How to Write a Formal Business Letter?
As employees we are often faced with administrative tasks, one of which is making business letters for customers or colleagues, in contrast to personal letters or personal letters that we address friends, colleagues or friends, business letters have techniques, ways and ethics that are deserves to be followed so that we appear as professional and qualified employees. Broadly speaking there are 4 parts of business letters, namely:
Contains letterhead that shows the identity of the company where we work, in the letter head also contains the date the letter was made, to whom the letter was addressed or the intended address by including the name of the recipient correctly and completely, ideally by stating the position at the intended agency. In modern business letters the recipient’s position is rarely mentioned.
It contains references to the letter made, conveying the intent and purpose of the letter made to help the recipient understand the contents of the letter.
Letter body or letter content
Contains details of the intent and purpose of the letter can be in the form of data, information and requests, etc. according to the purpose and purpose of the letter was made.
Contains hope, wishes for the recipient of the letter and accompanied by a closing greeting. The ethics and techniques of writing a business letter are as follows:
- Write down the letter’s initial reference or reference so the recipient understands the flow of the letter
- Make the contents of the letter simple, concise, easy to understand or clear what the intent and purpose of the letter and not long-winded
- Use punctuation correctly, correctly with clear spelling and correct grammar
- Use the correct Indonesian, avoid command sentences or sentences that corner or debate in a business letter that will make the recipient offended, even if the letter contains complaints or dissatisfaction with our customers, but needs to be conveyed politely and our expectations and possible solutions to problems that arises
- Use coherent and systematic sentences / words, do not use words that have a double meaning / bias that causes confusion or confusion
- If conveying data or information must be accurate and correct especially when it comes to numbers
- Read and do repetitive corrections if needed to get the best business letter, however the way you write will reflect the author’s capacity
- Respond immediately to business letters that come in from customers, colleagues or business partners, try at that time, no later than the day after we receive the letter, sometimes customers buy our goods not because of price or quality, but also because of a good response and fast from us
Guide to Writing a Good Business Letter
The business world or the business world is a dynamic world, as well as competitive. Therefore, living in a business world means living in a competition, where we are required to always be dynamic and innovative. In the business world, there is a famous saying, ‘Who is fast he can’.
That is, every person engaged in a business must continue to keep abreast of the times, the development of trends, the development of fashion, to be able to find new products, both in the form of goods or services, in order to become the first person or people who are quick to seize opportunities.
Well, one of the means in an effort to obtain these new opportunities is to use communication facilities. We can not break a business relationship with someone or with a particular partner, because it is tantamount to shutting down our own business.
In connection with this communication, we may already be accustomed to using telephone, cellphone, e-mail or facsimile. However, we certainly cannot deny that correspondence is still a means of communication that is still needed in the business world. Through letters, we can reveal things in more detail and clearly, and are easier to remember and safe because they have black and white evidence.
The business of correspondence in the business world can be said to be tricky. Easy, because of course everyone can logically write, especially writing a letter. But it’s hard, because writing a business letter has certain rules that maybe not everyone knows the rules of the game.
To be able to present a professional image in the business we run, one of the efforts is to show it with a professional business letter. With this professional business letter, we indirectly show that we also work professionally.
In writing a business letter, whatever it is, we must pay attention to the way it is written. Writing a business letter is, of course, very different from writing a love letter, a letter to a friend or a letter to a pen pal.
The first and foremost thing that needs to be considered in writing a business letter is to comply with the writing rules as explained in the previous articles, so that the letter we write really shows the impression of our professionalism as entrepreneurs.
In addition, another thing to note is the use of letter language. Writing a business letter, of course, must be formal, in the sense of not using social languages that sometimes use slang. The words used in writing a business letter must use words that are standard, polite, concise and easy to understand.
Regarding the paper used to write business letters, try to use clean paper, without any decoration or ornamentation, and don’t bother to make certain decorations or ornaments on the business letter, because that can have the opposite effect from what is desired; mean heart wants to show that we are creative, but the impression instead shows that we are tacky and unprofessional.
Business Letter Template American VS British Style
Before someone makes an English business letter, it is necessary to understand in advance what the actual English business letter framework looks like. This framework describes the parts of the letter that must be studied and used in the preparation of English-language business letters later.
Thus, the drafting must not be arbitrary because the preparation of business letters discussed in this chapter is formal or official English business letters. Therefore, the way to compose a British business letter must follow the correct steps, as will be described below.
The following is a framework or parts of UK business letters arranged in sequence, from the initial sequence to the final sequence. In practice, not all sequences or parts are used in UK business letters. Only those that are mandatory are used in the preparation of British business letters, while the rest are only used occasionally if needed.
The full English business letter framework consists of the following parts:
- The Letter-Head
- The Letter-Date
- The Basic
- The Inside Address
- The Attention
- The Subject Matter
- The Salutation
- The Opening Paragraph
- The Middle Paragraph
- The Closing Paragraph
- The Conclusion
- The Sign
- The Enclosure
- The Carbon Copy
- The Blind Carbon Copy
1. Letter Head
An identity that contains the logo, name, address and telephone of the sender of the letter.
2. Reference Line
English letters usually contain the first letter of the name of the executive who signed the letter, followed by a slash or a colon, then the name of the typist. Some companies add certain codes or numbers based on their archive system. Reference placed at the top of the letter above the date.
Example: Your ref: March 22, 2004
Our Ref: BS / KF
3. Date Line
This is the date the letter was written. While the format for writing the date is month / day / year, for example August 30, 2012.
Example of writing a date using British Style
April 3rd, 1990
The format of writing British Style is almost the same as writing in Indonesian only on the date when the suffix number is added. The date position in British Style is placed on the top right of the letter.
Example of writing a date using American Style
April 03, 1990
Writing a date using American Style is placed at the top left of the letter in the format Month Date, Year.
4. Inside Address
This section contains the name of receipt of the letter, its position, and the name of the company along with its address. If you are not sure who the name (name) is intended for, do not leave it blank, but try to use his position, such as “Director of Human Resources”. Give space between the date and the recipient.
5. Attention Line
An alternative is to place the recipient of the letter.
In this section, the term used is “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (last name of acceptance) “, for example” Dear Mr. Fathoni “. But if the recipient’s name is not typed, write the name of the department, for example “Dear Director of the Department of Human Resources”. Leave a distance between the opening greeting and the contents.
For business partners who are already familiar with each other usually write with “Dear Sue”
The use of punctuation in salutation using British Style is written without punctuation (semicolons or commas) and in American Style it uses colons.
Dear Mr. Smith=> example in British Style
Dear Mr. Smith: => example in American Style
7.Subject Line (Subject)
Regarding making it easier for recipients to find the purpose of the letter, for example Invitation, Apology, and so on. This is an optional part of a business letter, meaning we can include it or not. Writing a subject using British Style: Subject is placed between the salutation and the contents of the letter. Writing the subject using American Style: Subject is placed above the salutation.
8. Body Of Letter
The contents of the letter is a place where you write what you want to say. Paragraphs in the contents of a letter must use a single space (single space) and without the separation between each paragraph. Leave a space between the end of the contents and the lid.
9. Complimentary Close
This section is a sign that your letter has been completed, usually ending with the writing “Sincerely”, “Sincerely yours”, “Thank you”, and so forth. Note, There is a comma at the end of the cover and only the first letter uses capital letters. Give a distance of 3-4 lines between the cover with the name, which will be used to place the ta mark
Good luck and hopefully useful.
- 1 How to Write a Formal Business Letter?
- 2 Guide to Writing a Good Business Letter
- 3 Business Letter Template American VS British Style