Formal correspondence may use templates, form letters, and other types of tools that can be structured and prepared in advance. It may be difficult to take care of instant communication: as we help you to analyze the typical correspondence you (want to) create we offer a library of standard forms to suit your business and we can instruct your employees on how the forms can be used to ensure all correspondence from your company exemplifies quality. It will be easy enough for you to enter name and address, product information, pricing, and other standard information that fits the form letter.
To craft a form letter and make it a word template can be done for as little as $150/form that you can then use for standard correspondence. If necessary we can also write the necessary user guide and procedures for another $100 so that your employees have the information they need to send follow-up letters, like reminders of installment payments, or upcoming warranty service, or whatever else is required to help you implement the form letter template (depending on how intensive the documentation needs to be).
However, not everything in business writing fits a form letter template. There are many unique pieces of correspondence that require custom writing: we can help you with that as well. Don’t let the stress of having to get your message across cause communications to fall behind. If it is worth writing, and you are not confident about writing it yourself, don’t hesitate: we are more than happy to craft the message for you. So long as you are clear about what you want to say we can help you say it with grammatical perfection. Don’t be put off if the exact communication you have in mind is not listed on our site: it is not practical to list every possibility – simply contact us with a sample of what you are thinking about and we will let you know what we can do for you.
If you need formal application letters written, typically to supplement application forms, it can be stressful if you are not sure of the meaning of what the forms ask for. We can help to interpret what the application form asks for, and we can work together to collect the information you need to complete the form and to have your application processed. In many cases we can help you write general business correspondence but you need to be aware that there are limitations on what general business correspondence entails. You need to be aware that there are limits on what we are allowed to do.
Doing business in Canada means partnering with government at the federal, provincial, and the municipal levels. If you want to change the face of your store you need to apply for a permit to do so. If you want to reserve parking, another permit application will be required. It is not just about writing – we can also help you to navigate the red tape and get you the formal information about what different application (form) letters you need to accomplish your business objectives. For the most part these applications are within the range of help that we can provide, but we only fill out forms and applications: if legal or accounting data are required you will need to get the required professional help from properly accredited individuals, not a writer. We will tell you when we reach the limits of what we can do, to make sure you get the technical advice you require from a competent practitioner.
For many contracting firms the way to get business is to bid on the work. Each bid tends to be unique, so it is not practical to work with a form letter strategy. In many cases we need to respond with prescribed forms, along the lines of the sample inventory below.
The good news is that if you work with selected customers over time you get used to the requirements for bid documents, and often you will use the same forms in several bids. The example is based on one typical municipality, but there are other prospects with different lists that may require unique formats to simplify processing bids so that all comparisons and calculations use the same base parameters in size, volume, weight, and so on.
It can be daunting for a business to get started to create these forms: we would propose creating guides for completing the forms that can be updated with reference text to be inserted as per instructions, so that over time you will build a set of bid creation materials that will reduce the effort required.
If your business needs debt funding the bank will usually ask for a business plan while an internal company proposal to invest money in a particular venture often requires the preparation of a business case. A business plan is the company’s core strategy, its recipe card for success, its preferred strategic plan and its fall-back plan. A realistic business plan is a core requirement to plan a new business or to expand an existing business. To make it work, a business plan must be realistic and objective. Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan may be required for investors that look for their annual return in that timeframe
While there is not one right way to write a business plan, we have enough experience to help you create a plan that suits your business objectives. This is not just for going cap-in-hand to get a loan: from time to time you may need an updated plan to update your banker on how the business is doing from a risk assessment perspective. As a neutral 3rd-party writer we can ask questions that need answers, to make sure the information is complete and accurate. Business plans are decision-making tools: the content and format of the business plan is determined by goals and audience. The plan represents all aspects of a business planning process declaring vision and strategy alongside sub-plans to cover marketing, finance, operations, human resources as well as a legal plan, when required. A business plan can have 4 unique areas of focus:
When you respond to enquiries you need to exude confidence and professionalism, as well as sufficient cordiality to come across as a warm and friendly bunch to do business with. Although you have the opportunity to add boilerplate and append articles and/or brochures that you have written, that is not enough to establish rapport with customers asking for information. Luckily enquiries tend to be grouped, and as such you can define classifications that warrant “near” form letters (don’t use an actual form letter – it is so easy to add customization and to punch up your reply to make it warm and friendly). It is not only direct inbound mail (or E-mail) that you are concerned about: you may locate enquiries that are generally posted that can transform into real business opportunities.
