WRITING BUSINESS LETTERS Useful phrases • • • • • • • • Dear Mr Brown Dear Ms White Dear Sir Dear Sirs Dear Madam

Dear Sir or Madam Gentlemen We are writing to inform you that ... to confirm ... to request ... to enquire about ... I am contacting you for the following reason. I recently read/heard about . . . and would like to know . . . Having seen your advertisement in ... , I would like to ... I would be interested in (obtaining/receiving) ... I received your address from ... and would like to ... I am writing to tell you about ... Thank you for your letter of March 15 ... Thank you for contacting us. In reply to your request ... Thank you for your letter regarding ... With reference to our telephone conversation yesterday ... Further to our meeting last week ... It was a pleasure meeting you in London last month. I enjoyed having lunch with you last week in Tokyo. I would just like to confirm the main points we discussed on Tuesday . . . We would appreciate it if you would ... I would be grateful if you could... Could you please send me . . . Could you possibly tell us/let us have... In addition, I would like to receive ... It would be helpful if you could send us ... I am interested in (obtaining/receiving...) I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. Please let me know what action you propose to take. We would be happy to ... Would you like us to ... We are quite willing to ... Our company would be pleased to ... We are pleased to announce that ... I am delighted to inform you that ... You will be pleased to learn that ... We regret to inform you that ... I'm afraid it would not be possible to ... Unfortunately we cannot/we are unable to ... After careful consideration we have decided (not) to ... I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with ... I am writing to complain about ... Please note that the goods we ordered on (date) have not yet arrived.



• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Referring to previous contact

Making a request

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Offering help

Giving good news

Giving bad news


We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future We would be (very) pleased to do business with your company. We have pleasure in enclosing a detailed quotation.. Please find enclosed . I apologise for any inconvenience.. We are sorry for the delay in replying ... Thank you for your quotation of . Please send us your price list. Once again... I would like to query the transport charges which seem unusually high. We are pleased to place an order with your company for .. I am enclosing .. I look forward to seeing you next week Looking forward to hearing from you " " to receiving your comments I look forward to meeting you on the 15th I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience. You will find enclosed . I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of your order n°. I regret any inconvenience caused I would like to apologize for (the delay/the inconvenience) . An early reply would be appreciated. We can make you a firm offer of . We hope you are happy with this arrangement. I would be happy to have an opportunity to work with your firm. You will receive a credit note for the sum of .. Your order will be processed as quickly as possible.is now considerably overdue.. We hope you can settle this matter to our satisfaction....... For further details ... Please send payment as soon as possible.... If we can be of any further assistance... It will take about (three) weeks to process your order..• • We regret to inform you that our order n°--. please do not hesitate to contact me If you require more information . Please confirm receipt of our order. Please note that our prices are subject to change without notice.. You will find enclosed our most recent catalogue and price list. please let us know If I can help in any way. Apologizing • • • • • • • • • • • • • Orders Prices • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Referring to payment Enclosing documents Closing remarks Referring to future business • • • • • • • • Referring to future contact . Our terms of payment are as follows : Our records show that we have not yet received payment of . Unfortunately these articles are no longer available/are out of stock... Thank you for taking this into consideration Thank you for your help.. According to our records ... We would like to cancel our order n°.. We can guarantee delivery before ..

