Introduction to Business Letter
A letter is a means of communication. Business letters are means of communication on matters of trade and commerce. It includes all kinds of letters that may be used in conducting business transactions. The main function of business letters is to open up and maintain business relations. It introduces, promotes, and concludes business transactions. It is a substitute for face-to-face or telephonic conversation. It is often the sole means of communication over the barrier of distance. It is a low-cost and effective medium of communication. It plays an important role in the life and work of the business community.
Advantages of Business Letter
- Letters are less expensive than other forms of communication.
- Letters are suitable for all types of commercial correspondence.
- They provide a written record of all business transactions.
- The form can be easily adopted.
- They are promptly and safely delivered by post/courier or messenger.
- The length of a letter can be easily adapted to the demand of a situation.
- They provide scope for correction and rectification before the final draft.
- They are concise and compact, not vague or ambiguous.
- Letters make unpleasant tasks easier.
- They serve the interest of both the writer and the receiver
Features of Business Letter
Clarity: A business letter should clearly express the thoughts of the writer. For this, the writer should use appropriate words and expressions. Clarity depends on the writer’s choice of words, grammatical accuracy, and sentence structure. Sentences should be simple and clear in meaning.
Conciseness: Brevity is the soul of a business letter. It should be long enough to serve the purpose. But it should not exceed the limit. All sorts of rhetorical devices and sentimental effusions should be avoided.
Comprehensiveness: A good business letter must be complete in all respects. It must adequately serve the purpose for which it is written. It must include all the relevant points. It must not be superfluous. To be successful in writing business letters, a writer must think logically and arrange the points systematically.
Courtesy: A business letter must be polite. Courtesy is an essential quality of a good business letter. An impolite letter can cause great harm to the prestige and goodwill of the sender. On the other hand, a polite and courteous letter can add to the reputation of the sender in the eye of the receiver.
Some Instructions for writing a Business Letter
🌴 Do not use artificial or hackneyed phrases such as – We wish to advise; Per our agreement; At your convenience; Enclosed please find, etc.
🌴 Do not use unnecessary words or phrases such as – During the year of 2012; In the city of Kolkata; It sells at a price of Rs…….
🌴 Avoid jargon and pets, such as – Accordingly, Awful, Bottleneck, Anticipate, Envisage, etc.
🌴 Avoid pedantic (bookish) words. Use common but appropriate equivalents.
🌴 Avoid verbosity and padding. For example in the following cases the underlined words may be avoided: acute crisis; grave demand; definite decision; most urgent; essential condition etc. The following are some examples of verbosity that can be substituted by words within brackets: in the first instance (First); until such time as (Until). Expressions such as, ‘It should be noted that; ‘It will be appreciated that.’ etc. should be avoided.
🌴 Do not use insulting or antagonizing words, such as Addicted to; Your irresponsibility: Your failure to pay, The mistake you made, etc.
🌴 Use short sentences.
🌴 Avoid negative approach. Always try to be positive in approach.
- We can not supply you with the goods unless we receive payment. (Negative)
- We shall supply you with the goods as soon as we receive your remittance. (Positive)
The Form of a Business Letter
There are certain general principles for writing a business letter. Usually, a business letter consists of the following six parts:
(A) the name of the firm
[B] the address of the firm
[C] telephone number
[D] the reference number and date
Chhaya Prakashani Pvt. Ltd.
Publishers & Book Sellers
1, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata – 700009
B. Inside address:
It consists of the name and address of the firm or person to whom the letter is written. This is usually written on the left-hand side immediately above the greeting.
Messers Gupta and Co. Ltd.
15, East canal Road
Kolkata – 700025
1. Mr., Mrs., Ms., Shri, Shrimati, etc.: Such titles may be used before personal names in general.
2. Messrs: It is used before names of firms, companies, etc. However, the title can not be used in the following cases:
- Where the name of a limited company is an impersonal one, e.g., The Imperial Shoe Industries Ltd.
