How to Write a Business Letter

A business letter is one of the formal or professional ways of communicating with the people in the business and corporate world. It is also used for delivering or requesting accurate and specific information from business owners and managers. When writing this type of letter, remember that you need to make a good impression to the reader. In addition, it is necessary to go straight to the point since businesspeople are usually preoccupied with issues that are important to their professional lives.

Discussed below are the pointers that you should keep in mind when writing a business letter.

Guidelines

There are simple but effective steps that you need to follow to make a well-written letter. First, you should determine the main aim behind penning the letter. Second, you should cite facts that can support the information that you need to present to the recipient. Third, it is necessary to have a fair idea about the personality of the reader. Fourth, learn the basic layout of a business letter. Fifth, know the physical layout that you plan to use.

The Aim

By identifying your objectives for writing the letter, you can clearly state the information that you need to present to the reader. The aim can be reprimanding one of your staff or inquiring for a job posting. Whatever the objective, always remember to state it clearly and accurately.

The Facts

To get the attention of the reader, you should present facts that will support your claims. For instance, if the reason for sending the letter is to inform the recipient about late credit card payment, it is best to attach invoices of the previous purchases of the reader. If the reason for writing the letter is to reprimand your staff, you can attach complaint forms from clients or customers.

The Recipient

To communicate with the reader, it is important to know the personality of the recipient. It is essential that you understand the point of view of the recipient. In this way, it will be easy for you to write in a way that the reader understands.

Basic Layout

The basic layout of a business letter includes a letterhead, the recipient’s name and address as well as the date. After writing these, you need to start the letter with a salutation. The body of the letter must contain the subject matter and reference. Do not forget to include your signature and full name at the last part of the letter.

Additional Facts and Other Helpful Tips

Before writing a letter, it is advantageous to know the basic formats that you can use, which are the blocked style, the semi-blocked style and the indented style. It is also important to avoid using words or jargon that the recipient may not understand. Finally, write in short sentences to avoid being misunderstood or misinterpreted.


How to Write a Business Letter

When writing a business letter, there are several things you need to be aware of. Basically though, you need to keep things simple and straight to the point. Here are the basic guidelines.

Formatting to Use

Do not indent any of the paragraphs. Unless specified otherwise, the block style is preferred. Write the address of the person / company at the top of the page. This address needs to be under your own company address.

On your word processor, make a double space. Type the date (it can be on the left or right side). The main body must be at the center of the letter. Set as many spaces as needed to achieve this. When writing a business letter, address the recipient as Mr. or Ms. If your recipient has a title, use it (i.e., Dr., senator, attorney etc).

Phrases to Use

Start your letter by pointing out a reference (“this is with regards to our last discussion…”). Next state your objective (“I am writing to clarify some issues regarding..,”). Write down any requests (“I would appreciate it if you could provide…”). Let the recipient know if you are expecting a reply (“I will be looking forward to your reply…”)

Don’t forget to include a thank you in the end. Place four spaces before adding your full name. Add your title too. Sign it.

Writing Guidelines

When writing a business letter, make it as formal as possible. Don’t write words like “can’t” or won’t”. Use “cannot”, “would not” etc. However, you should avoid overly elaborate sentences. Keep the letter structure formal yet concise. Check your grammar and spelling. All word processors have these functions so use it.

Use easy to read fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. Almost all business letters will require just one font. Don’t use bold, italics or caps unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Proof reading your letter is mandatory. Start by typing your

letter. Now run the spell checker and grammar. After you’re done writing a business letter, read it. Print it out if necessary. Make the necessary corrections. Pay close attention to the spelling of the names.

Tips and Other Reminders

If your letter is to clarify a transaction, state the issues as clearly as possible. Avoid adding any superfluous details. If you’re writing to confirm a date or order, set down the precise date, the amount you’re ordering etc.

For business proposals, state the facts as precisely as possible. Your business proposal should emphasize your points without being too pushy. When making a request, be polite without being condescending.

You can use templates to write your letter. These are available in word processors and in various websites. You might want to change a little bit of the styles though. Using the default template will make it obvious you didn’t format the letter.

The bottom line: when writing a business letter it should drive the point across clearly. Make no mistake about it: a well written letter will have a positive impact and improve perception about you.