Thursday, December 6, 2018

How to write a Business Letter

With advent of emails and mobile telephony, the occasions for writing a formal business letter is declining but overall numbers of business letters written is increasing as business is increasing by leaps and bounds every day. Hence, skill of letter writing is very important for an office-worker or an entrepreneur. 

A good business letter has following key aspects:

1. Address of the sender: Generally, it is artistically pre-printed on a letterhead with other contact details, website, if any. 

2. Letter No. (also called outward number or Reference Number): Each business have their own style of numbering (which include one or more of : initials of the company name, code for center name, department code, Nos of years how old is the Company, File No., Financial Year, Letter Number, etc – may not be in the said order).

3. Date of the letter: Date is positioned with alignment of the line of the Letter No. Format of the date may be: e.g. 14th April, 2018 or April 14th, 2018. DD/MM/YYYY is now also gaining popularity.

4. Inside Address: Address of the recipient. The recipient may be addressed by official designation or by personal name, followed by designation and address. When personal name is used, ensure that the name is correctly spelled.

5. Salutation: The addressee is addressed with honourific words, appropriately selected depending upon the status of the Recipient and the Sender. 

6. Subject Line (Written as Sub: or Reg: (i.e. Regarding): It states, in one to two lines, the matter of the letter to which the letter relates. It should not be a in the format of a complete sentence.  

7. Reference No. : No. of the Letter or such other communication (and also its date) is stated. This is useful for the recipient to link the letter with previous correspondence already available with him/her.

8. Body of the letter: This is the most important part of a business letter. It presents the subject matter in details and the actions requested to be taken by the recipient. Generally, it contains two or multiple paragraphs depending upon the subject matter. The first paragraph introduces the subject matter and seeks to build relationship with the recipient. 

9. Subscription: Depending upon the relation between the recipient and the sender and corresponding to the words used in salutation, appropriate words are used to conclude the letter. 

10. Signature Part: This part contains the signature of the person/authority who issues the letter. Name of the signatory is some time written and designation of the signatory is always mentioned. Signature Part is important as it legally binds the sender as to what is stated in the letter.

11. Encls (Enclosures): If any other papers are attached with the letter, the same are listed in this part.

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