- Before the name of a company which includes a courtesy title, e.g., Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd.
3. Esqr: It is used after the names of eminent persons and professionals such as barristers, solicitors, etc.
C. Greeting or introductory salutation:
The greeting or salutation is the complimentary term with which the writer begins her/his letter. The form of salutation depends on the relationship between the writer of the letter and the person to whom the letter is written. In writing business letters, different types of greetings are used under different circumstances.
- Sir, Dear Sir, My Dear Sir, Dear Madam, etc.: These forms are used in addressing an individual.
- Gentlemen, Dear Sirs: These forms are used in addressing firms or companies or a collective body of individuals. In the case of a company, do not use ‘Sirs’ or ‘Dear Sirs’ as the salutation.
D. Body of the letter:
This is the most important part of a letter. It contains the message or information to be communicated. The body of a letter may be divided into three main parts:
- The opening of the letter: intended to attract the attention of the receiver by conveying the message briefly in a courteous manner.
- The middle of the letter: contains the principal message and is actually the heart of the letter.
- The closing of the letter: conveys the action desired.
E. Complimentary close:
There are several ways of politely ending a letter depending on the relationship between the writer of a letter and the person to whom it is sent. It should be brief and correspond to the salutation.
The name of the writer should be put just below the complimentary close. It varies according to the authority of the signatory.
- A sole trader: P. K. Mitra
- Partnership: Sen, Roy & Co.
- Legally Authorised Person: for Sarkar % Brothers, M. Biswas
Format of Business Letter (Layout)
Name of the firm
Nature of the Business
Ref. No. …………
BODY OF THE LETTER
Business Letter Samples
Business Letter Sample #1
Q. Write a letter to a supplier of computer goods inviting quotation regarding the requirements for up-gradation of the computers of your business concern.
Contact No. (033) 73845677
RAINBOW ADVERTISING LTD.
34, Netaji Subhas Bose Road,
Kolkata – 700071
Email: [email protected]
Ref. No.: Q-3/Comp-2/21
May 4, 2021
S. S. Computers
12, AJ.C. Road
Kolkata – 700016
Sub: Inviting quotation for up-gradation of computer
I am writing this letter to inform you that we are planning to upgrade our computer system to make it suitable for the demand of the day. So, request you to send me a detailed quotation regarding the requirements for up-gradation of our computer system.
Here is a list of items to be upgraded:
- Graphics card of 4 GB
- RAM 4 GB
- HDD capacity of 500 GB
Would you please guide us in selecting the latest upgraded devices and branded companies? The price range and the quality should be according to our satisfaction.
Kindly send us the quotation mentioning the unit price, terms, and conditions of delivery and payment within ten days from the date of receipt of this letter.
Rainbow Advertising Ltd.
Business Letter Sample #2
Q. Write a letter to a manufacturer of the plastic base, Teflon base, stainless steel, etc. inviting quotation for purchase of some products for the production of cooking utensils and containers in your company.
15, Lower Circular Road, Kolkata – 700024
Email: [email protected]
Ref. No.: QT/11/21
March 2, 2021
Modern Industry Ltd.
28, Canal West Street
Kolkata – 700095
Sub: Inviting quotation
We know that your company manufactures some products that suit our business requirements. So, we request you to send a quotation on the following items by March 15, 2021.
- Plastic base for cooking utensils
- Teflon for pans and pots
- The stainless steel used for storage containers and plates
PLEASE NOTE THAT:
- We require at least 1500 units of each item per month.
- Payment will be made within seven days from the date of delivery.
- The quotation would remain valid for six months from the date of submission.
- We would appreciate a prompt response from you.
Hope that you would send us the lowest quotation and easy terms to start a long-lasting business relationship with us. If your quotation suits us, we would place a substantial order with you.
Business Letter Sample #3
Q. “Write a letter complaining that 5 boxes of T-Time biscuits supplied by Orion Biscuit Co. are unfit for consumption, suggesting that they should be replaced by fresh biscuits.
