Why is it important to have good business writing skills?
Do you know that eight out of every ten new businesses fail? Do you know what improving your business writing skills will do for your business?
According to a report published on Forbes, two of the top five reasons why eight of every ten business fail is as a result of the inability to write or pass a clear concise message in writing by the entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, one of the skills you must improve on is developing your business writing skills. There are a lot of reasons your business writing skills is very important – content writing is now ever so important in business growth.
You need show your drafting skills when you write your business plan, proposals and reports.
Developing business writing skills is a very important thing every new or existing business owner must take seriously. Some even take extra writing classes so they would develop their report, presentation, and email writing skills.
In the next few paragraphs, I will show you a few tips to improve your writing skills and become better at writing. This is not to say I am at the peak of writing, I am not anywhere near, but I thought it was great to share my ideas as I continue to learn.
Why Is It Important To Have Good Business Writing Skills
It boost your confidence, helps you in presentations, you want to close deals, and above all, you want to communicate.
This post will be divided into 3 sections. The pre-writing, writing and post writing stages respectively.
How To Improve Your Business Writing Skills;Pre-Writing Stage
The role of reading for self and writing skills development cannot be overemphasized. And in this case, even if you don’t have the desire to be a writer or developing your business writing skills, you just need to read to become a better person. Reading and writing skills are not mutually exclusive.
People often misconstrue the purpose of reading and restrict themselves to those subjects around their field. If you restrict what you read to your subjects or area of specialty alone, you’d be limited in your knowledge.
It is true there is so little time, yet so much ground to cover, but it is also true you can’t exhaust the materials in your field. So calm down, read as much as possible and be diverse. Variety, they say is the spice of life.
When you read, it will be easy for ideas to flow, because you seem to have so much experience, having interacted with several authors (even though in actual sense, you’ve never met them).
Reading also broadens your horizon. It gives you new insights and exposes to you new perspectives. You have what I call the 3-D mind. When faced with challenges, making informed decisions becomes a lot easier. Read books to improve writing, start developing your reading and writing skills immediately because reading makes you precocious too.
Get Into Conversations
Your business writing skills get better when you get into conversations, you’re able to express yourself and conjure new ideas. During conversations, you rub mind with your others share ideas. Mind you, when writing, you are sharing your ideas, so it is a form of conversation too, although it is a one-way thing where feedback isn’t in real time, unlike in physical conversations.
Later in this post, you will see the importance of conversations in writing.
Conversations also help you know how best to structure your point and ideas. When you are used to conversations, and then write, you know what to possibly expect, because you have a mental picture of people’s reactions.
No one became a professional overnight, and your speaking or business writing skills won’t either. Most prolific writers have reported practicing writing for around 5-10 years and have completed hundreds to thousands of writings within the period. This shouldn’t scare you. This simply means continued writing to become better. As always, there are exceptions to everything. Some people might become great writers in maybe a year or two. This should inspire you.
If you must, then maybe you should go ahead to take writing exercises.
Personally, I think there are no rules for practicing. Just write, whether you feel like it or not. The mistake I made growing up is to think I wasn’t in the mood to write.
There is almost never the right mood until you train yourself to always write.
It is, however, important to know what time of the day which you are more creative. For me, it is immediately I get out of bed. I’m fresh and can punch my keyboard without any issue. However, this might not be the case for you. Find out if you prefer writing during the day or later at night. Go with the best time for you.
It is advised you stick to a particular writing time so your mind prepares itself at that time to be creative. So when you discover at what time of the day you are most creative, it’s best to make that your writing time.
You can start by writing fictions, share them on your social handles and keep doing so until you are regarded a pro – do you stop when you’re a pro? Far from it. Who knows, you might craft the next best seller while practicing.
How To Improve Your Business Writing Skills; The Writing Itself
Know the subject inside out
When you want to write on a topic, you must know the topic as deep as possible. Thank goodness for search engines today, you are only a click away from the amazing knowledge base of search engines. Like speaking, writing skills are enhanced if you understand what you’re writing.
If you want to write, and appeal to your readers’ emotion, you cannot but carry out your research.
It is not difficult for your readers to detect that you don’t have an sufficient knowledge of whatever you are writing – if you do not.
So like I said, if you do not know the topic well, take some time to study it. Read materials, search the web. You should be ready in maybe two days if you do your homework well.
Outlines Are Important
There are only a few writers who start writing without an outline. I was like that when I started. Outlines are to a writer, what a building plan is to a builder. Imagine a builder building without a plan. That’s one heck of a guy diving into the stormy sea of confusion.
When you jot an outline, you give yourself a blueprint and a guide to follow. You already have the end in mind and the picture is clear. Your objective is laid out.
These points will help you avoid forgetfulness and maybe to some extent fight writers’ block. Why? Because for every point you listed, you know something already or will search and learn more on what you want to share.
On your jotter, you should outline how many sections, topics, sub-topics, etc. you are going to write on. And this should be done sequentially. If you can structure your content, your business writing skills are further enhanced.
Do not give in to the temptation of starting to write without a plan or outline.
