Ideas to Write a Flawless And Well-presented Memo

Memos are used as a means of communication within an organization, in order to exchange important information. These also serve the purpose of reminders in some cases. They are an important component of business writing, and when written and presented well, they typically ensure a positive response from colleagues and co-workers. These are neither very formal nor very informal. Learn how to write one to be able to get important work done more effectively.

Tips

Also known as business memos, these are short and concise, and usually have everything enlisted in bullet points. It is important to keep in mind, the reader while writing one. The reason should be shortly explained, so that the reader will consider the document seriously. Moreover, use simple language to effectively communicate with co-workers. Take a look at these tips on how to write it.

Before you start with it, ensure that you have all the relevant information that you are going to include. Avoid making unnecessary and irrelevant statements; keep them direct.

Follow a standard format to avoid any confusion. This is the general format that is followed:

  • Date
  • To: Be professional and use specific job titles here.
  • From: Use your full name, and avoid job titles, unless the recipients don’t know you.
  • Subject: Give a brief idea about its content.
  • Content: Do mention the reason for writing it in the introduction. Keep it short, and try to enlist details in bullet points wherever possible. End it with a “Thank You,” followed by “Best Regards.”

Avoid the use of unnecessary jargons or words that are not commonly used in daily conversation, in the content of the memo. The easier it is to read, the more effective it will prove to you and your organization.

Do not state your personal opinions in it; this document is meant only to communicate important information, relevant to a particular task or event. A personal opinion can be distracting, and also, color the opinion of your colleagues with regards to the event.

Keep the reader in mind while writing it. Follow the style of language that one can relate to. If your memo is intended to be persuasive, use appropriate language, without making the underlying intentions apparent.

Keep in mind all the people that this document has to go out to. For instance, if it has to be sent to a particular team or department, ensure that all the relevant names are included. Failure to do so will result in confusion and delay the task that needs to be completed, not to mention its effect on the quality of the following performance.

Ensure that you check and recheck the content for spelling errors and punctuations before it has been sent out. If there are such errors, it appears to be unprofessional, and may even change the meaning of its purpose.

A well-presented memo is sure to give you the results you are aiming for. Do not undermine the writing aspect as an unimportant element of your job. You will be astonished at the results it is able to elicit.

Ways to Write a Perfect Business Plan Proposal

A business plan proposal is considered the resume of your company, which attracts clients to give you contracts and business. It is a document which includes what your company is all about and what all services it provides. It has to be created in a well-planned manner, as it is directly related to your company’s growth, goodwill and reputation. Generally, this proposal is drafted for two reasons; firstly, if you are starting your own business and need some financial help or secondly, if you want to expand the boundaries of your current business. If you are wondering how to write a business proposal, just follow the tips mentioned below.

Guidelines for Writing a Business Plan

Executive Summary
Prepare the summary in a way that will induce and motivate the investor or reader to know more about your company. If the summary is prepared in a well-planned manner, the reader will certainly be impressed and would like to read on. Keep the language and idea simple.

There are many cases where readers or investors are not able to understand much about the business after reading the executive summary. If your business is really complicated, mention the details later on. The recommended length of the summary should just be 2-4 pages.

Company Analysis
Inform readers about the history of your organization, and explain why your team is suitable for augmenting their business. The history should include the organization’s background, date of business commencement, office branches, stage of development, etc. Provide details about the company’s track record and previous accomplishments, which also include details of reputed clients and successful product launches.

Industry Analysis
The reader will read this section to determine if there really is a demand and scope for the product and service you are offering. Make readers feel the need for your product. Refer to credible sources while reporting the size and growth potential of your market. Emphasize on the appropriate market section for your product or service. Do not refer to the whole market, if you are only related to the business in just a part of the complete market. Ensure that you mention how your company is capable of overcoming possible negative trends. Such points will certainly relieve the investor from the insecure feeling of potential market failures.