Karimpur, Nadia, Ref. No.: Compl/B-2/21
April 17, 2021
Orion Biscuit Co.
56, B. T. Road, Titagarh,
24 Pgs (N)
Sub: Complaint about the damage of goods
I am sorry to tell you that of all the boxes of biscuits supplied by you, five boxes of T-Time biscuits, are found to be damaged. The packets inside the boxes are torn and the biscuits have absorbed moisture. Today one of the customers has returned two packets of T-Time biscuits. These biscuits are now unfit for consumption.
As there has been a good demand for this brand of biscuit, I request you to replace the damaged boxes with fresh ones at your earliest.
Business Letter Sample #4
Q. Write a letter to M. K. Electronics, Kolkata, requesting for repair or replacement of the M. K TV set which you had bought from them only 2 months ago as it has developed certain defects.
M/s. M. K. Electronics,
75, Lenin Sarani,
Kolkata – 70013, March 16, 2021
Sub: Repair/Replacement of the TV set recently bought
With due respect, I, a bonafide customer of your organization, would like to intimate you that I had bought an MK TV set (Model no. KG2017) from you only two months ago but it is not functioning properly now.
As it has developed certain defects within the guarantee period, I request you to make necessary arrangements for repairing or replacement of said TV set. Photocopies of the cash memo and the guarantee card of the said TV set are attached herewith for
your perusal and ready reference. Looking forward to your prompt action.
BG 21, Salt Lake
Kolkata – 700 064
Business Letter Sample #5
Q. Write a letter to your supplier protesting against the delay in delivery of goods. Explain the adverse effect of the delay and indicate the action envisaged if it crosses the time limit suggested by you.
Contact No. (033) 25555529
P. D. ENTERPRISE
Multiple Business Centre
74, Serpentine Lane, Kolkata – 700014
Ref No.: Compl-3/St.-8/21, May 5, 2021
M/s. Multi Trading Mart
Wholesale supplier of stationery goods
15, A. P. C. Road
Kolkata – 700012
Sub: Delay in delivery of goods causing an adverse effect
We regret to remind you that you acknowledged our order dated March 15, 2021, and agreed to deliver the goods by April 15, 2021. But the goods have not yet reached us. This is causing great inconvenience and threatens the loss of one of our customers for whom they were intended.
In this critical situation, we regret to inform you that unless the delivery is made within a week from the date of receipt of this letter, we will be compelled to cancel the order. Moreover, we shall take action for recovery of any loss which we may sustain for non-delivery of goods within the stipulated time.
Since we trust you, we hope you will make every effort to deliver the goods as desired.
Business Letter Exercise
Business Letter Question #1
Write a letter to the supplier complaining that the varnish is of inferior quality. However, you may offer to retain the goods on the condition that an allowance of 15% is made in the price, failing which the supplier should dispose of the goods.
Business Letter Question #2
Write a letter complaining that defective goods have been supplied. Ask them to replace them immediately. Otherwise, it would
adversely affect the reputation of your business concern.
Business Letter Question #3
Draft a letter to your supplier complaining about the shortage in weight of consignment of tea you have just received. Give details and ask for a suitable remedy.
Business Letter Question #4
You received a consignment of 100 bags of sugar from Rohana Sugar Mills in damaged condition. The bags appear to be second-hand ones leading to damage in transit. Now write a letter to the consignor claiming compensation for the loss and damage of sugar.
Business Letter Question #5
Write a letter to your supplier complaining against the supply of medicine crossing the stipulated expiry date, as printed.
Business Letter Question #6
Write a letter seeking an extension of time for delivery of goods because of the unexpected rush of orders.
Business Letter Question #7
Write a letter seeking an extension of time for delivery of goods because of sudden mechanical disorder, hampering normal production.
Business Letter Question #8
Write a letter seeking an extension of time for delivery of goods because of the scarcity of raw materials in the market.
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