Clarity is critical in business communication, where messages are continuously conveyed over different media to many audiences. Technology and globalization makes business communication more complex, even for a small business that might be challenged to control internal and external messaging. A small business might view communication as a problem only for large corporations with many employees, but effective communication is vital for success in businesses of every size and scope. Clarity in business communication requires an intentional approach to communication in its many forms.

Business Communication

Business communication includes the usual letters, memos and email, but also includes informative brochures, marketing and advertising materials, websites, logos, and any type of expression that represents or defines the company. College courses break down business communications into factors such as audience assessment, communication objectives, tone and language, negotiation, crisis management, and nonverbal behaviors. Depending on the message and the medium, the elements of communication affect clarity.

Importance of Clarity

Lack of clarity in business communication causes misinformation, mistakes, unhappy customers, frustrated employees, and information lags that make companies look bad and affect profits. If a supervisor assumes that workers know the proper way to ship products, the company might discover that it pays more than it should for shipping. A customer letter that is full of jargon and long, convoluted sentences will probably not be read completely, and might put the customer off. An occasional warning to be mindful of safety is not as effective as providing workers with a detailed manual for achieving zero-tolerance requirements concerning accidents in the workplace.

The Basics

Business communication that is written with clarity makes the content easy to read and understand. Readers get what you are trying to say with little work. Sentences are short, engaging and grammatically correct. Documents display information in formats that help readers follow along and make sense of the content. Writers vary the words and phrases in communication that is sent frequently to the same recipients. Clear statements of intent, along with questions and requests, help readers zero in on the appropriate response or action.

Best Foot Forward

Clarity in business communication can’t be left to chance. Poorly written documents that include misspellings and bad grammar send the wrong message about your business. Company literature such as brochures and website content also create impressions about your business, so it’s important to pay close attention to what your documents are saying about your company. Determine the message you wish to send, and structure any business communication -- from an internal memo to marketing materials to a business proposal -- so it clearly and accurately conveys that message. Control the content and appearance of your business communication by implementing policies and protocols that ensure the best standards, including clarity.