How to Write 3 Common Business Documents

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur without formal training—or a registered business owner still working to get your company established—odds are you’ve been bumping up against the need to do some basic business writing.

In this brief rundown of 3 of the most common documents you’re likely to create as a business professional, we provide some key tips and quality resources for doing them well.

1. Business plans

A business plan is a well-structured document that lays out the details of your business vision, goals, and direction.

Whether you use it to help start or expand your company, writing a business plan is important for demonstrating the viability of your venture to potential investors and lenders, and for keeping your team onboard and on track.

Key tips for writing a solid business plan:

  • Always research and describe the market you’re planning to enter—including fundamental details about your competitors
  • Include realistic figures, budgets, and projections for costs, pricing, revenues, cash flow, and any funding you require
  • Lay out your selling, marketing, and staffing plans (including key people roles) and try to address potential problems in advance by proposing some credible solutions (incorporating well-considered contingencies into your plan will impress prospective financiers—and may prove critical to your survival)

Top business plan resource: How to Write a Perfect Business Plan in 9 Steps

2. Business letters

Business letters are an essential tool for communicating effectively with clients, employees, board members, and business partners.

By using simple, concise, targeted language to write all your business correspondence, you’ll consistently project a professional image, demonstrate respect for the recipient’s time, and find it easier to persuade your reader when that’s your goal.

Key tips for writing a polished business letter:

  • Always let the reader guide the tone of your letters (you’ll likely adopt a formal but relaxed tone with potential clients, for example, versus an informal tone with employees or customers you know well)
  • Since most professionals must deal with multiple forms of messaging each day, defaulting to a simple sentence structure in all your correspondence will help keep it on point
  • Aim to make every business letter you write grammar and spelling error-free, regardless of purpose, tone, or recipient

Top business letter resource: Business Letter Format with Examples

3. Business proposals

A business proposal (also known as a sales proposal) is a document that’s designed to persuade a prospective customer to buy your product or service.

Depending on your industry, learning to write an effective business proposal can go a long way toward cultivating trust and winning new customers, gaining an edge over your competitors, and ultimately growing your revenue.

Key tips for writing a compelling business proposal:

  • Make sure your document is wholly focused on resolving a specific prospect’s challenge or helping them meet a stated goal
  • Use succinct, simple language (accompanied by visuals when possible) to describe your solution, its benefits, and the advantages of working with your company
  • Practice structuring your business proposals in a way that maps out a clear connection between your offering and your client’s budget, timing, and desired outcome

Top business proposal resource: How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]

While this guide to business document basics is a good starting point for improving your professional communications, you’ll make more headway, more quickly, if you set aside some time to explore the multitude of free resources and templates available online.

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