Write Your First Business Memo with These Steps
Companies have been following a certain way of communicating with their employees. Back then, a business needed to print and distribute them in the office. Now, it’s usually sent in an email or the company’s online platform if it has one.
Still, the business memo has retained its serious writing style and format. No matter how you’ll pass this among your employees, you will still have to draft it in a certain way. Fortunately, this article will guide you through the process of writing business memos.
First, we will talk about the purpose of this business document in internal communication. Then, we will go through the usual format for business memos. After that, we will explore the steps you need to create your first memo.
What is a business memo for?
You may have seen this document in an episode of Seinfeld, The Office, or similar TV series. A business memo is a piece of paper that has a short message for employees.
The term comes from the Greek word “memorandum” meaning “to notice.” Similarly, relevant parties in your company should know about the contents of your business memo.
This is a document that has information that certain people should know about. That way, they will know how to act accordingly.
Here are some examples of the topics they cover:
- Changes to company policy
- Notifications about new people in certain roles
- Major issues that affect the company (i.e. new market conditions or government regulations)
- Updates about a specific issue (e.g, important events in the company)
What is the usual business memo template?
This type of document has the same parts even though most companies send it electronically. It consists of the header and three paragraphs. Parts of the header
- Date – You must start with the day, month, and year you sent the business memo.
- To – Next, you should specify the people, teams, or departments that should read this document.
- Cc – You may have seen this in your emails. It’s an acronym that stands for “carbon copy” because people used to duplicate business memos with carbon paper. Nowadays, it specifies the people who should receive a copy of your memo, but this is optional.
- From – Then, you must write your name in this part, accompanied by your handwritten initials and job title. This is where you’ll find the person who wrote the memo.
- Subject – After that, you should describe what your business memo is about on the subject line. Let’s say it’s for the impact of the recent Ukraine-Russia conflict on your business. The subject line may read “Guidelines about the Ukraine-Russia conflict.”
You should start your business memo with its purpose. Make sure this part is clear, concise, and straightforward. Put forward your most critical information first.
This usually starts with the phrase “I’m writing to request…” or “I’m writing to inform you…”. You should add the details in the next paragraphs.
Let’s use the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict again. You might want to begin this business document by saying:
“I’m writing to inform you about the impact of the ongoing struggle between Ukraine and Russia on our operations.”
This is where you explain the context for your main topic. Depending on the subject, you might have to place proof that supports your main subject.
Following the Ukraine-Russia example, your business memo might explain that it can have huge impacts on supply chains and gas prices. As a result, you may explain in this business letter that the company may face trouble meeting customer demand.
Read More: How To Write An Executive Summary
This is the part that your employees will act upon. After laying out the overall issue and its context, it’s time to place specific instructions on your business memo.
Again, let’s follow the Ukraine-Russia example. So far, your memo has explained the current issue that your company is facing. Now, it’s time to explain what your employees should do.
For example, you may inform your sales department to inform customers about potential delays. Also, you might want to tell the folks in charge of item procurement to confirm shipments to your company.
How to write business memos
We just went through the usual business memo template, but writing one is an entirely different matter. You will need to know how to condense important information in a short message.
What’s more, an effective business memo should be able to clearly explain the issue. This is why the memo format starts with the overview then proceeds with the details.
You want to make sure to get your employees up quickly and effectively communicate information. What’s more, you must choose the right tone for your writing.
Most business memos use a direct and confident voice. When you read them, they seem like they come from a person who knows what they’re talking about.
Of course, you will have to adjust your business letters for each situation. Let’s say you have a restaurant, and a customer caused a scene and harmed one of your staff.
It would be best to convey compassion and relax your stern voice. That way, the entire team knows that you care about them, and you will work with the entire department to resolve the issue.
Don’t expect to create an effective memo on your first try. This is a skill that you will have to practice. Also, you will have to take time in refining your writing style and removing grammar mistakes.
Start by creating a sample memo. Write freely as you get the feel for the business memo template. After that, take note of the things you missed or mistook.
Place those comments on the same page of your draft. Then, write a new one while using the first copy as your guide. Keep on writing a draft until you’ve perfected your message.
It would be best if you create a memo for each department instead of lumping all their updates into one. This would make it easier for the relevant parties to understand your updates. Remember that a memo should fit on a single page!
The Benefits of Press Releases
You just learned how to write a business memo. This business document is important in sharing crucial updates with your employees. Make sure to send it via email or your company’s online platform.
If you print it out, it may get buried under your employee’s paperwork. Send the business memo via the company email, so relevant parties would know it’s important.
Besides knowing how to write a business memo, you should learn how to draft an executive summary and a press release. The Inquirer USA has articles regarding these issues.