Good writing is good business. Every written document, whether it’s a simple email or lengthy report, has the potential to capture the attention of the reader and bring in new business. If it’s written poorly, it also has the power to discourage potential or even current customers and give your company a bad reputation. The ability to communicate is of paramount importance in today’s business world.
In our fast-paced marketplace, it is essential to improve the effectiveness of your business communication while reducing writing time. Whether it’s a brief internal email or a lengthy proposal to potential clients, Zoe’s advanced business writing programs will give you the skills and confidence you need to craft compelling and highly effective business documents!
These business writing courses are tailored to fit your needs. The goal is to take your team’s writing skills to the next level, accelerate business initiatives and increase performance. Our advanced business writing programs are designed for all levels — executives, management personnel and employees.
Business writing training represents some of our most in-demand training topics. Learn how Zoe Training & Consulting can turn your team into expert business writers. Sign your team up for a business writing course today.
What Is Business Writing?
The definition of business writing is a style of writing that has a specific purpose, which is to evoke a response that is related to the business matter. It is designed to give readers the relevant information so that they can understand something or take a step to do something. Business writing can be anything from emails and memos to proposals, white papers and reports. This type of writing provides important information that helps readers to know something or encourages them to do something. Therefore, the writing must be clear, substantive, accurate and easy to quickly scan for the main topics and points.
Business communication typically breaks down into the following types: informational, instructional, persuasive and transactional. Whether it’s a formal piece of writing or more informal, the writing should be clear and succinct to have the greatest effect.
Why High-Quality Writing in Business Matters
Is effective writing important in a business environment? According to a Forbes article, writing expertise is highly valued by today’s companies—and it will be even more valuable in the years ahead, as it’s one workplace activity that can’t be automated. In the future world of artificial intelligence (AI), robots will be able to handle many manual workplace tasks. However, when it comes to “soft skills” like creativity, strategic thinking, imagination, empathy, questioning, dreaming and communication, robots aren’t very good at those activities. The best writing incorporates all those abilities and so it remains something that only a human can do. This is good news for any employee who’s anxious about their future marketability.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that nearly three out of every four employers wanted candidates with strong written communication skills. Clear writing is viewed as a sign of clear thinking, and a survey by The Association of American Colleges and Universities revealed that 93 percent of employers placed a high importance on critical thinking, clear communication and problem-solving of complex issues. Seventy-five percent of employers believe there should be more of a focus on written communication skills in college.
Why do so many employers want their team members to have a high level of writing ability? It is because a company’s written documentation, from emails to white papers, is a direct reflection of the organization. Complex, impenetrable writing that doesn’t seek to explain and clarify in simple terms comes across as self-important and grandiose. If a customer or client can’t understand your company’s documentation or the benefits of the products and services that you’re offering, they’ll likely take their business elsewhere. When your employees don’t communicate well, it may even cause internal problems and loss of productivity.
Poor Writing and a Company’s Bottom Line
As the Daily Beast explains, it isn’t just a matter of having to wade through poorly written emails, memos and other business correspondence. Bad writing costs American businesses nearly $400 billion annually. The more employees must slog through lousy writing, whether it’s a cryptic email from a colleague or a murky report that leaves them wondering what action to take, the more valuable time is wasted. This time adds up to money spent on workers trying to understand important documents, leading to a loss in productivity and adversely affecting a company’s business goals and profits.
The details of this problem were clearly laid out in a survey of 547 business writers. It was found that employees spent approximately 25.5 hours per week on reading and 20.4 hours per week on writing. About one-third of that writing was composing email. Eighty-one percent of respondents believed that poorly written documents wasted their time. More than half believed that written business materials were too long, poorly organized, unclear, imprecise and with too much jargon. Only 38 percent believed that college adequately prepared them for work-related writing.
What Should Be the Aim of Business Writing?
Business writing has a specific purpose, which is why it needs to be effective. Business writing goals are typically to:
- Deliver News – Companies may use emails or press releases to share important news, events or accomplishments, either internally, to customers or to news outlets.
