Top 10 Rules for Writing Professional Business Documents

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Top 10 Rules for Writing Professional Business Documents

Professional business document writing has positive implications on a business’s marketing team while bringing down the costs to as low as $75m. While professionals spend around 20.4 hours weekly writing business documents, 81% feel poorly written documents are a complete waste of time as they do not help with conversions and business growth. 

Bad, sloppy business document writing can increase transactional costs by 40%, thus stressing the significance of writing well-thought-of first drafts about the readers.

Businesses use documents like papers, files, reports, books, letters, records, emails, meeting minutes, customer data, financial transactions, and even legal agreements to communicate and transact business while analyzing its productivity. 

Since these documents are evidence of a business’s dealings and may be referred to for several years, it works to write them professionally. So, here are the top 10 rules to follow when writing professional business documents:

1. Identify Document Purpose

No business document is written without a purpose, and clarity of this purpose will help you write and develop its structure, flow, and tone, further making the document effective. 

Additionally, create the document so that you can make required revisions if the document’s purpose changes during the writing procedure. If this happens very often, considering the type of business you do, arrange your documents in business folders so you can have them at hand as and when required.

Also, understand who the readers are so you can quickly get them to read your document by striking the right chord. Set the right tone for your copy, either informal or authoritative, considering familiar readers like managers, employees, customers, and investors.

Identify Document Purpose

2. Plan Your Writing

For clear instructions to write a business document, plan before you start. This way, you get the right platform to achieve your document writing objectives, making business communication more effective and leading to increased trades.

3. The Crisper, the Sweeter

Now that you know the document’s purpose and intent, readers get started with the writing while making sure the document is as concise and crisp as possible. As per research by Microsoft Corporation, the average human attention span is just 8 seconds, officially worse than a goldfish. 

So, when writing professional documents, avoid jargon and be straight to the point to avoid confusing the readers. Also, do not use a lot of industry vocabulary as it may make your document unperceivable for the common people. Try using more tables and bullet points to keep the document organized and attractive.

The Crisper, the Sweeter

4. Think Clearly

Apply the “so what” rule to every sentence or word in your document to understand whether it adds value to the document or not. This can help you avoid cluttering your document with unnecessary phrases and words. Do not rest your thoughts to be used while writing, but use them even before writing to make your document structured, meaningful, and valuable. 

Follow the basic sentence rule- subject, verb, and object while avoiding complex sentences that the readers may not absorb quickly. Stay calm if your document content is less; it must be compact and free of unwanted details that increase writing readability.

5. Offer Complete and Value-Additive Information

Your business document must offer valuable, relevant, and accurate information that serves its purpose and brings positive results for your business. You may use acronyms and technical terms in your document but do not assume that your readers may understand them in the first place.

So explain them the first time they appear in your document, or you may even include links to appendixes and webpages for words with long explanations.

6. Work on Feedback

Once you complete your business document, get colleagues and other professionals to read it so you can get constructive feedback from them and work on your document’s gaps and flaws. Also, read the document loud after completion to know where it lags. Gather all feedback and reviews to revise your document for improvement.

Work on Feedback

7. Avoid Being Vague

This includes illustrating all crucial points in your business document with the right examples or specifics. For instance, if you want the prospects to know about your newly launched product that saves resources and time, use examples to explain how it automates time-consuming activities like database management and filing. 

That’s important because besides just understanding that a product may change their lives, the users want to know how it will do so. Take this opportunity to detail a case study or customer story underlining the valuable features of your product.

8. Use Proper Grammar

If you want your business document to appear professional, ensure it is free of grammatical errors. This further solidifies skill and attention to detail- the most valued writing traits in business. Also, ensure staying updated with changes in business writing style and the evolution of grammar. 

Keep honing your skills and know what inclusions will work in your business document per the times and user behaviors. For example, emoticons can be a great inclusion in business documents, provided you use them judiciously.

9. Insert Images

When writing professional business documents, follow the 50/50 rule using 50% images and 50% text. This impacts text readability positively and precisely benefits proposals, presentations, and data-driven reports. 

Ensure your chosen images are center-aligned to catch the reader’s attention instantly. Make your document stand out and get noticed widely by captioning the photos. 

10. Do Not Refrain from Practice

Even if you write ten business documents daily and are a master of the trade, do not skip practice. Keep practicing regularly to gain more proficiency in writing professional business documents. This will help you perfect your writing skills further, making way for effective and professional communication that brings business success.


So, what if you are a complete beginner in writing business documents? Improve your business writing skills by following the rules above and impress your audiences. Rely on these rules, and you may quickly get on the right track of creating business-critical documents that serve the reader’s requirements.

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