Good writing skills in business have always been important, but in today’s age of technology, they are even more so. Being able to accurately and succinctly convey what you are trying to say is an invaluable skill, especially when your audience is busy and has limited time. With endless resources available to us, making a simple spelling or grammar mistake can indicate much more than it did before the omnipresence of technology. Careless mistakes can give the impression that you don’t care enough to double check your writing—possibly even leading clients to wonder what else you have been cavalier with. Technology has made everyone a writer, and writing is a very visible skill that should represent your professional goals.
You need to be able to hold your reader’s interest with your writing. Most people aren’t willing to put in the time to sit down and read through a novel-length email, so whatever you write needs to grab their attention in the first couple lines. The challenge with making things more concise is preserving the clarity of the message that you are trying to convey. When trying to make something as short as possible, the true meaning of what you are saying can easily be lost. In a world of 140 character tweets and sound bites, what you are saying needs to be both clear and concise.
But the most obvious reason that good business writing is important is that it will give your company credibility. If you lack good writing skills, you may seem less intelligent or less qualified than your competition, and if your writing has obvious mistakes, potential customers will not feel confident in paying money for your services. Good business writing inspires confidence in you and your business. With impending deadlines and spellcheck, it is easy to get careless and make mistakes, but in order to establish credibility and trustworthiness, each piece of writing must be well-written.
Mark Twain once said, “To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.” Good writing is difficult but realizable, and ultimately, it comes down to whether your writing conveys what your brand represents, and how you want your customers to see you.