Effective business writing helps businesses flourish and allows team members to communicate and collaborate more efficiently.
Every professional utilizes business letters, newsletters, memos, and progress reports. The main point is to ensure smooth company operations.
Employees follow standard and template formats for most forms of business writing. Keep in mind that each business writing example follows a certain type.
In this article, we’ll go over some business writing examples, along with the four categories of business writing.
Let’s dive right in.
Business Writing Examples
The following examples are some of the most common ones you’ll find in any company today.
Understanding each example will help you improve your business writing skills in any professional setting.
1. Business Letters
A business letter is a formal document that an individual sends to their associate, colleagues, or supervisor.
While business letters have been a print document, for the most part, companies are now moving towards digital business letters.
Business letters come in handy during hiring, onboarding, and business communication.
For example, a sales rep may send official sales letters to their clients introducing new products and features.
Alternatively, it can also include a simple resignation letter by an employee.
The following are some common business letter examples.
- Offer letters
- Resignation letters
- Letters of recommendation
- Interview follow-up letters
- Business proposal letters
- Promotion letters
Most business letters follow a certain format. For example, it needs a formal salutation, subject line, the contact information of the sender and recipient, and a closing statement with the signature.
The first paragraph is usually the introduction. The body paragraph includes the major chunk of the letter that details the main point and purpose.
The closing paragraph usually includes well wishes or additional relevant information.
In some cases, you may have to write the address, job title, and include a rhetorical situation.
In any case, following the business letter format your industry and organization uses is your best bet.
Business memos are instruction writing tools for quick formal communication within an organization.
They are usable for individual communication and also for mass communications.
For example, the person leading the company wants to share an achievement. They will send a company-wide memo to update each employee.
Similarly, the human resources department may want to send an update on existing company policies. They will shoot out a company-wide memo or a department-specific memo.
The memo is short, brief, and extremely concise. That means it only focuses on one purpose or point.
It shouldn’t take long to read and the subject matter should be easily skimmable.
However, despite that, you still need to use formal and appropriate language when sending out memos.
In some cases, memos can include introductions, body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, most memos are only one paragraph long.
One thing you should keep in mind is that memos need a proper header and subject line to clearly inform the recipients of their purpose.
Other minor details may include the date, sender’s information, and minor news (good or bad news).
Emails are extremely popular today but they’re still an example of business writing. It’s perhaps the most common example today.
Emails allow individuals to convey their message to recipients instantly. On top of that, it allows them to include file attachments.
While emails allow people to share and provide information or give a task to others, it has much more dynamic use today.
For example, you can share another business document through email.
You can share business reports, discuss meeting agenda, attach Microsoft Excel and Word files, provide data visualization avenues, and more.
Emails contain a salutation, subject line, contact information, a text body, and a closing statement.
However, there is no single format for an email. In fact, there are various email formats for different kinds of emails, depending on the purpose of your email.
Furthermore, emails can be less informal than other forms of business writing. However, you still need to use appropriate language.
Most emails tend to be brief and convey a single message. That’s because longer emails tend to discourage readers.
That’s why senders have to focus on getting their subject line right, along with the first line of the email body.
4. Press Releases
A press release serves as a way of sharing announcements or news with external stakeholders and audiences.
Organizations tend to utilize press releases to announce achievements, launches, updates, or relevant company changes.
The public relations department is responsible for this sort of business communication.
Usually, publishing press releases involve news publications. However, a lot of companies tend to publish them on their websites too now.
If relevant, some companies also publish them in newspapers.
Press releases aim to promote organizations and strengthen their reputations.
At the same time, they’re a good way to tackle negative news or events.
It’s crucial to use professional language and a formal tone when writing press releases because they’re under the scrutiny of the general public.
Furthermore, you need to place extra care to maintain the accuracy of all information.
Most press releases are under 500 words to properly engage the readers. That means they should remain brief, to-the-point, and concise.
Another common element in press releases is quotes and testimonials from relevant individuals.
That helps drive a conversation with the public.
5. Resumes and Cover Letters
Resumes and cover letters are crucial for the hiring process. They usually work together but it’s not necessary to submit both when applying for a job.
Since the human resources department looks at resumes and cover letters to see if candidates are a good fit, they are essentially business documents.
That means it’s crucial to maintain extreme professionalism throughout your resume and cover letters.
However, today, many people are opting for personalized cover letters and resumes. That means there’s a good chance they don’t follow the general formats.
Despite that, a certain level of professionalism still needs to remain.
It’s also a great chance to showcase your business writing skills. If you can write a great resume and cover letter, that’s an instant plus for your candidacy.
6. Business Reports
A business report aims to convey important business information and updates on projects to relevant parties.
Business reports can have multiple purposes, depending on who the recipient is.
For example, business reports for upper management include milestones, achievements, monthly numbers, advice, and requests.
