How to write a Business memo?
Create the Heading
Business memos that will be emailed as attachments should begin with a heading that lists the name(s) of the staff members who will be receiving it. If the memo will be included in the body of an email, this section is not necessary because the email program will provide the information typically included in a memo heading for you.
The opening paragraph usually should contain the main purpose of a memo and includes: its purpose, the context, problem, and the specific assignment or task. Before indulging the reader with details and the context, give the reader a brief overview of what the memo will be about. Your memo plan style decides how specific your introduction will be. The more direct the memo plan, the more explicit the introduction should be. Including the purpose of the memo will help clarify the reason the audience should read this document. The introduction should be brief and should be approximately the length of a short paragraph.
Example memo heading
Memo To: fill in recipient name(s)
From: sender’s full name
Date: date memo is sent
RE: specific subject line
CC: Put in the names of people who will be copied on the email.
Headings should include the full name of the person or people who will receive the document. No nickname should be used.
You should also include your full name and the date when the memo was prepared.
The next part of the heading is the subject of the memo, which is usually indicated by “RE:” which stands for “Regarding.” Make the subject as specifically highlighted as possible. Instead of a general heading such as “New Policy,” choose “New Policy for Scheduling Vacations.”
If the menu will be copied to other people, end the heading with a CC: line.
Write the Body
The body of a memo includes three components:
- Introduction: This should be a short paragraph of two or three sentences that lets people know the reason for the memo in a direct manner.
- Recommendations or purpose: This section gets to the meat of the message using key points, highlights or background information. A Memo may include supporting details like facts and statistics, it may also include examples and reasons for the memo.
- Conclusion: The conclusion will make it clear what action needs to be taken and when it needs to be completed or reiterates the timely news included in the memo.
Skip a formal salutation
Remember not to begin a memo with a salutation like “Dear Mr. Edwards.” Instead, dive right into your opening segment that introduces the matter you’re discussing in the memo.
Finalize the Document
Proof the memo carefully before you send it. Make sure that your memo is free from typing mistakes and that the document is accurately conveying the point(s) you want to get across.
Use the following guidelines when evaluating what you have written and make the required changes.
- Audience-appropriate: Verify the document is appropriate for the education, background, company status and needs of the recipients.
- Concise: Remove needless words and keep the memo to one page or less in most circumstances.
- Coherent: Make sure that the memo structure is kept simple and logical and each paragraph consists/explains just one idea and doesn’t make it too bulky.
- Readability: Make sure to keep paragraphs short and use bullet points to list key details.
- Terminology: Use appropriate terminology that the audience can be expected to understand.
- Factual tone: Verify that the tone is professional and that you have not included emotionally charged words.
- Appearance: Ensure the finished document is visually appealing and easy to read.
Distribute the Memo
When you are sure the memo is ready to go, hand-write your initials by your name on the ‘from’ line, then copy and distribute the document to the recipient(s) if you are sending hard copies.
When you are sending the memo via email, you may want to convert it to a PDF document before sending, so that you can be sure the format and the alignment will carry in the similar manner through to everyone who receives it. Once you have done that, simply enter the appropriate email addresses, attach the memo and add a descriptive subject line clearly explaining the requirement. You may also want to add a few lines of introductory text in the body of the email directing readers to open the attachment before clicking ‘send.’
- Closing Segment
After the reader has absorbed all your information, close it with a courteous ending. Make sure you explain about how the reader will be benefited from it and how you can make those actions easier. For example, you might say, “I will be glad to discuss this recommendation with you during our Tuesday trip to the spa and follow through on any decisions you make.”
- Necessary Attachments
This can be achieved by attaching lists, graphs, tables, etc. at the end of your memo. Be sure to refer to your attachments in your memo and add a notation about what is attached below your closing, like this: Attached: Focus Group Results, January- May 2007 Contributors: Courtney Perkins, Allen Breeze.
Types of Memo Format:
The five main types of memos are:
- Request Memo
- Confirmation Memo
- Periodic Report Memo
- Ideas and Suggestions Memo
- Informal Study Results Memo.
The objective of a request memo is to gain a favorable response to a request.Consider the following case: Hirdesh Humayun would like to attend a time management training program that will be sponsored by the chamber of commerce at a local hotel.
The memo is direct and clear, but not suitable from the reader’s point of view.
To achieve its objective, Hirdesh’s memo will have to be like a sales message. The request should be clearly stated. The memo should motivate the reader to take the desired action.
The guidelines given below should be followed:
- The request should be clearly stated
- The reasons for the request should be presented.
