Business writing- What Does Your Writing Say About You?


I was once asked to critique a 100 page business plan for a client that was applying for financing to start a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical company. Most bankers would have turned down the applicant because the business plan was full of jargon, written in highly technical language, and hard to understand. The first 40 pages of the plan were vague and spoke in general terms. They did not clearly convey what the loan applicant was trying to sell or how they planned to generate revenue to pay back the loan. There was no clearly defined business strategy or marketing plan; just a lot of information about the medical/homeopathic results of the applicant’s technical research. To say the least the business plan didn’t even have an opening abstract to let the reader know what the key points of the document were.

Well into the second half of the business plan I realized that all the key information a banker needs to make an informed decision about approving financing was buried deep within. But would the banker have made it to this point of the document? Probably not. Banks are inundated with loan applications every day and to ask someone to go through a document that doesn’t even have an outline is a lot to ask of anybody.

The author of this above-mentioned business plan had only one opportunity to make a favourable first impression in order to be approved for the funds necessary to start his business. If the reader (the loan officer) did not respond well to the document, the author would likely never be invited to personally communicate the message he had been trying to convey on paper. Even though he was highly qualified in his field, his business plan did not give that impression. It didn’t show that he had the business savvy or management skills required to successfully run a multi-million dollar company.

What does your writing say about you? In order to succeed in business you need to make sure that your writing is clear, concise, and conveys the message you intend because often it’s the first and only means of communication between yourself and your clients, colleagues and employees.

Whether it is an email, proposal to a prospect or a newsletter to your database; your writing showcases your knowledge, skills, work style and professionalism. Therefore make every effort to ensure that your communication materials reflect who you are and what you have to offer in the best way possible.

Categories : Copywriting

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