or invite them to highlight anything they’d particularly like you to include in the reference letter. 4. testifying to their good financial status. 2. some or all of these details may be appropriate:  The person’s job title. Companies may use reference letters as testimonies to their trustworthiness and ability to carry out a job well.• • • Ending business letters • Sincerely. you should tell them to seek a reference letter from someone else. and “recipient” to refer to the person receiving the letter.  The person’s leaving salary when they were last employed by you (or your organisation). You should know the candidate in a capacity which gives you the ability to write a meaningful reference. } Yours sincerely. or even a family friend. it would be appropriate for you to write a reference letter to a prospective employer for them. If you truly feel that the candidate has no good qualities for you to emphasis. but this is a good basic outline: 1. For example. 6. they may need a reference to support their application. there is no definitive list that covers all possible scenarios. if you are writing a reference for a job applicant. It might be a former employee or student. make .) (for those you already know and/or with whom you already have a working Writing a Reference Letter (With Examples) by Ali Hale At some point in life. or their ability to lead.) Who should write a reference letter? If you are approached and asked to write a reference letter for a job candidate. and if you are willing to receive further correspondence about the candidate’s application. What goes into a reference letter? The exact structure of a reference letter will differ slightly depending on the type of reference it is. and it is crucial that you do not lie or fudge the truth in it. or that their contributions to your college class were highly valued. you’re almost certainly going to have to write a reference letter for someone. Reference letters are used in a wide variety of situations. their attention to detail. Here’s what you need to know about the purpose of reference letters and how to write the most effective letter possible. 3. that you would gladly re-employ them. The most common examples are:       When a candidate applies for a job. If the recipient is currently unknown (this would be likely on an academic application.) Close your letter on a positive note. Where possible.  The dates which the person was employed from and until. If someone wants a reference letter from you:  The candidate should be someone you know reasonably well. Start using the business letter format: put the recipient’s name and address. Prospective tenants may need to provide their landlord with a reference letter. The recipient will not need your life history: just give a brief sentence or two explaining your position and your relationship to the candidate. A reference letter is a formal document. If an interviewee is given a job offer. it’s just a handy term to use to keep this article straightforward! What is a reference letter and when are they used? A reference letter is usually written to testify to a person or (occasionally) a company’s skills. A student applying for funding will often need to supply reference letters. If you are writing a reference letter for an academic course. they may need to supply a reference letter before the contract can be signed. For example. or there could be legal repercussions. if you have worked with the person. (This could be from a prior landlord or from a current employer. relationship. a student or a company. though. I’ll emphasise here. and role within the company. (You may want to ask the candidate to tell you about any extra-curricular projects they’ve been involved in. It is a formal document. character and/or achievements. use your fourth paragraph to give a couple of concrete examples of times when the candidate excelled. you should provide your judgement upon the candidate’s skills and qualities. Single out any exceptional qualities that the candidate has – perhaps their drive and enthusiasm. that reference letters are not only for job or academic “candidates”. if known. You should be able to provide an honest and positive reference. and should be typed and written in a serious and business-like style. and address them as “Dear [name]”. you cannot provide any authoritative comment on the   academic ability of a student who’s only been attending your lectures for a week. In your third paragraph. or if you have had a personality clash with them in the past. consider whether you can legitimately do so. “you” to refer to the person writing the reference letter. for instance). Sometimes a reference letter is known as a “recommendation letter”. } (for all customers/clients) Sincerely yours. It is often helpful to introduce yourself in the first couple of lines of your letter. Note: I will be using “candidate” to refer to the person who the reference letter is about. For example. you will need to confirm the person’s academic grades. then use “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern”. Your next paragraph should confirm any facts which you know the candidate will be supplying along with your letter. It is often appropriate to state 5. A student applying for an academic course often requires a reference letter to support their application. } Regards.

