There’s a general under appreciation for effective writing. I’m not saying this because it’s Amras Communications’ field of expertise and I want to complain about people who don’t understand our value addition, it just genuinely gets to me when I see people and companies lose out on opportunities because of bad writing. It’s estimated that bad writing costs US companies alone close to US$400 billion a year so this blog post is not a way to try justify the value Amras brings, these are facts.
At Amras Communications we are sincerely committed to other people’s success and we do our small part to contribute to that through our business writing services. We always want to ensure that every client is putting their best foot forward whether it’s through a business plan, proposal or annual report. Bad writing can have a lot of consequences such as diminishing your company image because your writing makes you appear unprofessional, or losing out on customers or investors. The cost of bad writing is much higher that most people think and you can lose money in ways you may not have considered.
One rather obvious cost of bad writing is losing investors, particularly for start-ups which often don’t have the in house resources to put together an effectively written business plan. Your business plan is your sales document and if it doesn’t do its job of convincing potential investors because its structure is all over the place or it’s too long and doesn’t properly communicate the right message, then that’s money out the window. Not because you don’t have a good idea but because all the words that you put to paper did not communicate the potential.
Another cost of bad writing that’s a little less obvious is the cost of productivity, this is an issue in companies of all sizes. Within an organisation emails are exchanged, employees have to follow manuals, reports are compiled, etc. and where writing skills are below the desired level a lot of time is wasted reading lengthy documents that could be condensed to a single page, and going back and forth for clarification on minutes or reports. While this may amount to a small amount of time for each individual case if you have to spend 10 minutes a day reading, trying to interpret and asking for clarification on emails or reports, that adds up to almost an hour a week, 25 hours a month and 300 hours a year that you could have spent doing something more productive.
Sales and marketing is another area where surprisingly a lot of people still get their content wrong. Whether it’s a cold email, flyer or brochure, you have a few seconds to get the reader’s attention and keep it, so get to the point and make sure you say everything that needs to be said. I’m emphasising “needs” because in many cases either sales content says way too much and loses a potential customer’s attention or says too little and leaves the customer confused causing them to lose interest. This means lower conversion to sales and, therefore, less revenue.
Directly or indirectly bad writing can either save your company money, like FedEx which cut costs by US$400,000 by simply rewriting their manuals, or it can cost you money. Even if you choose not to use professional writing services such as those offered by Amras it’s worthwhile to invest in training yourself and your employees and improve written communications within your organisation. Read books, research online or call us in to host a writing workshop. There are numerous options available so take advantage of them and bring your business one step closer to realising its full potential.