Technology may be the name of the game in today’s business world, but the art of successful communication remains at the core of every business. From emails, corporate communications, presentations, campaigns, business documents and even blog posts, business writing is a skill that is absolutely essential to get right.

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Here are some of the key elements of successful business writing:

Well-defined purpose

Determining the nature of the communication effectively sets the tone for the entire document, from the type of language used, to the tone of voice and overall structure that relays the key message. Is it meant to inform, encourage, persuade or challenge? From the use of bullet points to exclamation marks, every element plays a role.

Simple and clear

Cover all the vital points of your communication, in a clear, concise manner. Do not complicate your messaging any more than necessary, or you will lose the hard-earned attention of the reader. Though people often take shortcuts when replying to emails from smartphones and tablets, it is necessary to keep in mind that your writing is a reflection of you and by extension, your brand.

Know your audience

Since you expect your audience to acknowledge, understand and retain your message, it is only fitting to know what makes them tick. Keep the messaging relevant, informative and interesting, with a tone of voice that is confident and sincere.

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Whether it’s the use of active verbs over passive, your choice of pronouns, the correct usage of the words ‘that’, ‘which’, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ – grammar matters, and makes a world of difference to any communication.


There will always be deadlines, tight schedules and constant feedback to be incorporated. Once all of it is done, ensure a full and final check is done on grammar, spelling, punctuation and the core message. Formatting a document correctly plays a major role in maximizing its efficiency and allowing for more user-friendly business writing. Finally, always proofread and if possible, read it out loud – mistakes you hear are generally easier to identify.

When it comes to business writing, just like everything else – there is no harm in learning from the best and taking notes. Bookmark well-written articles, corporate documents and emails you may come across, and refer to them when you write your own. Whether it is to attract customer attention, drive sales, or document a process – writing intelligently is the need of the hour.

Karen Osman is the Managing Director of Travel Ink, a company which offers content writing and translation services covering industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality.

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