Written Communication and Small Businesses

Tips and Resources

Written communication within a small business is essential for success. This could come in all sorts of forms. Emails to colleagues or customers, texts, online posts, letters, and any other forms of written communication you will use while working with others. We currently live in an era of booming technological advancements. The market has been switching to a more e-commerce track, meaning more jobs have been opening up that require online work. Combine this with the recent pandemic many jobs are no longer in-person. Many people today have jobs they can do remotely from their homes and may rarely see those they work with in person. Given today’s job climate, most of your forms of communication will be done in writing. For many young people, this is easy for them. This switch can be jarring and hard to comprehend for the older generations who did not grow up with the technology we have today.

The importance of a proper email

Email (Electronic mail) communication will probably be your number one form of written communication within a small business. Figuring out how to use email effectively is easy. Professional emails typically have a salutation at the beginning. Here is a list of informal salutations:


  • • Hello (name),
  • • Good morning/ afternoon/evening (name),
  • • Dear Ms./Mr. (name),
  • • To Whom it may concern,
  • • Hello everyone,


  • • (Name),
  • • Hello/Hi,
  • • Hope you’re having a great (day/time),

Follow-up emails

  • • Following up on my last email,
  • • To follow up on our meeting,
  • • As per my last email,
  • • Just checking in,

Including a salutation helps your email seem more professional and put together, which leaves a more positive impression on the recipient in a business setting. Especially if you are new to them. Your salutation in an email will be determined based on many factors, but here are a few important ones.

How well do you know the recipient?

If the person receiving the email is a coworker, you’re closer to, your salutation may be more relaxed and simpler. If you’re sending an email to someone you don’t know very well, then your salutation may be more formal and be written in a way that shows respect towards the recipient.

The subject being discussed in the email.

Different types of subjects require different introductions. If you’re emailing a member of your business about an update, a more formal salutation may be best suited. If you’re sending a quick email about something minor, a more informal salutation will do fine.

The tone you want for the email.

The tone of your email begins with your salutation. If you want a more light-hearted and relaxed tone, a more informal or casual salutation would be best. If you want a serious tone, a formal salutation should be used.

Who is the recipient?

Your salutations will vary depending on who you’re talking to and their status compared to yours. Your coworkers may be easier and better suited to use less formal salutations. If you’re emailing your boss, though, it’s better to use a more formal salutation to show respect for their position above you. For more examples of salutations, check out these articles below.​

How to end an email

Ending your email properly is just as important as starting it. Here is a list of some of the most common email sign-offs:

  • • Best,
  • • Thank you for your time,
  • • Regards,
  • • Have a good (day/time),
  • • Thanks,
  • • No sign-off Looking forward to your response,
  • • Thank you in advance,

Another important aspect of ending emails is your signature. This comes after your sign-off and includes information such as your name, status (job or business affiliation), and other ways someone can contact you professionally. Including details like that at the end of your emails helps add more professionalism to them. These don’t have to be on every email, though. The typical email only really needs to have your name at the end. If you want a more formal or professional look, though, then including more information in your signature could benefit you.

For more examples of sign-offs, check out these articles below:

Indeed - 81 Fun Email Sign-Offs to Try

Forbes - 57 Ways to Sign Off an Email

What are some other popular forms of communication?

Not all of your communication will be done through email. Sometimes, you will be able to take advantage of different online platforms that have ways to communicate built into them. Some examples of these online platforms are ClickUp, Adobe Workfront, and Microsoft Teams. Written communication within these platforms usually takes the form of texts, comments, or notes made on different projects and in different threads of conversation.

Many of these platforms are also where businesses have their work assigned. Because of this, a good amount of communication can and will be done on these platforms as well. These different forms will usually be less formal to an extent, given they typically aren’t given proper openings or sign-offs. Despite this, though, there are some message etiquette rules you are best to keep in mind so that these messages aren’t cluttered or confusing, which would make for less effective communication.

Limit discussions of different projects on different threads.

If you’re talking to someone on a thread that's supposed to be dedicated to a specific project, it’s best not to talk about other projects in the same thread. If you were to do this, the information or responses could get lost, and the project could suffer.

Keep messages simple.

The message threads on these platforms are usually best for small topics that can be handled quickly, such as project updates, questions about current work assignments, or minor clarifications. For more important topics, things like email are better to use. It helps keep the work assignments clutter-free and prevents important information from being buried.

For more help improving your ability to communicate effectively within a small business, check out this article on the use of punctuation.

We hope you learned more about the different forms of written communication that small businesses use and their best uses. If you need help learning how to improve skills with writing within your small business, Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses can help! We are a business consultant and coaching firm in Northwest Arkansas.