One of the most important aspects in the business world is writing. It is the critical process of communication inside a corporation and of course in the B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) trade.
Writing memos, letters and reports is the daily task for the employers and the executives inside the company. Every firm follows some specific rules for their communication needs but they all have as a cornerstone of their standards these critical questions:
1. What is it?
2. What is the purpose of the document?
3. When is it due?
4. How much time should you spend preparing it?
5. What key information should you cover?
1. Who are the readers?
2. What is their knowledge of the subject?
3. What is their opinion of the subject?
4. What actions do you want them to take?
1. What format should you use?
2. What style should you follow?
3. In what order should you present the information?
4. What attachments should you include?
What is it?
The first question asks you to identify the type of business communication you are going to write.
What is the purpose of the document?
You must identify what is the purpose you are writing for. You must be as specific as possible. For example, you can write a memo for a specific problem with a client in your corporation.
When is it due?
If you have a deadline for completing your letter or memo then the procedure is easy but if you don’t , then you must determine by yourself all the facts you need for completing your document.
How much time should you spend preparing it?
You must estimate the time you are going to spend for the preparation of your document. For example, 8 hours for contacting a business proposal letter is reasonable but spending 8 hours for a memo is not reasonable at all.
What key information should you cover?
That question defines what kind of information you should include in your memo,letter or report. For example, should a business proposal letter contain all the technical requirements for the potential prospect or not?
Who are the readers?
In this step you must identify who is the reader. Is it a co-worker or an important client?
What is their knowledge of the subject?
This is very important. Think wisely who are your readers. Do they have a decent knowledge about the subject or they don’t know anything about it.
If they have a great familiarity with the subject, then you don’t have to explain much. If they have basic familiarity then you must explain more in order to be understandable. Finally, if they don’t know anything about the subject, you must analyze it in detail and take nothing for granted.
What is their opinion of the subject?
Knowledge of a subject is not the only issue on your writing acceptance from your readers. The opinion they have about it has the same importance. Your primary task is to identify if they have a positive , negative or neutral opinion about your subject.
In most cases when the readers have positive or neutral opinion there are no serious problems for the writer. On the other hand, when your reader is negative on the subject you are dealing with, you should be extra careful with your letter or memo.
What actions do you want them to take?
If you have a clear goal for what you expect your readers to do, then your writing will be more successful. Don’t forget to clarify the action you want your readers to do.
What format should you use?
Before you start formatting your document ask if your company has a formatting standards. Most of them have specific standards for writing letters, memos and reports. In that case you should follow them.
What style should you follow?
Style is the way you use words, abbreviations, punctuation, and other elements. If your corporation use a specific style, use it. Otherwise follow the commercial standards available. Capitalization is an element you should use systematically.
You must capitalize proper nouns and the first word of sentences.
In what order should you present the information?
The Classic standard applies here too, which is the introduction, body, and conclusion.
The introduction informs the reader what the subject is all about and provides all the necessary information the reader needs to understand.
The body emphasizes and analyzes the subject .During that process always keep in mind that your points should be stressed according to their importance. The most important should be first.
The conclusion sums up the points given in the body and directs to an action to be taken.
What attachments should you include?
The last question asks you to identify if and what kind of attachments you may need for your project. Sometimes extra information helps the readers to understand better the subject you have prepared.