- Convey Information – Policy memos, blog posts, whitepapers or research reports can all be effectively used to distribute company knowledge and expertise.
- Call to Action – Writing is used to influence readers for various purposes, such as to sell a product or service, or to support a cause or advocate for legislation.
- Justify or Explain a Company Action – Often, professional writing enables a business to share their beliefs about a certain topic, often to justify actions to employees, customers or shareholders.
With our business expertise and certified trainers, Zoe Training can groom your team to be more effective communicators, for greater productivity and impressive results. Sign your team up for a business writing program today.
Top 10 Business Writing Skills – Today’s Best Practices
The most effective writing for business requires practice and perseverance. There are many aspects to crafting a document that’s clear, compelling and persuasive for your audience. In fact, two of the most important skills are knowing what audience you want to reach and what you hope to achieve.
Summarizing a meeting for co-workers requires a different tone and approach than announcing a new product in a press release. In addition, there are new trends in business writing today, such as using less “jargon” and more clear, concise language. It is also important to adapt one’s writing to different platforms, such as blog posts and social media.
To improve your writing and become a more effective communicator for business purposes, try honing your craft by practicing these top 10 business writing skills:
- 1. Define Your Purpose – It’s important to have a clear picture of who you’re writing for and what you want to get across. If you understand your purpose, you’ll have a better idea of what to say and how to say it.
- 2. Write for Your Audience – Your desired audience will dictate the information you provide and the terminology or lingo that you use. Consider what readers will already know and what they’d be interested in and curious about. In this way, you’ll be able to personalize your writing to speak directly to them.
- 3. Organize Your Writing – To have better organization and flow to your writing, start with a clear outline of what you want to cover. Individual items in this outline can become paragraph headings in the document. Summarize what you’ll be saying and state the important information in the first paragraph, since many people will decide to read something or not based on that initial paragraph.
- 4. Use Clear, Concise Language – In business writing, you must be concise. Don’t use any “decorative” language. Keep it to the point. Use as few words as possible, while ensuring that your ideas are clearly stated.
- 5. Use a Conversational Tone – While business communications tend to use a professional voice, a more conversational tone may be appropriate if you’re trying to connect with consumers and engage your target market.
- 6. Pay Attention to Word Choice – If you’re writing for business associates in your field, it may be acceptable to use certain industry buzzwords and jargon. However, if you’re writing for people not familiar with these terms, use simpler words instead, so they can more easily understand what you’re saying.
- 7. Use an Active Voice – In many cases, the more words you use, the less power they tend to convey. This is the difference between “we can be reached by calling” versus “call us.” Try to focus on the active voice to add strength to your writing and enhance your company’s credibility.
- 8. Favor Facts Over Opinions – To build a trustworthy reputation among clients and customers, stick to the facts in your writing, rather than your opinion. Use sound data and key statistics from reputable sources, along with the benefits of what you’re selling. However, you still want your writing to be compelling and not too dry.
- 9. Adapt Your Writing for Different Platforms – Your company will likely have a multi-platform business model. Therefore, you’ll need to adapt your documents to fit different media, such as social media posts, blog posts, long-form web articles, white papers and video scripts. Each platform has its own tricks and techniques.
- 10. Check for Proper Grammar and Punctuation – The savviest business writing will get instantly dismissed, as will your company, if there are typos and incorrect grammar. Therefore, careful proofreading is essential.
Our custom designed business writing programs and professional development services can help your team to succeed. Invest in your team today.
How Can My Team Improve Their Business Writing Skills
There are many books available that explain how to improve one’s business correspondence and other writing for more effective communication. However, developing effective writing skills among your team will likely require a personalized approach, as everyone’s skill set will be different. A hands-on intensive course that provides close, individualized instruction is the best option. It’s preferable for employees to be guided by an expert so they have the opportunity to become more comfortable writing in a controlled setting before they’re put on the spot to create company documents for customers, employees and business partners.
