6 Common Business Writing Errors – And How To Avoid Them

Common Business Writing Errors 4

Having superb business writing skills is a big advantage in today's professional world. Whether you’re applying for a job or are running a company, written communication can play a massive role in your success.

Think about it. A poorly-written business proposal isn’t likely to attract a positive response. Naturally, the same applies to your business blogs, email correspondence, marketing materials, newsletters, product descriptions, and more.

Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca said:

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.”

Meanwhile, Rework co-author Jason Fried specifically encouraged employers to hire job seekers with great writing skills. He pointed out:

“Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand… Those are qualities you want in any candidate.”

Moreover, Fried described writing as “today's currency for good ideas.”

So how do you take your business writing chops to the next level? First off, you want to take note of the most common mistakes.

Read on below to learn more:

Common business writing blunders to avoid:

#1. Not creating an outline

The first thing to remember: you need to create an outline. Having one allows you to gather your thoughts and focus on your purpose. A draft allows you to identify key points you want to emphasize.

business writing

You may have much to say but don’t go overboard. Dividing your ideas into topics and subtopics should help you organize your message.

#2. Not writing for your target audience

Sure, business communication generally takes a formal tone. Even so, you first need to consider who your audience is before you begin typing.

Are you writing for a potential investor? Or your employees, maybe? Are you addressing customers or a hiring officer?

Determining your audience serves as a useful guide as you compose your message. It will help you know what tone to take. Additionally, you will be able to craft words in a way that sparks their curiosity and specifically meets their needs.

As a result, your writing will be far more effective.

#3. Not getting straight to the point

It’s crucial to catch the attention of your audience from the start. Bryan Garner, author of Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Better Business Writing puts it this way:

“One of the great diseases of business writing is postponing the message to the middle part of the writing.”

business writing

Flowery language is a no-no in business writing. Get straight to the point so your audience immediately understands what you want to say.

“Acquire a knack for summarizing,” added Garner. “If your opener is no good, then the whole piece of writing will be no good.”

#4. Not using strong language

Forbes tells us good business writing does not use “wishy-washy language” such as “we’ll try to,” “attempt to,” “possibly,” and “in a best case scenario.”

“Be specific and concrete,” the website emphasized. “Adding authority also refers to adding evidence: expert opinion, statistics, data, client cases, social proof.”

#5. Being too wordy

Legendary children’s book author Dr. Seuss once remarked:

“The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to be direct. Avoid wordiness at all costs. Go for shorter sentences and paragraphs. You run the risk of getting your message ignored if it’s unbearably long.

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. If you’re an employer, would you really take the time to read a rambling application letter?

Wordiness will surely ruin your content. Being concise is always the best way to go. Besides, good writing is “economical,” according to an INC article.

#6. Failing to proofread

Using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling are critical for any business writing. That’s why you should always take time to do some proofreading before hitting the send button. You can also ask someone you trust to give your document a read. In any case, having a different set of eyes checking everything can be an advantage.

Of course, the goal is to spot all typos and grammatical errors before it’s too late. So make sure not to forget this part. Otherwise, you might end up making yourself look lazy and unprofessional.

The bottom line: Excellent business writing takes time – but it’s worth it.

Good business writing can open doors for you as a professional. Entrepreneurs can enjoy increased sales, a better online reputation, and even more business opportunities. Job seekers may finally end up getting their dream jobs.

In case you’re curious, yes, there are a number of amazing apps you can use to enhance your writing. Go check out one of our other posts titled Aside From Grammarly, Here Are 5 Awesome Writing Apps You Can Use. You may also refer to our short guide on how to write professional emails that “absolutely deliver.” 

Check Out What Else We Do!

Are you looking for a NYC event venue for personal or business occasions? Do you need a fresh perspective for your workday, a business address or virtual mailbox? If it’s time to level up your business and you’re looking to make some serious marketing moves, we have the answer for you!

Book A Tour

This location is fully booked.

Please select a different location.