It can be hard for business owners to do everything. Most of us are trying to run a business (or get one started), look after a young family, remember a gazillion things on our to do lists, maybe do some exercise, make it along to a 40th birthday golf day for one of our best friends, bake cakes for the school fundraiser, drink enough water, remember our 37 various PIN numbers and passwords… phew I am exhausted just writing this paragraph!
So, it’s no surprise that sometimes we are all guilty of rushing some tasks and this might include work tasks. Yes, catching up on Game of Thrones might be more tempting, but it really is worth taking your time when writing content for your business.
It does not matter what industry you are in, or what type of business you run, in every case your written work says a lot about you. Think about how much written communication you engage in or generate on an average week: emails, tenders or proposals, invoices and social media just to name a few.
Imagine submitting a proposal to a new client that has grammar errors, headings all different sizes and tables missing because you wrote it at 2am. The client needed it ASAP so you just had to send it.
Or think about what impression it gives out if you send invoices with incorrect details, emails with copy and paste nightmares and website copy that is poor quality. Promotional flyers, your business cards… the list goes on.
Whether you chose to do a lot of the writing jobs yourself, or give the tasks to someone else, the end result should be slick, professional and error free.
For some, writing (or typing!) comes naturally. For others, it is a chore. Staring at a blank page for hours, endless edits and re-writes only to send out something that has spelling errors and formatting nightmares. Some people would rather scratch their eyes out or give up chocolate* than write their own content, so here are some tips.
Key pointers for you and your business:
1. Consider outsourcing much of your writing. Copywriters and editors can either do the work for you from scratch or can proof read what you write to ensure the written piece is perfect.
2. If you are writing yourself, adhere to the golden rule “Take a step back, go get a coffee, sleep on it, go for a walk... do whatever it takes to move away from the email/report/promotional flyer then come back to it later to check it with fresh eyes.”
3. Create templates for your most commonly used documents. That way all the headings, footers, contact details and branding will always be the same. Once you have checked the templates, you can relax knowing they are good quality.
4. If you are short on time to proof read everything, at least pick out the basic and most vital ingredients. Make sure the clients name is spelt correctly, any copy and paste pieces are correctly formatted and that all the sections are completed.
5. If it is a really important document, then print it out; don’t just read off the screen. You would be surprised how many errors you find when you read it in hard copy that you didn’t notice even after reading it five times on the screen.
* I don’t recommend doing this. I say eat the chocolate and outsource your writing and editing tasks!!!
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