What is a Business Writing Class?
In a business writing class, participants will learn the best business writing practices. Whether it’s a formalized in-person classroom setting or an online course, employees learn important tips and processes that will help improve their workplace writing expertise. Ideally, the training will include regular evaluations of each person’s abilities to gauge the student’s progress, as well as helpful feedback and coaching from the instructor. Zoe Training & Consulting offers a comprehensive business writing training program as a series of E-Learning online writing courses that are interactive and self-paced to fit the needs of each employee.
To learn how Zoe Training can enhance the business-savvy skill set of your entire team for greater results, read our success stories!
The Value of Zoe Training Business Writing Programs
Writing in a clear and compelling way is something that, with practice and proper guidance, everyone can do. Zoe’s dynamic online writing courses are interactive and self-paced. They’re designed to fit the needs of each team member, so that your team can learn to deliver high-impact content and become a better writer for more effective communication with co-workers, business partners, clients and customers. The beauty of E-Learning for training is that it allows everyone to learn and develop advanced skills at their own pace.
We also offer on-site workshops that range from 90-minute to half-day sessions or full-day programs. Programs can be adjusted or combined to meet the training needs of your company. All courses and programs help participants to develop and hone their writing skills and natural abilities.
As writers advance and learn new techniques, any skill gaps are eliminated. What’s more, each participant receives personalized written feedback on their final uploaded online course assignment from one of our certified writing coaches. All our courses demonstrate timesaving techniques that make writing easy, logical and fun. So that participants retain what has been learned, writing tips are provided by email at the end of the course.
Upon the program’s completion, your team will be able to:
- - Streamline the writing process
- - Write reader-centered content
- - Eliminate overworked, tired phrasing
- - Write with clarity and conciseness
- - Increase productivity and decrease rework
- - Polish professional image
- - Write compelling client documents that yield results
- - Apply email best practices
What our online writing courses include:
- - Individual, real-time feedback on your employees’ final assignment(s) via email from a professional writing coach
- - Final assignment feedback letter
- - Login, password and expiration date information sent by email
- - Expiration date flexibility — can take days, weeks or months to complete the course
- - Certificate of Completion
- - Free e-newsletter to stay current on writing techniques
What our writing workshops feature:
- - Practical workshops that introduce skills and techniques to help participants polish their writing
- - Email management and etiquette
- - Informative and fun hands-on approach
- - Focus on implementation and retention
- - Programs can be customized to include one-on-one feedback sessions, online modules, individual coaching, email follow-up with tips and more.
The Zoe Training & Consulting Difference
Since 1983, Zoe Training & Consulting has delivered comprehensive, customized skills-based training and professional development services to businesses and their employees. We combine our human resource expertise with more than 30 highly-experienced trainers, speakers and consultants to provide you with exceptional courses and workshops that meet the unique needs of your organization.
In addition to interactive and personalized online business writing courses, you’ll discover a wide range of professional training programs. Communication Skills Training, the perfect complement to advanced business writing, teaches participants the skill of active listening in addition to other techniques for better workplace communication. Customer Service Training helps employees who are on the “front lines” to more effectively and comfortably interact with the public, even in difficult situations.
Other popular training topics and business courses at Zoe include Career Development, Coaching and Mentoring, Cultural Diversity, Conflict Management, Leadership Development, Mindfulness in the Workplace, Negotiation Skills, Project Management, Sales Training, Team Building and Time Management Skills.
Speak to the professional development experts at Zoe to create a customized business training plan for your company teams. Our energetic, fun and skill-driven interactive programs will help employees at all levels of your organization to be more productive and thrive.
Writing Courses That We Offer
- Business Writing That Counts!
- Idea Mapping: Your Shortest Route to Fast, Effective Writing
- Take Your Writing to the Next Level
- Email Writing That Counts!
- Punctuation That Counts!
- Grammar That Counts!