availability1. etc.details of goods you are interested in (quality.greeting acknowledgement of enquiry and thanks promotion of your company/goods b) Body: . suggestion. etc. suggestion. you should end appropriately. Phone the company and ask who to send it to. Include your contact details too. d) That your application is enclosed and you will be pleased to discuss it further at interview. Advice note. Letter of Enquiry A letter of enquiry or a request for a quotation/estimate is generally sent out by a potential buyer* will include the following information: INTRODUCTION . this clear. As with any business letter. It should cover: a) Where you heard about the vacancy or a statement that this is a speculative letter.terms and means of delivery2 and delivery period3 . word of mouth. and thanks 2) Reference and details of services available 3) Action AN UNSOLICITED OFFER must generate interest. LAYOUT 1) General statement of services available 2) How such services can benefit the recipient 3) Solicit order Letters of application These should be addressed to a person. and “Yours faithfully” when you do not know who will be receiving the letter. focus on the main selling point. suggesting if something is possible) . or purchasing manager of a company) 2. b) Why you are writing.where you heard about the firm (catalogue. filing orders and following up trasactions up to the stage of payment (which is handled by the Accounts Department) Layout: A) Introduction . REPLIES TO ENQUIRIES AND QUOTATION The Export or Sales Department is in charge of making quotations. Letter of enquiry or an unsolicited offer 2. trade fair.an expression of interest. LAYOUT 1) Reference to the advertisement.7. not "Dear Sir". Order 4. Payment (Statement of account (every month a customer who has not yet paid is sent a statement which shows all the details (just like an invoice) and is at times simply a request for payment) 1. c) Your most significant selling point.prices. discounts and terms of payment4 CLOSE • (the import/purchasing dept. SOLICITED AND UNSOLICITED OFFERS A SOLICITED OFFER is a response to an advertisement. Delivery note) 5. “Yours sincerely” when you are writing to a named recipient. The one thing you have done that will most interest the employer. advertisement. Reply to enquiry/offer (including quotation) 3.) introduction of the buyer's firm explain why you need the information BODY (the actual request) . Confirmation and execution of order (Acknowledgement of order. etc. LAYOUT OF A LETTER OF COMPLAINT Opening paragraph: state reason for letter Middle paragraph: state the precise nature of the complaint and explain the implications of the matter Closing paragraph: decide what action is needed to put the matter right letters of enquiry The main stages of business correspondence are as follows: 1. business contact.

information should always be presented schematically and divided into sections and subsections which are numbered systematically under headings and subheadings.provide requested and supplementary information . literature. Include extra material in an appendix. Length. 5) Draw conclusions these should be based on quality information which is properly cited.e. They are used in all areas of administration and serve various purposes (e. pictures) to present information. brochure. routine reports.separating facts and opinions . booklet. format and content vary greatly (e. Is outsourcing the answer?) 2) Gather your information Information can be obtained by various means: research interviews. use: “The problem was solved by the sales department. pattern book give quotation or price Price can be given in two ways: i) price list Terms net = no discount will be granted ii) making up a quotation This is a special price offered to a customer after evaluating the various aspects of the specific transaction. Layout There is no set layout for reports. Remember that a report must be objective (i.g. The information is thus divided into segments that make it easy for a reader to understand. a sample/set of samples.Make sure a report is not too lengthy or dense. This can be achieved by: . Reports may be formal or informal. These should be indented. your personal knowledge about the topic. pamphlet). Annual report.Reference may be made either the bare cost or INCOTERMS 1953 (i. etc. 3) Manage your information i. progress report) However. . space) and to focus attention on specific information. .using language free from personal feelings (e.reporting all pertinent information (both positive and negative aspects) .A quotation may be lower of higher than the price quoted in the price list. GENERAL RULES ON HOW TO WRITE A REPORT 1) Choose a purpose sentence or title indicating the subject of the report. leaflet/flyer (US). determine a plan of presentation Decide whether you want to use statistics/visual presentations (graphs. free from bias). This may allow you to present your information in a more economical manner (it saves time. including other costs such as insurance or transport) ..e.g.g.explain payment and delivery term C) Close offer services solicit order HOW TO WRITE A SUMMARY Remember the main rules: · What is/are the main point/s? · Use your own words to report what has been said · A summary contains only the main ideas and not much explanation or examples · A summary is about 1/4 to 1/3 the length of the original text · What are the results/conclusions? How to Write a Report What is a business report? It is a way of presenting information about a company to assist in decision-making. internal or external to an organization.” rather than “The sales department .The currency of quotation is specified . Improving Sales Strategy) or a question (e. 4) Analyse your information Make sense of the information gathered. investigations. This can be either a statement (e.offer alternatives to terms stated (fixed/negotiable) .confirm help or suggest alternative routes( refer to someone else) provide illustrative material (catalogue.g.e.) It is important to determine: a) the purpose/scope of the report b) the audience (client? Potential client? Government? Co-workers? How much do they know? Do they have to take action on the basis of the report?) .g. Compare and contrast facts and figures and try and find ideas.

