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50 years of success - Established 1974

50 Years of Success
Established in 1974

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What is good business writing?


We should all aim to make a good impression with our writing skills, but when we are writing for business it is even more important. So what is good business writing? This will, of course, differ from business to business and if you are employed, you should always ask for, and follow, the standard format of your company. But, if you don’t have a job yet or your company doesn’t have a format for you to follow, these tips can help you produce professional, error-free business writing every time.

Tip one – Organise Yourself!

Organisation is the key to making sure that your writing contains everything it should – you don’t want to miss out vital information. If you are writing a sales letter, make sure you have all the details about the product or service you are writing about before you start and tick them off as you mention them. If you are writing a letter of application for a new job, write a list of all the points you want to make and, again, tick them off as you work your way through them. Organising in this way will take only five minutes, but will help you write in a professional and informative way.

Tip two – Be Brief!

Irrelevant information is a big turn off for most people. Imagine you’ve sent a letter of application for a job, do you think the recipient is going to be interested in what you had for dinner last night or where you went on holiday last year? Probably not! What they want is to know straight away why you think you are the best person for the job – not half way down the second A4 page of writing. Most people don’t have the time to waste reading irrelevant information and if the recipient has received 50 applications for the job he’s likely to dismiss yours if you waffle. So, your letter of application should start with what job you are applying for and then dive straight into your reasons for applying.

Tip Three – Avoid Jargon, Slang and Abbreviations

Obviously, this tip is one of those that should be applied only when it’s appropriate. If, for instance, you are tasked with writing an internal memo to your colleagues at a furniture shop, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that they will be familiar with any technical jargon used. However, if you are writing a letter to a customer regarding their order for a sofa, the language you use should be changed to suit your reader, taking out any overly technical language. It’s a big no-no in business to try and ‘wow’ the reader with technical or industry specific jargon. Likewise, using big words, slang or abbreviations are likely to alienate your reader. Never make it more difficult than it needs to be for your reader to understand what you are trying to say. Always use plain English and keep your reader in mind.

Tip 4 – Check, check and check again!

Once you’ve finished your writing, put it to one side and come back to it a day later. If you don’t have the time to do this, pass it to someone else to read. This is a vital part of the process for writing that you intend to send out into the world. The last thing you want is to write a business report littered with spelling and grammatical errors – it will reflect very badly on you and make you look like you don’t care enough to check your work or, worse still, that you don’t know that your work contains errors!

Keep these tips in mind, whatever business writing you are doing, and you’ll be turning out professional writing every time.

If you are wondering why good business writing is important this article – Why you should develop a good writing style for business – will explain everything.

So, as you can see, spending time getting your business writing up to scratch is time and money well spent! And if you fancy improving your business writing skills, Business Training has two courses that fit the bill – Business English with Spoken English and Advanced Business English.