July 01, 2013 , 10 : 30 am GST
We have the power to choose the words we write, so we should choose the right ones — especially when doing business!
For the world at large, successful business communication is not just about output, but about results. However, as logic dictates, to get great results, a business needs great objectives, which in turn need to be communicated clearly and confidently.
So, here are my top ten tips on how to write great business objectives:
1. From the outset, define what your business does as clearly as possible. If you had to explain to someone in just ONE sentence what your business does, what would you say?
2. What functions does your business organisation have? Elaborate on the structure of your business, its hierarchy, divisions/sections and roles.
3. Who are your customers? Knowing your target audience is fundamental. Gleaning the demographic (i.e. physical aspects, like age, gender, location, disposable income, etc.) and psychographic (i.e. customer preferences, tastes, cultures, values, outlook, etc.) details.
This information will help you shape your business goals and therefore help you write specific objectives.
4. How global is your English? Consider any intercultural factors (if applicable) that may need reflecting in order to create and maintain long-standing business relationships with international customers and businesses.
5. What is 'clear' business writing? Most people say prefer it, but quite bizarrely, the moment many start to write is the moment they state making writing become complicated and embellished. This does not impress and too much verbosity can dissuade potential interest.
6. If English is not you the language you use on an everyday basis, but you still need it to reach out to a wider market, you will need to ensure that your writing is translated – i.e. to change speech from your first language into English – and not transliterated – i.e. changing letter to letter from your first language into English. You see, transliteration replaces one word with another- without changing the meaning; while translation is the process of finding an equivalent word that means the same in English as it does in your first language.
For example: The Royal London Hospital – English
Royale Londres Hospital - transliterated in French
Royal Hospital de Londres - translated in French
7. What are the values which your business holds? One of your business objectives ought to be based on this criterion. In the Middle East, certain major companies have actively decided to form company identities without incorporating religious values and customs - e.g. "Global Group Oman". Contrastingly, there are many other Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which have named their ventures with a cultural theme ingrained.
8. Make sure your business objectives reflect what your business can deliver and be mindful that some cultures will value some qualities over others. The following words and phrases may help you:-
9. Keep your writing professional, even when sending business emails. For instance, would you use the following example in a business e-mail: "Hi. Cd u send a quotation 4 a course in biz mgmt plz?
No, exactly. Just because you are sending an e-mail, does not mean you shed all formality.
10. Think of the image, the brand your business wishes to project on its target market and write a business objective which does just this!
Remember, just as a plant needs water to grow into a flower or a tree, so does your business need good communications to grow and excel.