Customer Analysis
In this section, you need to include the basic necessities of customers, and ways in which your company’s products satisfy them. Be very precise when mentioning target customers. Provide elaborate information about customers’ needs, locations of demand, and some other important factors. You may use statistics or tables for putting forth an easy idea of customer satisfaction. Also explain the reasons why consumers prefer your products and services.

Competitive Analysis
Give a detailed explanation of why your products are superior to those available in the market. List the close competitors to your business, and also mention the additional benefits that you provide. Many companies make the mistake of mentioning that they have very few or no competitors. This may create a doubt in the mind of the investor regarding your company’s credibility. If possible, carefully mention the strong and weak points of your competitors. However, you need to ensure that the competitor’s weaknesses should be mentioned solely as per the market research information.

Marketing Strategies
Mention significant points which will clearly describe the company’s ways to get into the competitive market, deliver products and services, and effectively retain customers. Focus on points that depict existing products and future services. Explain what all efficient marketing strategies the company uses and why. Make sure that you present the pricing strategies very carefully. Also explain how the products and services will reach targeted consumers. You even need to mention customer retention strategies in detail.

Operations Strategies
Give the readers or investors an idea of how the processes and systems in your company are carried out. Refer to long-term goals of the company, and the steps the company is taking to achieve them. Do not concentrate more on just the operational concepts. You also need to present investors with all the real operations carried out which have the potential of making profit. Make sure that the mentioned ambitions and goals are achievable. You certainly would not like the investor to assume that the goals are exaggerated.

Financial Strategies
Explicate how the company’s way of working would prove profitable to investors. Detail all factors in the business which have the capability of generating income. Be very careful when you provide details regarding the company’s current financial standings and also the projected financial position. Investors would evidently want to know how finances are going to be used. Give them elaborate information about general expenses in marketing, recruiting, technological upgrades, and other developmental aspects.

Ensure that all the information mentioned in the business plan proposal is true. Business writing is an important part of creating an impressive business offer document. I hope by now you have a clear idea regarding how to write a business plan proposal.

Tips to Writing a Business Report

Imagine this – you are a busy, senior level manager, overseeing a number of departments of the organization, you work for. Every quarter the managers of various departments submit report, of how their respective departments have performed. Such business writings are important and have to be read carefully, to analyze overall working of each department and decide if any corrective measures need to be taken to boost the performance of any department. Going through such reports usually takes time. But what can be more frustrating is, each manager using a different business report format. This makes reading the reports more time-consuming as you have to read through the whole report carefully, to look for specific information.

Importance of Business Report Format
A business report is not an example of creative writing which a reader should go through word by word. It is mainly about statistics and specific information. Moreover, people who read such reports are busy personnel of high rank. They do not have time to go through each and every word. They look for particular information and if an organization follows a specific format for such reports, such personnel know exactly which part of the report to look, for specific information. This saves them a lot of time. Secondly, following a standard format also allows one to organize his report effectively and logically. This is specially useful in case the report has a lot of data. Also, one won’t forget to cover information on particular area, if one refers to a sample business report. Hence, knowing how to write one is very important in the business world.

When writing the format, first write the body of the report and then fill in the details. Make sure you use a font which is clear to read and commonly used like Arial or Times News Roman. Also, make sure you use bold, italics and underline to make the header and sub-heads stand out. Take care to use enough white spaces, at important places to make your data stand out clearly.

Format for a Business Report
There are few standard rules for writing business reports that dictate what information should come in which section of the report. This format is followed in most of the business report examples, that one may refer to. The most widely used format consists of the following standard sections:

Title Section
In a short report, this could be the first page bearing the title of the report, author name and date. The reason of making such a report could also be included in this section, so that the reader can establish an instant connection with the information in subsequent sections. In case of long reports, include the Table of Contents, Terms of References and so on.

Summary
As the name suggests, this is the summary of the whole report. Then why include it in the beginning? It is because this is the section that most of the senior personnel, who do not have enough time read the whole report, will read through. Hence, give a very clear and precise information about the problem/aspect of business that the report is analyzing. Also, include the main points, conclusions, recommendations and important results. Use bullets or numbered lists to highlight important points..