full committee. 3.2 etc.3 2001 . Not: I analyzed three types of programs – but: Three types of programs were analyzed. permanent] committee by … [eg. employees.2 1990 . three] occasions: … .did a marvellous job in solving the problem.1 Present 2. Date of meeting(s): This committee met on … [eg.. author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies... suppliers.. How will you create the desired picture? . "Mission statement help clarify what business you are in. quality.2000 1. service.) 6) Make recommendations and determine a solution REPORTS (Dodd's) BCCI → 200/300 words three elements. How to Write a Mission Statement A mission statement is a key tool that can be as important as your business plan. // Following the request of … [eg. competitors and the community. …. suppliers. in a few succinct sentences. growth potential. vs. your family and your customers? Think about the spark that ignited your decision to start a business. Equally important. use of technology. your goals and your objectives. Structure etc.g. employees and the public will all have perceptions of your company. pricing. 4. suppliers and the community.: 1. 2013 – 2014 6. … … … (Secretary [=> the one who takes minutes]) in accordance with the above-mentioned mandate. the essence of your business's goals and the philosophies underlying them. the Board of Directors] that met on 4th December. The report was divided in. 2009 – 2010 4. 60/70 words each: • • • past present future (=recommendations) subdivide into paragraph. and your relationships with your customers. employees.adopt an impersonal style (e. Contents 2. and … [dates]. Introduction 3. etc.2005 2.1 Past 1. What will keep it burning? • Who are your customers? What can you do for them that will enrich their lives and contribute to their success--now and in the future? • What image of your business do you want to convey? Customers. Answering the following questions will help you to create a verbal picture of your business's mission: • Why are you in business? What do you want for yourself. It captures. marketplace position. Conclusion Introduction: 1. The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer. 2011 – 2012 5. Mandate: This report is the result of a mandate given to this ad-hoc [= specific task. 2011 (see Minute. the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers. the CEO] to this ad-hoc committee in the letter of … 2. es.." says Rhonda Abrams.”) . Esempio: SALES PROJECTION 2012-2015 1. The analysis of these three periods has led the committee to make recommendations that can be find. It was decided that the aim was. item 4 comma 3). Committee: The ad-hoc committee is made up of … … … (Chairperson)..

the higher the chance that people will click and read the content." but do your customers agree? Don't be vague. but which must be in writing well in advance (receipt at least 10 days prior) for formal meetings. You could provide statistics or interesting facts. How will all this change over time? • What level of service do you provide? Most companies believe they offer "the best service available. Minutes of a Meeting For all meetings. • How do you differ from your competitors? Many entrepreneurs forget they are pursuing the same dollars as their competitors." The more interesting your news release headline. adequate notice must be given to those who are to participate. Step 2: SUMMARY Write a strong two. Step 7: ACTION Close the news release with a call to action. When you succeed. If you're telling the story behind the business opening. It normally contains the agenda for the meeting or at least mentions the main points for discussion. Step 1: TITLE Create a title for your news release that would capture the attention of your target audience. Survival and Profitability expectations • What are the major products/services • Geographic Spread How to write a Press Release A news release. Step 5: QUOTE Provide a more complete statement from someone at your company who is an authority on the matter. notice which may simply be oral if the meeting is informal. new innovation or a newsworthy development related to your new company. month. where. and why--here. challenges and recognizes employees. List the city. processes. public announcements or advertisements in the daily newspapers are also used for large very formal meetings like general assemblies or annual meetings of shareholders. define what makes your service so extraordinary. time and venue of the meeting. Moral and Ethical stance • Who are the customers • What are the major markets/products/services • Major Competitive advantages • Growth. when. Keep the release title to less than 20 words. what." You could also add a short quote from the owner or developer of the new technology. Tell the reader--usually a media professional--where he can learn more about your new business or give you a call. service. also called a press release. In other words A MISSION STATEMENT SHOULD potentially cover a number of aspects depending what is relevant to the company's position at the time. The notice should be sent to all persons entitled to attend and it is common practice for people unable to attend to send an apology. Step 3: DATE AND PLACE Type in a date and location line--online press release submission services generate this automatically. The purpose of a release is to notify the media about your new operation. capital. Writing them down clarifies the "why" behind your mission. For instance. so do they. • What roles do you and your employees play? Wise captains develop a leadership style that organizes. state. For instance.• What is the nature of your products and services? What factors determine pricing and quality? Consider how these relate to the reasons for your business's existence. so just discuss the other three—who (you and your company). what (purpose of why you're writing this release) and why (why this information is important to the public). Indeed. Step 6: REITERATE Reiterate why the information about your new business is important to the public. can turn out to be an extremely valuable advertising investment. • What kind of relationships will you maintain with suppliers? Every business is in partnership with its suppliers. • What underlying philosophies or values guided your responses to the previous questions? Some businesses choose to list these separately. such as "low cost" or "made with recycled products. Identify the "five Ws"--who. you (the owner) can make a statement about what inspired you to start this company. The statement can describe more technical details about the product or service. Step 4: PURPOSE STATEMENT Start off the release by condensing the entire main purpose of the release within one paragraph of up to three or four sentences. The headline should include information about your product. The when and where is covered by your date and location line. you can type in the name of the device that saves on electricity as well as more features of the device.or three-sentence summary that goes into more detail about the headline. Make sure you provide references to any information you quote from other sources. products and services to reach your goals? A description of your strategy will keep your energies focused on your goals. so that the organisers know that everyone has received the notice. The convening notice must be dated and mention the date. "New Company Releases Device That Saves Reduces Electricity Usage by 20%. day and year of the release. in the case of the electricity-saving device you could enter statistics about the average household's electricity costs each year. • Beliefs or Values. What do you do better. cheaper or faster than other competitors? How can you use competitors' weaknesses to your advantage? • How will you use technology. For instance. .