Enquiries (or rather the responses) should be aligned with a Public Relations strategy: for example, you may have selected categories on Kijiji or Craig’s List that you respond to with a carefully crafted “what we can do for you” message that directs people to your customized landing pages. We use this strategy to find small business owners with big goals and objectives that we can help put a series of initiatives in motion to deliver the results that they are after. The best part is that everything is laid out to help you deliver the right message in the right hands because people have already selected a category.
The challenge for most proposal writers is the mental block that develops when they stare at a blank page when they have to communicate with someone about something. The stress of how to get your message across without causing confusion can be more than some people can handle. The main concern with the possible misinterpretation of the message tends to get in the way of the message you are trying to send which in turn can sink your opportunity for doing business. The challenge is to create correspondence that is unique and customized so that it is not perceived as a form letter to the recipient.
A practical approach to accommodate this need is to design standard correspondence that masks the fact that it is mass-produced: the use of a form letter as a guideline that should not be replicated as a standard, but as an instruction for how to compose various sections of a proposal. Keep in mind that the prospective customer may have provided a required template, the RFP (Request for Proposal) that tries to establish a structure for all vendors to follow in order to make it easier to compare different proposals.
If you stick to a standard format that suits you, but that may not suit the customer, then your proposal may be rejected as “not responsive” and the effort will be wasted. Since proposals are written without compensation by the prospect it can become expensive as well as fruitless to go against instructions. The idea is to use customizable boilerplate documents that reduce the effort to create fast-turnaround proposals one section at a time, so that you are prepared to respond without facing the stress of what to write.
A generic challenge for business operations is to produce a variety of reports. While you can approach reports in different ways, there are two ways that we can help you with in terms of highly flexible responses to common reporting needs.
Financial Reporting of any kind can often be accomplished with Excel™ and it is amazing how little of the innate capabilities of Excel™ tends to get used for this purpose. One of the surprising aspects is that most business applications software has an export facility to produce compatible files that can be imported into an Excel™ worksheet. Once your data are in that format, it is deceptively simple to transform the information with simple to use tools that we can help you with. Either standard reports, or template-driven, it can be fairly straightforward to transform any kind of financial source into a report.
The other kind of reporting is narrative based, and generally falls under the category of technical writing. These types of projects are of a completely different nature than the general correspondence that are business as usual (or that are created for ad-hoc use). That does not mean there are no exceptions, such as status reports or assessments or appraisals that, like proposals, fall into a business as usual category. It can be difficult to generalize – if you are not sure if your report writing requirements fall in this category or under technical writing, please do not hesitate to follow up with any enquiry as to the nature of your report, and what services we may provide to be of assistance.
A template is essentially a basic letter or report that provides a mix of standard text with space to insert details unique to the context. For many documents you produce, things go a lot smoother with an appropriate template to guide the creation process, because as part of the space to insert details unique to the context you can provide instructions on what information to insert and where to find it. Templates can also be used with an external file, to customize form letters to individual recipients, for example. Depending on your data source, that ability to fill in contents can make life easier in many cases.
Your staff may hate typing rejection letters, but it is a simple job with the appropriate template to generate as many as you need. For job applicants, a warmly worded letter thanking them for their interest in your company is a gentle let-down that keeps them positively disposed to your company. It is not that much effort to use an Excel™ CRM tool to keep track of applicants so that you can easily respond to those that are rejected.
We can help you to create your own version of “101 business letters and forms” as it makes good business practice to ensure that all correspondence is delivered in the correct wording so that it can be understood and acted on by the recipients. The quality of the communications delivered by your company says so much about your company and about the level of staff that you have working in your company. Templates can be major time-savers that reduce the volume of typing in excess of 80%-90% depending on the nature of the communication.
With the right correspondence templates anyone in your office can produce quality correspondence, and if there is any unanticipated condition for which no template exists then you can assign that communication to a specialist who can override the suggested template. You can also tie the correspondence to Public Relations in that a negative message can be sweetened with a standard offer:
"I am sorry that the date of purchase is well before the normal warranty period for this type of product - defects from normal use are not unexpected after this amount of time has passed. However, we do feel bad that you are dissatisfied with the defective item, and to thank you for brining the defect to our attention we would like to offer a 10% rebate off a replacement product, simply by bringing this letter to our store.” This way, the person complaining may end up feeling good about the rejection.