8 RULES FOR WRITING A FORMAL BUSINESS LETTER
November 30, 2016
While all agree that poor writing negatively affects organizations, no reliable statistics exist on the exact financial implications. A few references exist however; in his book, "Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law", Professor Joseph Kimble presents more than 50 case studies demonstrating that using plain language can save businesses and government agencies significant amounts of money.
In the specific case of formal business communications, a simple one-page letter, depending on how it is written, can produce very different outcomes, with very different economic consequences, for an organization. In extreme scenarios, a company sending a poorly drafted letter to a strategic partner, important supplier, or key client, may see months or even years of efforts entirely ruined within a few minutes.
In this article, which includes an example, we will review most of the rules applying to formal business correspondence in the context of a complaint letter, where a company faces difficulties in dealing with a certain counterpart and seeks remedy. Applying these rules will help boost your chances to secure the desired outcome, and save you both time and money.