o. The agenda establishes the items and the order in which these items are discussed. via Ponticchio 10. Signed and dated this 27th Day of December 2001. whereas the various individual motions vary from company to company. although it may be the chairperson who does it in very small committee meetings. Vote of thanks to Chairperson Meeting declared closed Minutes of the Meeting are first and foremost a record of the decisions taken and. It is normally the appointed secretary who draws up the agenda. known as resolutions. recording every single thing that is said is an exaggeration. the proxies. It may or may not be prepared in advance. Many of the items you will see on the agenda are standard company procedure.m. (Smith & Jones) a. according to the Company Rules. the apologies and (if any) those present without voting rights referred to as those in attendance. the proposal may be moved orally and a seconder found from among the participants of the meeting. Essentially. Milan on the 19th Day of January.Certainly. following the order of the agenda (unless the chair varied the order with the meeting’s approval). the names of those present with voting rights.30 p. xxxxxx Company Secretary The Agenda is simply the formal list of items to be discussed during a meeting.b. the minutes should consist of date and place of meeting. The length varies from actual verbatim reports (committees at the European Parliament) to simply a list of the motions carried. once approved by the subsequent meeting and signed by the chairperson and secretary. with the purpose of considering the following points to be included in the agenda: Director’s Report and Statement of Accounts for Year ended 31st December 2001.30 –5.m.b. just .30 a. and between 4.30-9. of course. are legally binding and may not be altered..IBM Italia Spa – AGM Notice is hereby given that the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Shareholders will be held in the IBM Conference Hall. by order of the Board. the minutes will cover the items of business transacted.m. The most formal meetings require that the motions be written into the agenda as well as the names of the moving proposer and seconder.o. Then. It is important to find a happy balance between these two extremes. A member entitled to attend and vote may appoint a proxy. In less formal meetings. Agenda Election of Chairperson and Secretary (if necessary) Reading of Convening Notice and Declaration of Quorum Reading of Minutes of previous meeting Points arising from minutes and approval of previous minutes Correspondence Chairperson’s opening remarks Business adjourned from last meeting (if any) Election of officers First motion: that the company adopt a policy of flexitime to avoid traffic congestion and overloading public transport between 8. 2002 at 11 a. 2003. Election of Directors and Appointment of Auditors for the Years 2002a.

