How to Write a Business Memo
A memo (or memorandum) is a short document designed for internal communication. If you need to inform your employees or co-workers of something, for instance, you may need to write a business memo. But how does this work? In this post, we look at the basics.
A business memo should identify itself, so use the heading ‘MEMORANDUM’ at the top. After that, you need to include four things:
- The date you are sending the memo
- The memo’s recipient(s)
- Yourself (i.e. the sender)
- The subject of the memo
So if we had to contact our proofreaders, our memo might begin:
The recipients will then be able to see whether it applies to them.
Part One: Your Main Point
Begin your memo by clearly explaining why you are sending it. It is vital to get to the point quickly here, so focus on the most important details and save in-depth information for later.
Part Two: Supporting Evidence
The second – and probably longest – part of your memo will be a more detailed explanation of the subject of the memo. This may include:
- Relevant background information for context
- An explanation of the issue, possibly including an example
- Any supporting evidence required to make your point
Ideally, this should be no more than a paragraph or two. If you find you have a lot of information to communicate, you may need to write a full business report. However, you can use a memo to draw attention to a longer document (e.g. by attaching a file or including a URL).
Part Three: Closing Statement
End your memo with a brief closing statement. If applicable, this should include what you want the recipients to do in response to the memo (e.g. a course of action or submitting information). Alternatively, it can simply be a short summary of the key information from the memo.
Tips on How to Write a Business Memo
When writing a business memo, make sure to:
- Use a clear, concise writing style that is easy to understand.
- Make sure the tone is appropriate to the subject. For instance, while a memo about a business decision would be formal and professional, a memo announcing the date of the company’s Christmas party should probably use a more festive tone.
- Use formatting such as bullet points and lists to help skim readers.
- Remember that a memo is not a letter. You do not need to include a salutation at the start or a valediction at the end (e.g. no need for ‘Dear So and So’ or ‘Kind regards’).
Finally, we’ve created an example memorandum to show you what yours might look like. And don’t forget to ensure your memo is error free by having it checked by a professional proofreader.