Business Writing
You may be forgiven for thinking that effective business writing only relates to in-depth reports or complex white papers. However, it’s actually a far broader term. If you and your employees write anything from emails to memos or press releases to agendas, then it falls under the category of business writing.
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Business Writing

What are business writing skills?

Business writing skills are the skills needed to produce clear, accurate, and succinct communication, which is any type of writing your employees produce. The writing could be used for internal communication, such as to colleagues or stakeholders, or external communication to clients, customers, or suppliers.

There are four types of business writing:

  1. Informational - documents that inform the reader or give them updates, including reports, statements, or agendas.
  2. Instructional - writing that provides direction or instruction, such as user notes, manuals, processes, or specifications.
  3. Persuasive - writing that attempts to convince the reader to make a decision, such as a pitch or a proposal, or even an email about a potential upsell.
  4. Transactional - this is the day-to-day writing used by employees throughout your organization, such as emails, letters, or invoices.

What makes for good business writing?

Good business writing isn’t about using the most technical language, complex terminology, or industry jargon in order to make it sound professional. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

In order for business writing to be effective, below are 10 principles that every employee should follow:

  1. Before writing, consider who the reader is and what they need to know. This will influence the amount of information you need to include.
  2. What is the appropriate tone? Not all business writing needs to be super serious - plus, humor can help with engagement.
  3. Draft the structure before writing the first word. This will help with the flow and ensure the writer only writes what they need to. A solid structure also helps readers to scan the writing quickly.
  4. Double-check facts and data to improve accuracy.
  5. Good business writing uses every word wisely - don’t use three words when one will do.
  6. Avoid complex terminology and jargon - even if writing for experts.
  7. Always proofread. Ideally, leave at least 24 hours between finishing and proofreading. Where possible, employees can help proofread each others’ work.
  8. Get to the point quickly and don’t add unnecessary filler for the sake of inflating the word count.
  9. Learn and develop - workplace writing skills aren’t something employees have naturally, so developing those skills through learning will help.
  10. Write, write, write - the more employees write, the better their writing will be.

Why are business writing skills important?

When it comes to writing for business, professionalism is key. If your employees are consistently producing writing that is poorly structured, full of complex jargon, riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, and overly long, then it isn’t going to engage the reader. And when readers aren’t engaged, they’re not going to follow through on any calls to action.

For example, if an employee has written an email asking their colleagues to fill out a form, if it’s 500 words long then it’s not going to engage the reader in the same way it would if it was just 200 words but had all the same information. Did the recipient really need all those words to be asked to complete a simple task?

This applies more so when it comes to asking customers and potential customers to spend money with your business. Strong, persuasive writing can be a difficult technique to master, but it is vital if you want to convince your target audience that your products or services are worth it. Business writing needs to confidently, accurately, and succinctly cover all the main points - if it doesn’t, it’s not going to achieve its purpose.

The benefits of developing business writing skills

One of the most effective ways to upskill your employees is with a business writing course. Courses teach employees the dos and don’ts of effective writing that not only improve their skills, but have a positive impact on your whole business. The benefits include:

  • Improved company-wide communication
  • Stronger collaboration
  • A better standard of work
  • Increased productivity
  • You’ll build your reputation and brand image
  • You’ll close more deals thanks to better pitches and proposals
  • There’ll be a higher level of employee engagement

Providing your employees with a range of development opportunities also establishes you as an employer that cares about its employees. Not only does this help lower staff turnover, but allows you to attract top talent in your industry.

Which employees should learn more about business writing?

If your employees use writing as part of their role, then they would benefit from business writing training. From customer service agents speaking to customers through email or online chat, to sales representatives writing pitch decks. Any form of writing produced by your employees can be improved to make it more effective.

Why is eLearning a great way to learn business writing?

Online business writing courses are a fantastic way to upskill your employees. Courses can be accessed instantly, at any time, and on any device, which makes self-directed learning easy. This means learning doesn’t need to interfere with employees’ day-to-day responsibilities, and they can access course materials as and when they have the time.

Because eLearning courses have already been produced they’re affordable and easily scalable. eLearning also ensures all your employees learn from the same, high-quality materials, whether office-based, hybrid, or remote.

What are some of the best online business writing courses?

Business writing training can cover a wide range of topics, from the fundamentals for those not confident in their writing, to specific topics suitable for upskilling experienced writers. Below are some of the best business writing courses that can be accessed instantly:

Train your employees in business writing with Go1

At Go1, we have a wide range of eLearning courses available to access right, so you can upskill your employees in business writing and more. For more information on how we can support your business to get the most out of your workforce, book a demo today.

Book a demoReach out to the friendly Go1 team to learn why over 3000 organizations choose Go1. We would love to hear from you, and start your Go1 journey together. Go1 offers the world's largest digital learning hub of +100,000 resources and growing, delivered by the biggest names in eLearning, across a vast range of topics and industries. Whether it’s personal development, compliance or onboarding, Go1 is with you as you grow.
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