n° AO/592/01.. Mr Frank Tyler. There being no further business from the Chair.. There were three candidates. 0 votes against.30 maintaining a total number of working hours of not less than 7 per day proposed by Ms Rossi and seconded by Mr Bruni led to further discussion as to whether or not consideration should be made of congestion at lunch time and whether or not to introduce a flexi-lunch hour..o.. n° AO/622/01 requesting statement regarding Company’s development plans in the rural area of Little Walston in Berkshire. inviting members to Town Hall Christmas reception on 15th December 2001. and between 4. 7.m. 9. Mr Roberto Gubizza (secretary) In attendance: Mr Paul Crockett (external auditor) Reading of Notice and Declaration of Quorum The Secretary reads the Convening Notice..30-9.30 .. he declares the meeting closed.as is a simple list of resolutions without any background discussion at all.. 1 abstention.. Apologies: Sir Harry Putnam. But at all times they must be clear (no ambiguities!).m. Mr Caterina Rossi. Rossi 72. The motion is carried. Poncini that in future he will do his best to see that members are formally invited in good time.05 a. at . notes the number of members present.m. Caterina Rossi (Public Relations & Outgoing representative). Reading of Minutes of previous meeting The Secretary reads the minutes of the previous meeting held on the . Staff turn-out was 67%. Mr James Halford (Sales). Poncini moves that the minutes be approved. Vote of thanks to Chairperson Mr Giulio Bruni (Vice-President) moves a motion of thanks to the Chair and mentions members’ particular appreciation for the speed and efficiency of the meeting. Chairperson’s opening remarks: The Chair welcomes the members present and reminds them that the meeting will have to move quickly as there is a Press Conference at 5 p.30 and may leave in the evening at any time between 4.30 a. The motion for amendment is carried unanimously. that staff may arrive at anytime in the morning between 7. Julia Present: Giulio Bruni..30-9. ref. Cusumano 40..30 –5. Having covered all the items on the agenda and there being no further business. 4. Correspondence The Chair reads the following correspondence directly addressed to the Board: letter dated 21/11/2001. given that the number exceeds the minimum required.30-9. Points arising from minutes and approval of previous minutes There being no points arising from the minutes. Bruni and. ref. 6.. from Mr Paul Taylor for his retirement gift presented to him at his farewell party at the end of October..m. The Chair opens the meeting at 11. thanked all three candidates for their participation. Milan. the item is opened to the floor.... Ms.30-2.and”..302. Ms. in . and warmly invites members to be present to put on a show of solidarity. that staff may arrive at anytime in the morning between 7. letter of thanks dated 29/11/01. The Chairperson.30 a. 3. Ms.b. letter from The Times dated 22/11/200. accurate and concise: MINUTES OF MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr Jack Murphy (Chair). and between 4..30. congratulates Ms Rossi and welcomes her back to the Board. there is no obligation to attend. 5. 10. Roberts. Ms Poncini apologizes for not being able to be present at the Press Conference due to a prior engagement and asks to put in the minutes her request that members be informed of such events in the Convening Notice.30.30 –6. 8. Meeting declared closed The Chairperson thanks the members for their attention and for making his job so easy. n° AO/ 634/2001..30 –5. He does however assure Ms. There was no further business brought up from the floor. and the motion is carried unanimously.30 pm and may leave in the evening at any time between 4. simply an invitation. Poncini. the candidates obtained the following votes: Halford 22.m. declares the meeting quorate and therefore in order to proceed.30 p.. Jack Murphy replies that it is not possible to include events in the Notice if they are arranged subsquently.30 –6. p.. the proxy Sir Henry Putnam has given to Mr G. Furthermore.. G. Mr Bruni seconds. The substantive motion that the company adopt a policy of flexitime to avoid traffic congestion and overloading public transport between 8. 2. Ms. . on behalf of all members...30 p.. a. Ms Poncini proposes and Ms Roberts seconds an amendment to the motion that the words “ may take lunch at any time between 12.m.m.30 pm” to be inserted between the words “9. ref. Ms Beatrice Cusumano (Human Resources) and Ms. while maintaining a total number of working hours of not less than 7 per day is carried by 6 votes for.. Election of officers The Chair informs the meeting that the election for staff representative on the Board of Directors has been held. may take lunch at any time between 12. First motion: that the company adopt a policy of flexitime to avoid traffic congestion and overloading public transport between 8. Mr Tyler seconds..309. Mr Chris Stevens.

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