Good writing skills can enrich anyone’s life, but are particularly important for entrepreneurs, according to Josh Steimle, writing for Forbes.com.
The author comments: “Professionals with fewer grammar errors achieve higher positions. For entrepreneurs, this could mean the difference between gaining or losing a customer – or even succeeding or failing at the business.”
Steimle asked Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com for some tips on writing for entrepreneurs, and her top five are:
1) Be brief. Communicate succinctly and don’t use meaningless buzzwords, such as “synergise”.
2) Use bullet points. Bullets and numbered lists serve to simplify information and present it in a clear format. Short “soundbites” can highlight the benefits of your product or service in a way that users can scan quickly.
3) Make use of spelling and grammar checking tools. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will undermine your message.
4) Be specific and positive. Don’t say, for instance, that you will provide information “later” – give a specific date and time. And write in a positive, rather than negative, voice – e.g., “please be sure to” instead of “make sure you do not”.
5) Take conversations offline when appropriate. Written communication is simple and effective at keeping people informed on a key decision or issue.
But sometimes more discretion or directness is needed, and there’s no substitute for face-to-face communication in certain situations.
Also, be mindful of who you are copying into emails, especially when you use the “reply all” option.