After a bit of a lag, entrepreneurship is on the rise again. This is probably due to a variety of factors. Companies are looking to save costs by contracting out many of their critical service needs – accounting, IT, customer service, etc. Employees who have been working from home during COVID have also been able to explore how their skills might allow them to go out on their own. Women, especially minority women, are taking advantage of accelerators and launching their businesses at a rapid rate (12.3 million as of 2018) and growing at a rate of about 1,800 per day.
This is not to say that men, and men of any demographic, should not follow their entrepreneurship dreams and goals. The key to success remains the same – find a gap to fill, craft a great product or service to fill that gap, and show how your product or service provides extreme value to consumers looking for a solution. The rest becomes a matter of developing a brand voice, marketing to the right audience, and finding all the right venues and platforms to get the exposure you need. Male or female, these principles are universal.
In all of these activities, there is constant – writing. So, let’s look at all the reasons why, as an entrepreneur, you must develop skills for all types of writing you must do.
- First Impressions are Critical
People are human, and they do form first impressions about others, based upon a lot of things – appearance, stance, handshake, speech, and such. In the world of business, in which so much communication occurs through writing, errors in basic composition and grammar will form a poor first impression. And such an impression is hard to repair, no matter how talented you are or how good your product or service may be.
Suppose you are a freelance graphic designer. You need to prepare a proposal for a potential client. You have no idea what the reading/writing skills of that client may be. Assume they are highly skilled, and that poor grammar will be a major turn-off and be certain that your proposal is error-free. Not to mention the fact, that, to a potential client, you will appear lazy and not willing to give proper attention to detail.
- Poor Organizational Structure Can be a “Killer”
All writing involves organizing the content into a logical order so that the reader can follow the sequence of the points you are making. If there is no logical structure, the reader is confused and does not get the point of your message.
If you have ever read a blog post and have been left wondering what it was all about, you have experienced a lack of organizational structure. The writer has not prepared an outline that provides a logical sequence, and the results are disastrous. The piece will not resonate with readers, and they will not follow any call to action. Further, they will not be returning to your blog again. You haven’t provided anything of value.
- Investors Want Clear, Structured, Well-Researched, and Perfectly Written Plans and Proposals
Most entrepreneurs come to a point at which they are looking for investors – either via traditional sources or newer ones, such as accelerators. These will require business plans and proposals, to be shared with these potential benefactors.
Fortunately, there are plenty of solid templates to use as a plan or proposal is formulated. Unfortunately, these will not do the writing for you.
A plan or proposal will be more formal than much of the writing you do. And it must accurately reflect your mission, all the research you have completed to demonstrate that there is a market for your product or service, your target market and the value you provide to it, resource needs, your proposed budget, your marketing plan, and projections regarding return-on-investment and profits.
This type of writing must be perfect, and that includes grammar and composition. If you are not a highly skilled writer, this would be the time to contact GetGoodGrade, a professional writing service with a department of business writing experts. They can review your details and either craft or edit that perfect plan/proposal.
- Less Formal Does Not Mean Less Correct
Much of an entrepreneur’s writing will be informal. This will include emails to current clients, to any staff members or contractors, website content, blogs, and social media posts. But, do not think that this allows you to ease up on your writing quality. You never know who will be reading what you write and who might find structural and grammatical errors irritating.
Emails, for example, must have a clear and engaging subject line, must relate to only one thing, as the subject line indicates, must be simply written, and must include a call-to-action. If more complex or lengthier content must be included, it should be in the form of an attachment.
Blog and social media posts must be designed to educate, entertain, or inspire. Titles should be creative and compelling; text should be simply written and perfectly organized with sub-headings and bullet points so that readers can “snack” on this content.
In many ways, this less formal type of writing can be a bigger challenge. It will require creativity, simplifying messages, economy of words, and, yes, solid grammar and composition skills.
What You Can Do Right Now
If you know that you are not a highly skilled written communicator, you do need to take some action to ensure that all the writing you publish reflects well on you and your brand. Here are important steps you can and should take:
- Commit to taking English writing and copywriting coursework right now
No matter what other writing resources you may be using right now, ultimately, you will need to be composing your text or bringing enough staff on board to do this. If your budget is tight, or you are a solopreneur freelancer, this will fall on your shoulders
- Find the right resources in the meantime
If you need to use writing services; if you need to employ freelancers; if you need editing tools and services, use them. Nothing is more important than the impression you make everywhere.
- Read, Read, Read
Research shows that reading improves writing skills. You should read all the types of writing that you must be engaged in and do it a lot. You will pick up methods of messaging that are well written, well organized, creative, and compelling. Reading the content that your successful competitors produce should provide great resources.
- Edit, Edit, and Edit
Never publish a piece of writing without a full review and edit. This is especially true for writing that is to go to potential clients and investors. You may be “forgiven” on some of the more informal writing content, but you will never be in these other instances. If you do not trust your editing, be sure that you have the expertise to do it and do it quickly.
You might try reading your written work out loud to yourself. You will be able to catch a lot of structural errors because they are not how you speak. On the other hand, you may not be able to catch such things as fragments or run-ons, misplaced modifiers, and the like. Fortunately, there are tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor that will evaluate your writing very quickly, point out your errors, and make recommendations for fixing those problems.
In the End…
It’s a competitive world out there. And in many cases, you only have one chance to make your mark and impress your readers, to engage and motivate potential customers, and to spread your brand in the most reputable way. You may have amazing ideas, products, or services, but if your messaging falls flat because of poor writing, you will not thrive.