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Principles of business correspondence

Principles of business correspondence

Business correspondence is one of the first skills that all businessmen have to know. They should know it because there is an urgent need for foreign communications with different people in other countries in the process of importation and exportation of goods. Each country has a particular language, culture, laws, and customs, and the businessmen must observe them in customs and business correspondence. In this paper, some information on different types of business and commercial correspondence has been provided that you can practice business correspondence on your own according to the principles and regulations after finishing studying the paper.

The necessity to know the rules of business correspondence

Commercial correspondence includes letters, contracts, dialogues, conversations, forums, and many other items that a businessman should master to export or import goods. Thus, from striking up simple conversations with a foreign businessman in social networks, and emailing them to concluding a legal contract, are all included under the title of commercial correspondence and they need the observation of some particular principles and regulations. 

Mutual trust is the overriding factor in foreign trade where commercial correspondence is the main path to build trust in the other party or to destroy their trust. Since the two parties come from some different cultures and nations, thus a simple misunderstanding may lead to a loss of trust. Learning business correspondence is one of the main requirements of entering the exportation field and business activities. 

Nowadays, for foreign business and commerce to be fruitful, and also to succeed in concluding international business contracts, some important processes like foreign commercial correspondence and negotiation must be completed. These two processes are so important that in case of any misunderstanding in either, the conclusion of the contract and doing foreign business may face obstacles. 

The businessmen correspond with foreign parties considering the issues and problems they face in their business. Of course, there are some similarities between them, but some points must be noted in either of them to prevent problems. 

Negotiation is essentially considered to be an art, or it is, in fact, an art that leads to a general understanding, and it is realized through talking over fundamental points in the contract including method of delivery, means of delivery, specifications, prices, and conditions. Negotiation is a very difficult task and it requires much correct exercise, arbitration, competence, and judgment. 

Types of business correspondence

There are different types of commercial correspondence or business correspondence. We will introduce them in the following. 

Business letters

The main item of commercial correspondence is business letters. The subject of business letters varies a lot. Of course, some different subjects including the introduction of company or product, receiving product catalogs, becoming a representative of a foreign company, receiving or sending goods price, etc. Since a business letter is considered to be a written document, one must take enough care to write it. 

Important tips that must be noted when writing business letters to foreign parties:

  • It is necessary to have a good command of the other party’s language and to compose the letter in its language. 
  • You should be careful with writing words and phrases with legal overtones. 
  • The tone of the letter should create a positive perception on the side of the party reading the letter.
  • The foreign letter must be composed on the company’s letterhead.
  • It should have an attractive and appropriate title. 
  • Foreign commercial expressions should be used correctly and appropriately. 
  • The culture, language, religion, individual identity of the target country should be respected. 
  • Avoid using complicated, multiple-meaning, and vague words. 
  • The letter should be written in formal language, and avoid using disrespectful words. 
  • It should contain contact information, address, email, and other required items. 
  • The content of the commercial letter should be concise and to the point, and it should avoid generalities. 
  • The private person or legal person addressed by the letter should be completely specified. 
  • The required documents must be attached to the letter. 
  • The exact specifications of the goods must be exactly determined in the product introduction letter. 

Business email

The quickest and best way in business correspondence to communicate with foreign businessmen is through business email. It is possible to easily have access to all foreign parties through this means of communication. You may believe that sending an email is an easy task, but you should know that sending an email is more difficult than writing a business letter. 

Some important tips that should be observed when sending business emails to foreign companies:

  • Make sure to send the email using an official email address of the company and do not use a private person’s email address. 
  • The email should be concise. 
  • Introduce yourself at the beginning of the email by providing your name and position. 
  • Avoid sending repetitive, aimless, and general emails. 
  • Try to insert a digital signature at the end of your emails. 
  • Further explanation will be provided in the attached files. 
  • Make sure to select an attractive and relevant title in the subject line of the email. 
  • Be careful with the choice of business words, expressions, and words.

Business contracts

The businessmen enter into business and commercial contracts with the foreign companies many times over their work. Some different subjects like cooperation in producing products, trading goods, etc. are mentioned in business contracts. 

Concerning the fact that this business contract is considered to be a legal document, much care should be taken in formulating and concluding it. A contract is the most important document that the parties can invoke when referring to legal authorities in case any problem arises. 

Some bodies like the international chamber of commerce or the joint chamber of commerce among different countries are responsible for solving business conflicts among business parties. 

Important points that must be observed in international business contracts:

  • Exact name and specifications of the parties to the contract in detail. 
  • Goods, products, or services being exchanged should be specified in detail. 
  • Specification of the individual, body, or court that is authorized to address the conflicts. 
  • The conditions to be followed after the termination of the contract should be clarified by one of the parties to the contract. 
  • Contract rate, installment payment method, and financial points should be mentioned in detail. 
  • The exact starting and ending date of the contract should be mentioned. 
  • Specification of the responsibilities or commitments that should be implemented by each party to the contract. 
  • The place where the contract is to be implemented, if there is any, should be determined. 
  • The deposit, sum of money, or the document indicating good performance should be clearly expressed. 
  • The points about goods transportation, consignment note, and insurance should be specified if there is any. 

Communication in social networks

Social networks have grown rapidly over the past years and expanded in the field of international trade. Easier access and communication with different people using social networks have converted social media into appropriate tools for international goods marketing, recognition of customers, and forging relationships. 

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, and LinkedIn are but some of the networks you can use to engage in foreign commerce. The social networks each have a particular function and advantage and they differ from each other. 

Some tips on correspondence in social networks:

  • Interacting with businessmen through the widely popular social network in the foreign country. 
  • Frauds in virtual space should not be ignored. 
  • Local social networks are not meant for concluding contracts or legal pacts. 
  • Each social network suits a particular type of activity. 

Items that should be noted when having foreign correspondence

Business correspondence at any level or of any type should take some points into account, including:

  • You should have a good command of the language spoken in the target country for international business correspondence. 
  • Try to participate in educational courses and seminars on business correspondence. 
  • Completely study and learn the international business and commerce laws.
  • Focus on some subjects such as body language and its effect on negotiations. 
  • Get help from other companies, private persons, or legal persons on this issue. 
  • If you do not have a good command of the language spoken in the target country, make sure to use a translator. 
  • Have a good mastery over the foreign commerce words and expressions. 
  • Be fully familiar with the rules and regulations of the target country. 
  • Have a lawyer or business consultant with you.

We prepared and published some information on the rules and principles of business correspondence. Also, we explained different types of business correspondence and points about each type. The experts in GTGTRADE Company are ready to do the correspondence you need and enter into contracts with foreign businessmen. 

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