A business memo can serve many purposes — it can succinctly convey a message to a large group of co-workers; it can clarify a situation that needs addressing at the workplace, and it can also capture a large change, such as a changing of business direction. But irrespective of the purpose of the business memo, it is important to know how to write one properly. Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to be able to write a business memo.
1.Decide who the audience is: Determine who’ll receive your memo. Is it just going to be your team, your larger group, or your entire company? Base the tone of the memo around what the audience of your memo is going to be. If it’s just your team, you can afford to be a lot more informal. If you’re sending a memo to the entire company, make sure you sound adequately professional. Also, the content will change based on who you’re sending the memo to — if you’re sending it within your team, feel free to use acronyms that your team commonly uses. If you’re sending it to a larger group, you’ll need to make sure that you use terms that everyone will understand.
2. Structure your message: You can structure a memo along the lines of what – how – why. Your memo can being with what’s going to happen ( new parking rules are coming into force). Then you move to the how (each employee will get digital id cards for their cars). Then you finally explain why the change is happening (new government regulations). This structure will give your business memo clarity, and make it easy to understand.
3. Keep things brief: Memos are different from reports in the sense that they’re brief. Get to the point quickly, and make it. Your memo should ideally not be longer than a single page.
4. Clearly signal action items: People receive lots of memos, so make sure you highlight any action items that your memo entails. You can do this by having [Action needed] in the memo’s head, and then specifying what actions you need your audience to take once they’ve read the memo. Conversely, if your memo only sends out information, you can add a [no action needed] at the beginning of the memo.
5. Keep the tone conversational: Modern communication isn’t stuffy or formal. As far as possible, keep the tone conversational. Use active voice, and don’t use big words that people might have trouble processing. Also, as always in business communication, make sure you avoid complicated jargon.