Methodology
List the methodologies used in your research, like if you interviewed focus groups or consulted research firms. Also, give the reason why you resorted to using a particular methodology.

Introduction
This is the first part of a proper report. Use this section to provide the background of the report. Highlight the reasons why the report is important for the readers. Include information about what is covered in the main body and the order in which the details are covered in the report. In case, the Terms of Reference has not been mentioned in the Title Section, Introduction is the section to include it.

Main Body
This is the heart of the report. Arrange all the information in order of priority, so that this section follows a logical sequence. Divide this section further into subsections. Lend greater order to the Main Body using sub-titles within each subsection. A paragraph about the relevance of the findings of the report can also be included in this section.

Data Tabulation
Another important factor when writing format of business report is data tabulation. Presenting your data in lists or tables can help in readily understanding the report. Also, data tabulation or listing, makes the report look professional and neat. So, accompany necessary lists or tables in your report whenever required. Make sure you use neutral colors to make tables and keep the list and tables looking neat and crisp.

Conclusion
Present logical conclusions for the topic investigated in the report. One can also suggest an option for the way forward. In case, discussion has not been included in the Main Body, include it in the conclusion. Otherwise keep this section small.

Recommendations
Since you have worked on the report, no one would have a better understanding of the topic than you. There may be a few solutions or actions that you think would be effective in dealing with the problem, investigated in the report. Include those solutions in this section. List them in bullets and numbered lists for easier comprehension.

Appendix
Although very few people read the Appendix, the information in this section gives support to the arguments used in the report. It is the Appendix where the author includes all the sources and research information, in detail.
Although it is not about creative writing, good writing skills are important in business information reports, as one needs to give comprehensive information using precise words. It is advisable to keep the language simple and lucid in a business report, specially in the Summary and the Recommendations, as these are the sections most commonly read by senior level managers. However, some technical jargon can be used in the Main Body, as this is the section that is mostly read by experts.

In the world of business, time is money. Following a standard business report format is what senior level managers and busy businessmen look for, as it reflects what they value the most, that is effective utilization of time. You can find many such examples online and use them as a reference for designing a suitable report format.

Ways to Create a Personal Letterhead in Microsoft Word

A letterhead is nothing but the heading on the top of letter paper. This is what distinguishes it from regular letters. It is unique to a person/firm/organization/business. The term ‘letterhead’ is used to address such a letter as a whole. Often, while writing business letters, the first page is the letterhead and the other pages are regular. These letterheads can be created using different software, but you have the option of simplifying the complexities of using them by means of Microsoft Word. You would be amazed at how easily you can create your own templates, even modify existing ones. Proceed to the paragraphs below, which enlist the procedure of how to create a personal letterhead template in Microsoft Word.

A Background

  • A letterhead, as mentioned before, is a heading on the top of the sheet.
  • It normally contains the company/firm/business name.
  • Most of the time, the related logo or some other symbol is also printed. That is when people will know that the letter belongs to that organization, and it is what creates your identity in the corporate world.
  • Generally, their dimensions remain almost the same for most enterprises; they change as per the country, though. For example, the regular letterhead size for the United States of America is 8.5 X 11 inches.
  • Letterheads are usually manufactured by letterpress methods. Of late though, many design software have come up to incorporate a variety of logo designs and other elements to distinguish the letterhead from the more common ones in the market.
  • You can create one for yourself using Word. A couple of methods are given below.

