When you write personal correspondence either in letter or email form, you know you don’t have to worry quite as much about how you say things. You always want to have good spelling and decent grammar, of course, but your personal friends and family are not going to nitpick and disown you because of a few mistakes. However, when it comes to writing business letters, you want to make sure they are perfectly worded and completely without error. On top of that, they must be clear, to the point, and as brief as possible.
Business letters are all about business. You don’t want to send anything that sounds too personal, but you also don’t want to sound too stiff with someone with which you have been doing business with for a long time. Always start and end with the proper terms like “dear” and “sincerely,” though there are other terms that are acceptable. Look up the proper formatting for business letters, and never stray from that formula for the best outcome each item. There are a few different formats that work, but the most formal works the best, even when you feel the business is more on the casual side.
When it comes to the contents of business letters, you want to make sure your point is clear and that you have said what needs to be said in as few words as possible. Skip over flowery descriptions, as they may alienate some people. When you are writing a letter for business about a particularly touchy subject, you want to write a few drafts, and then put it away to look over again in a few hours or even the next day if that is possible. You will always want a fresh perspective so you are sure you have said what you need to say in the best possible way.
Lastly, check, recheck, and then triple check for spelling and grammar. If you aren’t sure, look it up. The few moments that it takes to do that can mean a huge difference in what happens after your business letters arrive at their destinations. Spell check on the computer is great, but it will not catch everything. If you have to, read the letter backwards, sentence by sentence, so that you can catch any problems. Even better, have someone else read it over. They will have fresh eyes and will catch problems that you did not.