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Business Writing Mistakes that Could Cost your Business

By admin@myofficein | Business, Office | 0 Comments

Business writing is too extensive and broad for its purpose to serve only one industry. Business writing are used within thousands of industries and services.

Each business has its own standards that every proficient writer needs to be aware of before writing any official email, article or memo. Regardless if you’re a rookie or a seasoned writer, it is poses as a challenge to sit down, put your thoughts, refine your ideas, rewrite, edit, and repeat the process.

While some problems are somewhat inherent, there are some that can be traced to lack of awareness, focus or effort on the part of the writers. Some of the mistakes can be very costly to an individual business. Here are the costly mistakes your writer needs to avoid in your office space Philippines.

Using Informal Texting Language

We all have our own way of composing and writing messages to our friends, family, or colleagues which we disregard grammar and spelling rules. With the advent of quick messaging apps such as Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp, most people find it easier to write lazy stuff such as “r u @ the mall already?” instead of the more sensible “Let’s meet at the mall.”

Unfortunately, some people subconsciously continue to use the same language when writing business documents. Depending on the recipient, wrongly constructed or misspelled documents can have serious repercussions including dismissal from work or loss of business. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense to acquire experienced writers to work on any high-level communication to avoid any form of such mistakes.

Including Unnecessary Repetition

Just to have it clear, business writing is not intended to be funny or interesting, unless it’s an ad. The primary objective is to inform or request the most concise, most precise way possible. Overly repeated words and phrases make your work boring to the recipient, and they are likely to skim through the document ignoring some pages or worst stop though they’ve just started reading. It is also a sign that the writer is not certain of themselves or doesn’t understand what they are saying or trying to convey. You can avoid all of these by:

  • Using pronouns when talking a particular person or item in successful sentences.
  • Joining together long sentences by using “which, “where,” “that,” etc. when describing the same thing.
  • Avoiding modifiers like “small in size,” “red in color” because those are unnecessary repeat information.

Lack of Proofreading

Many people got the wrong idea of rereading their emails, notes, or memos before hitting the send button. They think of it as too much work to be done neglecting the fact that it is the most important part of writing. It is the part whereas you can correct your grammatical mistakes, typos, incorrect tenses, and unnecessary repetitions. The readers, of course, won’t miss those mistakes and might be left wondering about the writer’s senses or they might get confused. Some pedantic bosses might even decide to punish you for repeat errors which you continuously commit and receive a punishment that you won’t like.

Writing content for a business is not the same as writing high school essays. The stakes are way higher. Conducting thorough proofreading every after writing every email, article, text, or memo will save both you and your reader’s time and mental strength.

Switching Tenses Mid-Sentence

This is a common mistake that needs to be taken care off. Non-native speakers or writers tend to mix up tenses in the middle of their sentences. Supervisors have been tickled by an apology email going like “Hello, Sir. Unfortunately, I won’t make it today in work as I was not feeling well.” While mostly innocent mistakes, mixing tenses in a sentence can be taken as a sign or careless by superiors and might become a subject of ridicule by the general public. So, whenever writing a context for business purposes, check for such mistakes or even better, you can try using grammar software like Grammarly to edit and sharpened your work.

Directly Translating from Another Language

It has been established that most people of the world are bilingual. However, there’s an only low percentage of people that speak English as their first language. Most of us, non-native speakers, first think and speak in our mother tongue and after that write in English, leaving room for errors in translation.

Since different languages have different grammatical structures, directly translating sentences into English will result in humorous phrases like “No we a meeting do not have for today” instead of “We don’t have a meeting for today.” Such types of errors could cause undue embarrassment to a business, more so in this age of social media trolling. Therefore, before writing a sentence in a business document, make sure to read it aloud to see if it sounds right and natural.

Missing Spelling Errors

In writing a business email, spelling errors have been one of the mistakes that are troubling the writers. Most of the words that were spelled wrong are accommodate, argument, receive, tomorrow, and committee. It is not uncommon to receive an email greeting like “Receive my gratitude” which makes the “receive” as one of the most misspelled words in business writing. Luckily, not many people will notice and those some that noticed just disregard and focus on the main idea of the email. But, there are some that noticed it and took it the wrong way, especially if the business involved is a big one.

The best way to avoid spelling errors is to slow down and use spell-check. If you’re sending an email, give the error-checking tool time to run before hitting send. Whenever you feel unsure about the spelling of a particular word, Google it or check in a dictionary to be safe and certain. Your readers and even you will appreciate the effort.

Long words and elaborate phrases

Nobody likes to read a long-winded email. Readers are too lazy to spend time deciphering them and it is also hard for them to concentrate on a message when they have to slog through unnecessary words and rambling sentences. Be clear and concise with your content Grammarly’s conciseness checks can help to detect wordiness because it offers simple, concise alternatives to get your message across effectively. To avoid confusion, always be blunt and keep your work simple and stick to the point.

Too many abbreviations and text

Using of acronyms or abbreviations may be acceptable and common knowledge within an organization, but don’t ever take it for granted that anyone outside the organization will also understand them. Many writers worry about patronizing their clients. Clarity and explanation are never patronizing— it is both empowering and makes a document easier and more enjoyable to read.

On the other hand, the using of too much text in a context. You might be underestimating the usefulness of white space. It makes a document appear much easier to read. An ideal document contains 50 percent text and 50 percent white space. Too much text prevents a reader from reading the content.

Error Pattern Blindness

We all commit mistakes. Yeah, all of us. What’s unacceptable is a lack of care. If you pay attention to your work, you’ll start to notice the mistakes you make most often when you are writing. It will also make it easier for you to catch these mistakes.

You can make use of tools like Grammarly to help you prevent errors depending on how you choose to set it up, you can even have it check the text you enter in interactive forms. You can also pair the standard spell-check with more advanced tools but some of these tools don’t work with every platform or device, and you always have to be careful of the things spell-check won’t catch, like its and it’s.

Using the same Old Clichés

One of the business writing mistakes is might due to copying others, and most of the businesses are guilty of overusing clichés in their written texts. Try considering how many times you’ve read the words best practices, high quality, and innovative products. There are such words that others have been using on their business papers that they don’t mean much anymore.

As a business person, you don’t want to make your customers roll their eyes whenever they are reading your marketing materials. To avoid this, refrain from using common industry buzzwords in your writing. Instead, look for more relevant words that convey your message better.

Conclusion

In any business context, a poorly written document will achieve the complete opposite of what it was intended to do. Instead of capturing the attention of the readers, it would lead them to irritation, distraction, and will bore them instead of informing or excite them.  The consequences range from lost business, public relations disasters, and in worst cases, termination of employment.

Conversely, a well-written document is pleasing to the eye and mind and can generate greater focus among staff and associates. To your customers, aside from getting their attention, it will also build their trust in you.

The best thing to ever do once you’ve done writing any business context is to proofread.


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