Methods to Create a Personal Letterhead in Word

Header and Footer Options

  • One of the most primary and simple methods of creating a personal business letterhead template is to use the header and footer features of Word.
  • Decide on the layout first. May be you could even draw the same on a sheet of paper so that you have a clear idea about what is to be done.
  • Decide the margins―go to the Page Setup option and adjust the margins.
  • Next, go to the View tab and click on Header and Footer. A dialog box opens.
  • On this dialog box, go to the Format tab and click on Tabs. Then, click on Clear All and then on OK.
  • The header and footer will have appeared by now on your page. You can directly click on the location of the header and change the text.
  • Write your company name or your name, address, phone number, fax―whatever important information that needs to be there on the letterhead.
  • Press the ‘Enter’ key after typing, and you will have your data on the header. Click on the same tab if you want to make any changes.
  • You can beautify your text by using the Font option under the Formatting tab.
  • Display the page number in the footer area by using the Page Number option. You may even display a tag line.
  • Add a logo in the header area. It would be preferable to add it to the right of the page.
  • You would be having your logo prepared and ready If not, you can get one created from a professional. Click on
  • Insert, then Picture, and then From File.
  • Select your logo and press ‘Enter’.
  • You need to adjust the logo. You may want yo resize it, shift it, even modify it. You can do all that in the header area.
  • You can right-click on the logo and go to the Format Picture option. All the same, if your logo is designed the way you want it to be, just adjust the position and let go of the designing part.
  • You may even add other elements to the letterhead. Perhaps a horizontal line, or a circle, or a pie chart, etc. Go to the Shapes option and select the shapes.
  • Click on ‘Esc’. The editing mode of the header area will now close.
  • Visualize the letterhead carefully and check if you have missed anything. Next, click on Save As, and save the letterhead with a .dot extension in the ‘Templates’ section. Your letterhead template is now ready.

Customized Templates

  • Customized templates are the ones that already exist in the ‘Templates’ folder in Word.
  • Open the Word document, go to the ‘Templates’ folder, and select the option, ‘Letterheads’.
  • Choose from a number of templates. Select one and it will appear on your sheet.
  • You will find that you can edit these templates there itself, i.e., the Header and Footer option is already present.
  • Click on the template inserted, and update the information you want.
  • These customized templates do not have the company logo, so you have to insert your logo using the same procedure as described in the previous option.
  • Click on ‘Esc’ and preview the letterhead.
  • Save the letterhead as a template using the .dot extension.

The Import Option

  • This option is not used very often; it is used when you have come across a ready-made letterhead and want to save it as a template.
  • First, you need to open the letterhead file, i.e., the program with which you have created the letterhead. It may be Photoshop, CorelDraw, or Illustrator.
  • Next, you have to export the file as a ‘PNG’ file. Click on File, then Export, and then PNG.
  • Depending upon your software, the location of these options may change. Another point is that while exporting, make sure the file is of a high resolution, as Word tends to compress such images. The resolution must be at least 300 ppi.
  • Now, open your Microsoft Word document. Open a new blank sheet, and adjust the margins, similar to how it is done in the previous method. Also, set the Non-printable Areas to ‘User Defined’.
  • Again, use the Header and Footer options and add the text you want.
  • Next, insert the template you want, using the same method as described earlier. Use Insert, Picture, From File.
  • Your picture will be inserted in the ‘Header and Footer’ area.
  • Click on Format Picture and adjust the height and width.
  • Then, click on the Layout tab and choose the ‘Behind the text’ option. This is done so that your text appears in front of the design you have selected.
  • Set the ‘Horizontal’ and ‘Vertical’ to Page.
  • Then, click on ‘OK’ and then press ‘Esc’; you will find the template you want. The design will be incorporated along with the necessary text, and it will get repeated on the subsequent pages; the area will be editable to write a letter.
  • Save it in the ‘Templates’ folder with the .dot extension.

Sample Templates

Template I

Logo
Company Name
Address, Phone/Fax, Website
Tag line/Page Number

Template II

Logo
Company Name
Address, Phone/Fax, Website
Tag line/Page Number

Template III

Logo
Company Name
Address, Phone/Fax, Website
Tag line/Page Number

Template IV

Logo
Company Name
Address, Phone/Fax, Website
Tag line/Page Number

Template V

Logo
Company Name
Address, Phone/Fax, Website
Tag line/Page Number

You can certainly use other attractive software to create your template. However, using Word is a simple, hassle-free option, and will save you the trouble of learning the components of the other software. Moreover, Word is more user-friendly and certainly encompasses sufficient features for you to create decent, corporate letterhead templates.