People write (or type) all of the time. We send emails, text messages, status updates; occasionally even an old-fashioned hand-written letter or two. Most of the time it does not really matter whether we shorten the ‘you’ to a ‘u’, or write ‘wanna’ instead of ‘want’. But there are times when these small conveniences that came with the advent of online communication can cost us dearly.
Business correspondence is one form of writing that does not tolerate shortcuts, and where using them will definitely hurt your cause.
It’s not just shortcuts that are not tolerated, either. When communicating with business partners – emails, proposals, notices; whatever type of document you are crafting – it is important to be mindful of sentence style, punctuation, word choices, and everything else in between.
Improving written communication skills
Poor written communication skills are a signal to others that you do not care about presentation and details. If that is their first impression of you, then you are not off to a good start.
Improving your business writing skills will improve your general writing skills. You will no longer struggle with a sales proposal or customer letter. You not will you find yourself lost in the process of penning down content for your website, company blog or social media accounts.
Become a better writer with these ten writing tools and services.
Run on and complex sentences are the bane of clarity. They especially don’t belong in a business document. It is important to keep your sentences brief and organized into short paragraphs to help the reader understand your points. Read-able allows you to check the readability score of your text. If your score is too high, it means that your text is complicated. Consider trimming the content and simplifying your writing.
Grammarly is a great tool to use if you are not comfortable with English language grammar. That is perfectly okay; many professional writers struggle with it too! Grammarly highlights grammar errors and style inconsistencies and offers solutions to improve your text. The service is not free, but they do offer several plans, and a yearly plan can cost you as little as $ 15 a month.
When you run a business, you’ll find yourself writing similar emails to answer commonly asked questions. Gorgias is a free extension that allows you to create email templates. Gorgias shows the information you need to decide how to respond. It integrates with Stripe, Salesforce, or your admin and can save you a lot of time.
There are simply days when your schedule is too full to devote extra time to writing a proposal, content or a business report. That is why it is important to have a reliable content provider. Aussie Writer is a professional, custom writing service that does that for you – and does it better than you will probably ever be able to do! (Disclaimer: I am a freelance writer sharing business writing tips on behalf of Aussiessay.com, an affiliate of Aussie Writer.)
Being a good writer requires constant learning. Business writing is no different. Thesaurus.com offers great tips on a daily basis, tips that will expand your vocabulary and make you a master wordsmith. Also, it is a handy tool against which you can check unusual words and get an idea on how to simplify your writing.
Keeping your writing concise and to the point is important, especially when you are communicating with busy individuals. Use MailMentor to check how long would it take for a person to read your email, as well as the reading level it is written for. Use these features to simplify your writing, especially if you are communicating with someone whose first language is not English.
Business proposals are probably the toughest type of business writing you will encounter. Luckily, there is a solution that will help you excel in writing them. Enloop will auto-write everything for you. You just need to input the information and watch it all unfold. You will also get some rudimentary metrics showing the estimated success rate of your plan.
A great all-in-one writing solution is difficult to find, but ProWritingAid is well on its way to becoming one. It allows you to check for grammar and punctuation errors, as well as overused words and clichés; it will also tell you the readability of your text and check online for instances of plagiarism. Proofreading and editing are still important steps you must complete manually when writing a business-related piece, but they just got a lot easier.
Chances are that you are doing a lot of your writing on your mobile phone or a table. In today’s fast-paced world that is not unusual. Byword simplifies writing on iPhones and iPads, and it syncs everything across your devices (and on Dropbox and iCloud), facilitating access to your documents.
WhiteSmoke automatically checks your emails for grammar mistakes, as well as spelling and syntax. It is fully compatible with Chrome, Word and Outlook as well. The great thing about it is that it offers tutorials and writing suggestions, making you a better writer every time you use it.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Amy Cowen is a freelance writer at Aussiessay and contributor to different blogs who focuses mostly on technology, tools and all the latest trends which are interesting for content marketing specialists and networking enthusiasts. Connect with @aussiessay on Twitter.