In this post, we discuss nine things you need to do before you write a business document.
Before you write a lengthy document like a proposal, report, business plan, or agreement, you need to think about what you want to achieve. You need to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.
9 Things To Do Before You Write A Business Document:
- Define the purpose. Why do you need to write the document? What is its objective?
- Read the brief. Do you have a brief? If not, ask for one. This will help you save time including unnecessary information. Read through it carefully before you start.
- Create a timeline. When is the document due? Make sure you have enough time. Block off time in your diary to do the work. Stick to your deadline.
- Define sources for research. Write down where you will find out what you need to include. Do you need access to certain sites that can only be accessed via a pay wall? Do you need to interview somebody? Make a list of what you will need to complete the document.
- Set up interviews. If you need to speak to people, fit these into your timeline.
- Think creatively. Brainstorm how you can write the document in a way that will make your readers happy. Think about creative ways to solve problems or record information.
- Keep a file. Write everything down. Store all the relevant information in clearly defined segments within your file.
- Consider your information. Once you have everything you need, think about it. In an ideal world, you should be able to leave the research for a few days before you start writing. This gives you the advantage of perspective. If you have somebody you trust, talk to them about the project.
- Write a rough draft. This is where you put all the information down in black and white. It is also a safe place to make mistakes that can be fixed.
Once you’ve done this, rewrite the document. Ask a proofreader or editor to check it for you. Then, submit it.
If you want to learn how to write for business, join us for The Plain Language Programme
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