Alternatively, a business report for an external client includes information on their project, its impact, results, and future prospects.
In any case, the report provides relevant data, research, numbers, and other information that can complement the decision-making process.
There are various kinds of business reports, the most common among them are:
- Feasibility reports
- Project monthly reports
- Compliance reports
- Recommendation reports
- Quarterly financial reports
- Investigative reports
It’s crucial to maintain objectivity while writing business reports. That’s because you’re only reporting information, facts, and data, not providing opinions.
However, if your objective is to provide advice, solutions, or prospects, you can include opinions.
But make sure those opinions rely on factual research and data.
The format of business reports can vary depending on the industry and organization. However, most of them include the following elements:
- Executive summary – includes a small summary of the report with key points.
- Table of contents – serves to provide a list of relevant headings.
- Introduction – acts as a precursor to what readers can expect in the report.
- Body – includes all the relevant information.
- Concluding statements – consist of results and recommendations.
- References – links to other relevant business documents.
- Appendix – helps provide information on certain terms and concepts.
Most business reports today also include relevant data visualization graphics too.
7. Meeting Agendas
A meeting agenda helps outline all the topics of any given meeting. It includes the goals the team needs to achieve using the meeting.
Usually, the manager or the person leading the meeting drafts the meeting agenda.
They then share it with everyone who will be attending the meeting, along with relevant upper management stakeholders.
The document helps set the precedent for the meeting. It helps each attendee prepare for the meeting.
It’s especially useful when the meeting requires input from all parties.
Meeting agendas help make meetings more efficient, productive, and effective. They also ensure unilateral participation from all attendees.
Keep in mind that the meeting agenda document is only an outline. That means you don’t have to worry about things like formatting, grammar, or other writing nuisances.
However, it’s best to use short bullet points to convey the information quickly and efficiently.
It’s also advisable to address certain elements of the agenda to certain attendees.
Furthermore, you can allocate certain time limits to various tasks and topics.
Lastly, it’s also a good idea to include additional details, such as the date, day, time, and location of the meeting.
A newsletter serves to provide information and relevant news to the readers. They can be internal newsletters or external newsletters, depending on their purpose.
However, most organizations utilize both. They can serve to relay information or be a way to incorporate persuasive writing.
Most large companies and enterprises have internal newsletters. Most have separate newsletters for the staff of different departments.
It makes department-wide and company-wide announcements smoother and easier.
A scheduled newsletter allows the company to consistently inform all staff of relevant updates.
That eliminates the need for individual memos, update messages, or unnecessary emails.
Most internal newsletters are monthly and also tend to include promotions for employees.
Similarly, external newsletters aim to provide relevant information, updates, and content to external readers.
For example, when you subscribe to a blog, you’re essentially subscribing to their monthly or weekly newsletter.
Most newsletters are less formal than other forms of business writing. They tend to have a conversational tone.
The idea is to celebrate successes, highlight achievements, and build excitement for upcoming launches or events.
Therefore, it’s important to use relatively casual language.
Furthermore, newsletters also focus on visual elements. The idea is to engage the readers and the best way to do that is to add visuals.
That includes graphics, vectors, infographics, 2D animations, and even videos.
However, it’s important to stay consistent with the company’s style guide in all cases to maintain your brand.
Four Types of Business Writing
For the most part, we can divide business writing into four categories. It’s important to categorize them because it’s easier to differentiate their formats, style guides, and message.
In any case, the following are the four types of business writing.
- Informational Business Writing – aims to provide information to the readers and stakeholders. It can be anything from progress reports to process documentation, financial performance reports, contact information, and informative magazines.
- Instructional Business Writing – helps provide relevant instructions, guidance, and directions to the readers. It can include a user manual, a maintenance process, and even a style guide.
- Persuasive Business Writing – aims to convince the readers of something, commonly a positive outcome. The writing style focuses on using a tone that can sway readers towards a certain opinion. You’ll find that business proposals, presentations, and meeting agendas fall under persuasive writing. You can also include things like a press release and cover letter in it.
- Transactional Business Writing – is about professional communication. It involves recording business information accurately and sharing it. That’s why it can include simple things like memos and email. Meanwhile, it also includes official letters, receipts, and bulleted lists of clients.
The business writing types above can easily include all types of business documents.
It’s important to be able to differentiate among various types because it helps format your document better.
Other things it helps with are the sentence structure, grammar, and how you write each body paragraph.
In any case, keep in mind you always need to avoid jargon, avoid passive voice, left justify everything, utilize bullet points, and keep your business writing concise at all times.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re good at technical writing or you can write a great article, it doesn’t mean you’re good at business writing.
There’s a certain writing process that goes into business writing. You need to find the right balance of professionalism, writing, and communication.
The idea isn’t to provide the best value but to easily communicate with relevant stakeholders.
Take the business writing examples above as a foundation to learn more about business writing and improve your writing skills.