A company’s personality, its voice, is apparent in its written documents. A few words can instantly differentiate the company from other businesses in its industry. Those documents are especially significant as businesses globalize.
Jason Fried recently analyzed the problems facing business writing in his article, “Why Is Business Writing so Awful?” Companies are sounding too similar to each other, he claims. “Your company’s story, product descriptions, history, personality, these are things that go to battle for you every day,” he explains. “Your words are your frontline. Are they strong enough?”
Business writing is unlike academic writing, which is often lengthy in its explanation of a theory or idea; getting to the point quickly with a strong clear message yields results, such as more business and money. “The challenge is to communicate your idea in one page, and relegate the supporting detail into an appendix,” Martin Zwilling describes in his article “Universities Skip Basic Business Survival Skills.”
Writing style guides have many benefits, but here are three significant ones you should know.
Writing style guides streamline the development of documents.
A style guide reduces time. It provides a standard, and without this, chaos becomes all too common. This allows for more accurate estimations of the completion of a project, sets a clear identity of responsibilities, limits editing and ensures deadlines are met, thus creating efficiency.
Writing style guides enhance professionalism and the company’s reputation.
A style guide demonstrates a company’s commitment to quality by establishing good and consistent writing. Writing superior work boosts sales opportunities, the security of contracts and the persuasion of the audience.
Writing style guides serve as a training tool.
New employees review the style guide to understand the company’s communication style and recognize the company’s voice in its industry. In addition, a supervisor’s time spent training is reduced with the employee generating a written document. This allows her to continue other activities.
Ultimately, the document helps cut cost, save money and increase profits.
Photo Credit: Luigi Diamanti