.

If the text is ill-written and unstructured, the subordinates will have trouble analyzing it. The message can be misinterpreted.

Determining Good Employees

A document filled with grammatical mistakes will not make a good impression.

Professionals are good at composing clear messages. Employers value such workers. That's why hiring managers recruit these individuals.

Practice writing skills to shine amongst your co-workers. Senior management is more favorably disposed towards an employee who can create excellent documentation.

Increasing Credibility

People with expert writing skills are perceived as trustworthy and reliable. Imagine receiving an email where you notice uncommon abbreviations and misspelled words. What will be the first image of the sender?

Two options are possible. And none are satisfactory for the sender. Either the person is seen as incompetent and neglects to proofread or is simply thoughtless.

Web Presence 

Business is clearly about presentation. Founders and leaders aim to create a compelling online presence. It allows potential customers to discover the company and its products. They create blogs, social media accounts, and websites to attain this goal.

Quality content is an important factor. An irreplaceable worker is an employee who can present the business in the best way and persuade people to buy the products.

Now you can figure out why writing skills are consequential to any career's triumph. It is time to enhance your business communication skills and take the benefits it will bring. Otherwise, your colleagues or competitors will surpass you.

Ensuring Good Records

Information that is communicated orally is not kept for long. This is why students take notes of lectures. Saving information in written or documented form is the best way of conserving it for years. But the most accurate knowledge reached us many centuries back was from books.

Essential Features of Business Writing

The following is a list of features you need to look for in business writing: 

Implicit Language

Write a business letter in easy, simple, and artistic language so the reader can easily understand the inner meaning of the message. Therefore, it must be free from ambiguous and unfamiliar words, outworn and stilted expressions, vague terms, wordy phrases, complex sentences, etc.

Definite Structure

A business letter needs to be written by following a definite structure. A well-structured business letter can attract the attention of its readers.

Specific Purpose

Every business letter needs to have a specific purpose. The language of the letter must be arranged in a way so that the reader can realize the

purpose of writing the letter.

Relevance

Only relevant information needs to be in a business letter. Irrelevant and excessive information irritates the readers and creates a negative impression about the letter and its writer.

Accuracy of Facts

A business letter needs to convey precise information to the reader. Inaccurate information is worse than no information at all.

Free from Errors

A business letter must be free from all sorts of errors and mistakes like grammatical errors, misspelled words, etc.

Conciseness

Conciseness is the lifeblood of a business letter. An informative but concise letter is the symbol of the writer's intellect. It saves time and enhances the inclination towards the letter. So an informative but brief letter can easily achieve a business goal.

Completeness

A business letter must contain all the necessary information to give the receiver a complete picture. Therefore, a business letter containing incomplete and partial information cannot serve any business purpose.

Courtesy

There is a proverb that courtesy costs nothing but gains more. Therefore, in writing a business letter, the writer needs to use courteous words to show honor to the readers. A courteous and politely written business letter can easily gain readers' sympathy.

Timeliness

In business, there is a saying that time is money. So letters must be in due time. Untimely written business letters negatively affect business relationships and goodwill.

Neutrality

Acceptability of a business letter depends on its neutrality and impartiality. So the writer needs to be natural and impartial in arranging information in the letters.

Conclusion

Conclusively, good business writing focuses on the reader, not the writer. It Is purposeful and seeks to help a reader know or do something. It transforms complex information into something easy to understand. It engages a reader and provides relevant information, and is written coherently.

FAQs

What is the difference between business writing and academic writing?

Academic writing focuses on facts. While business writing is based on factual data and information, it focuses on giving opinions in the form of recommendations.

What is the difference between business writing and creative writing?

There is a clear difference between business writing and creative writing. Business writing is purposeful and targets obtaining a successful business response from the reader. In creative writing, the writer puts their imaginary ideas or thoughts into engaging words.

What is the difference between business writing and technical writing?

Business writing is more digestible than technical writing and less filled with specific technical jargon. As a result, writing for people inside and outside a corporation will need to be understandable by a mixed audience who are less likely to get into specifics.

Business writing can change its wording depending on the intended audience. It is important to note that the audience inside of an organization will require a different terminology than people outside of the organization.

Technical writing will not change its wording or tone based on the audience because it is for the audience who will be able to comprehend it. 

A difference between technical and business writing is that technical writing talks about a specialized topic that the audience is expected to know.

Technical writing is also more impersonal, aiming to get precise instructions across. 

Business writing can have multiple goals, such as inviting people to events and organizations or creating relationships outside of an organization in general.

How to improve the quality of my business writing?

Writing is the main form of professional communication—from social media posts, brief emails, and marketing materials to longer messages, reports, and business documents.

Writing for professional and business purposes needs to be clear, correct, and with a focused goal to convey your planned message, spark action, and gain results. To accomplish this, be sure to understand your purpose and audience: Why are you writing the words, and what outcome do you desire from your audience? Should your tone be formal or conversational? Is your information relevant, so your audience remains involved, invested, and interested?

Be sure to take plenty of time during the prewriting and planning approach to recall your message, think about what you want to communicate, and possess your purpose as a clear statement. This will be the main idea, and the rest must maintain direction around this.

Outline and organize your paragraphs in order of importance, saving the most convincing or essential information for the end.

When writing, move forward quickly, cover what is essential, and stick to the main points. Keep it simple, so you do not lose your audience; you can also garner interest by adding in a quick story or a personal account so the audience is engaged and can identify your perspective. However, don't veer off topic. Be sure to end with a straightforward call to action: What do you specifically want your audience to do after receiving this information? What is your goal?

Write using proper language and word choices. Avoid jargon, confusing acronyms with uncommon or multiple meanings, and complex words that can cloud your information. Steer clear of slang and discriminatory language. Instead, use active voice and strong verbs. Include facts while avoiding opinions, generalizations, and broad adjectives to support your pointers.

Finally, spend time proofreading and rewriting. Check your spelling, sentence structure, grammar, words, and punctuation. Is your message direct, clear, and focused throughout the work? Lastly, have someone else give it a read-through and provide constructive feedback. Finally, read it aloud to yourself to catch errors.