How To Write A Business Memo
If you need to quickly and easily communicate with other people in your company, you'll need to know how to write a business memo. While traditional letters are generally used to communicate with other businesses and people, business memos are the usual form of internal communications. Even though a business memo is different than a letter, it's still a formal and organized communication method and it might take you a bit of practice to get it right.
Create a header. The header of a business memo contains important information about its audience and purpose. Do not use a salutation as you would for a letter. Instead, use the following format:
TO: [Name of person receiving the memo], [job title]
FROM: [Your name], [job title]
DATE: [Write out the date in words; e.g. August 14, 2010]
SUBJECT: [Brief but specific explanation of the memo's contents; e.g. Schedule for Fall Training Seminar]
- Write the opening paragraph. Explain the purpose of the business memo in two to four sentences. State the specific problem or issue you're responding to and/or give a brief summary of the memo's contents. A good opening paragraph is important because it will give the person receiving the business memo a good idea of the issue's priority without having to immediately read the entire memo in detail.
- Go into further depth in the body of the business memo. Again, it's important to be specific but brief. Keep your tone very straightforward and professional and don't include any irrelevant or tangential information. Use short paragraphs and bulleted or numbered lists to make the business memo easy to scan for information. If your memo is too long for one page, repeat your header on each page and add a page number.
- Explain the action you or the reader should take to address the issue put forth in your business memo. For example, you might describe a list of tasks for the training seminar or detail your plans for organizing it. If you have trouble describing this in detail, do further planning before composing your memo. If the memo is not about a problem or task that needs to be approached, you may omit this section.
- End on a positive note. Thank the reader for what he has done so far, if relevant, and provide a clear way for him to get in touch with questions or comments.
- Attach relevant documents, such as charts, graphs or schedules. Make a note about the attachments at the bottom of your business memo: "Attached: [Name of documents]." Refer to the documents in the body of your memo; if you don't need to refer to them, they're probably not important enough to attach.