Write In A Simple Language
Unless for the purpose of showoff or poetry, there is no reason to write as though you’re Shakespeare, you are not, neither am I. it’s not as though you can’t be like him, but you are you, not him. When you write and a five-year-old cannot comprehend, then there is a problem with your writing.
Unless for technical terms, limit your use of vocabulary to instances where it is compulsory – when there’s no alternative. The big grammars should be left for the courtrooms.
Improve Your Business Writing Skills Through Storytelling
Can you? Then do, tell stories if you can. We all love stories, don’t you?
If you can relate your idea using stories, you will better appeal to your audience, it will strike them right in the heart. Most people have one experience or the other, and chances are that people have a similar experience to the story you are sharing, so they’ll stay glued, wanting to know how you handled yours or what happened to the character you’re talking about.
It could be any story – human, animal, fiction, non-fiction – anything. Just make sure it is interesting. You may start with it, so you get their attention from the onset.
It has been reported that humans have a short attention span, which is even decreasing further in this era of social media and search engines. You will be doing yourself a whole world of good to get the attention of your audience earlier on and it’s even more difficult retaining them, but a story will help you do so.
The average human attention span is at an all-time low. From 12 seconds in the year 2000, now at eight seconds, no thanks to smartphones.
Telling stories shows your writing or speech can be related to real-life situations. And this is what your audience wants.
Write As Though You Are In A Conversation
When you are in a conversation with a friend, you are not under any pressure to perform, impress or whatever. It should be so for writing too. Unless you are writing a formal letter or writing a pitch for potential investors (you know those kinds of stuff), write as though you are in a conversation, discussing with a friend.
Earlier in this post, I told you why you need to get into physical conversations with people, this is the time to form a replica of that conversation, but this time, you’re all by yourself, with your pen and paper (or your keyboard as the case may be).
Do not be afraid to ask questions in your writing, make friendly remarks, comments, or jokes. Add life to it. And this brings us to the next.
Be Real – Bring In Your Personality
We all have a tone with which we talk. This same tone should be seen – or heard in your writing. Gary Vaynerchuk uses slangs a lot, when you read his books, you would find them there too. Although I do not suggest excess colloquialism, I just mean your audience should feel the person behind the text they are reading. Do not separate your personality from your writing.
Improve Your Business Writing Skills; The crucial stage
Proofread Your Text Carefully
This stage is very crucial. It can make or mar the entire process. A poorly proofread job somewhat shows un-seriousness on the part of the writer. It can send a different message to your audience.
No matter how good your writing skills are when it’s plagued with errors, its crap.
Many writers spend thousands on proofreaders and editors. It’s that serious.
But I don’t spend that much. I proofread my writings almost for free.
All the writings I have done since the last quarter of 2017 have been proofread and edited almost for free by Grammarly.
Grammarly is the best writing editor and has helped me master my business writing skills.
I once posted on Facebook that Grammarly has done for me what my government haven’t and may never be able to do for me. You think that is exaggerated? Submit a job poorly written to a client and see how they’d cancel the order immediately and request for a refund.
With Grammarly, all I need do is write, and paste the text in the Grammarly text editor and it shows me everywhere correction is needed, guess what, I only have to click on the suggestion, and the change will take effect. You don’t have to type, it does the job for you.
I expect everyone who has a Facebook profile to own a Grammarly account.
What Can Grammarly Do For You?
With Grammarly, you can easily do the following:
- Check and correct punctuation errors
- Correct spelling mistakes
- Check for passive words.
- Get better word/usage suggestions
- Eliminate Redundancy
- Check for Plagiarism etc.
Grammarly makes my writing seem as though I’m a pro. I see many Britons and Americans make simple errors in their writings, I’m Nigerian, and although English is the official language, it is not my mother tongue. So you can guess how I’d make minor and sometimes major mistakes, but Grammarly got by back.
With Grammarly, it is difficult, almost impossible to get typos in your text, unless you want it.
As a freelancer on Fiverr, I have written close to five hundred articles, I wouldn’t have got a tenth of that if not for Grammarly.
You can install Grammarly on your PC or MAC, laptop browsers, and even your smartphones – I have it on all of my devices. This ensures your write-up is constantly in check by the grammar checker. Suggestions and corrections are made in real time.
Something you need to know about Grammarly, it requires the internet to connect with the Grammarly database, else it may not work.
Of course, I will include screenshots of this post while I’m editing it with Grammarly.
Grammarly is free to use, but you may have to upgrade to the premium plan if you need additional features.
It is almost impossible to write in the 21st century without Grammarly.
So, guys, these are my simple tips on how to improve your writing skills in English or whatever language you write in. Business writing skills are important and should be worked upon.
Over to you
Why is it important to have good business writing skills? Did you learn English writing skills?
If asked how to improve your writing skills in English, do you have any tip? Do you have business writing skills?
If you are just getting into writing, what special tip did this post reveal to you, do you think we need books to improve writing? What have you done to improve your business writing skills lately?
Kindly leave your comment in the comment area below and share this post on your best social network, someone needs this.