- If any financial costs are involved, they should be explained.
- All expenses should be justified.
- Recommendations for action should be presented.
- Throughout the memo tact and diplomacy should be used.
Hirdesh’s memo has been improved by using the above-mentioned guidelines, notice the difference between the first and second drafts of the memo.
A confirmation memo is used to confirm in writing something that has been agreed to verbally. Consider, for example, the sales manager who promises to provide sales coverage to six more cities if the general manager provides him with three additional salespeople.
When the general manager and the sales manager agree on this plan of action, it is common to find the general manager confirming this agreement with a memo.
In such cases, three important guidelines should be followed for writing the memo:
- Be specific regarding the major points that were discussed and verbally agreed upon.
- Enumerate the major points to emphasize them and allow easy reference to them in future discussions.
- Encourage feedback on any misunderstood or unclear points.
Periodic Report Memo:
Periodic report memos – monthly cost control reports, quarterly sales reports – are submitted at regular intervals.
Since these memos are written frequently, they are designed and reprinted so that the writer can complete them quickly.
There are three helpful guidelines for constructing a periodic report memo:
- The memo should be designed as a fill-in form on which data can be entered quickly.
- The form should be designed so that it can be duplicated and re-used.
- If narrative or descriptive commentary is necessary, a place should be provided on the form.
The value of a periodic memo is best illustrated with a comparison. Take a look at the memo in the image, The memo is difficult to read, grasp and make comparisons.
Now, see how the readability and comprehension are improved by the style herein below picture. But the reported memo here is concise, comprehensive and easy to understand. And every quarter all that the manager has to do is to enter the relevant data.
Ideas and Suggestions Memo:
Memos are used to convey ideas or suggestions, often managers ask subordinates for suggestions for tackling certain problems.
The guidelines are listed below for writing this type of memos:
- Write directly – the manager would not have asked for ideas unless he thought the writer had something to offer.
- Begin with positive comments about the current situation (no one likes to be shot down), and then tactfully present suggestions for change.
- Group ideas according to subject and use headings to highlight them.
- Be specific and don’t stray off the point.
Read the memo and identify its drawbacks.
What is wrong with this memo?
- The writer is too general. She has not pointed out what the company should do to tackle its problems.
- She is more concerned with keeping her boss happy than with presenting useful suggestions.
Informal Study Results Memo:
The objective of the message is to present the information in an easy-to-read, understandable form. To this end, follow the guidelines listed below:
- State the purpose at the beginning (and stick to it).
- Use headings and sub-headings to make the reading as easy as possible. Present data in a “Findings” section and interpret it in another called “Conclusions” (or other similar terms).
- Be specific. Stay on the point and address different issues one by one, systematically.
- Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, write the memo in informal language and use personal pronouns.
The opening paragraph states the purpose of the memo; headings and sub-headings act as signposts for the reader. Specific numbered points make the memo easy to read and understand.
How to format a business memorandum?
The business memorandum or memorandum — often also called as memo or memos — are specially formatted written communications within your business.Memos are typically used to make announcements, discuss procedures, report on company activities or pass on employee information. Don’t communicate something confidential in a memo.
The memos are usually written in informal and friendly tone. Structure the memo so that most of the important information comes in the first paragraph.
All memos are structured similarly and have the following elements:
- An addressee: Flush left, in capital letters, near the top of the page
- The sender: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the addressee
- Date: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the sender’s name
- Subject: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the date
This figure shows an example of a properly structured memo.
Even though the majority of information today is conveyed via e-mail, you still need to use the correct style when sending a memo in the body of an e-mail. When you’re conveying larger amounts of information, send that information as a properly formatted memo attachment.
Decide if a memo needs to be sent. If you need to update several people in your team about an important business matter, then sending a memo would be an excellent idea. It can also be used if you’re communicating with just one person if, for example, to have a written record of your correspondence.
- However, in some cases, it may be more efficient to just talk directly to those you need to.
- Also, some information may be too sensitive to send out in a memo.
Identify your purpose for writing. Depending upon your purpose, the content and organization of your memo may change. Commonly the memos are written for the following reasons:
- To propose an idea or solution.
- To issue an order. For example, to assign responsibilities for an upcoming conference that is being hosted by your department.
- To provide a report in order to update your colleagues about a recent even tor report the findings of an investigation.
Narrow your topic. Sometimes due to a lot of projects pressure you might be tempted to send a memo updating your colleagues, superiors, or clients on everything you’re currently working on. Keep in mind though, that business memos should be focused on just one issue.
- They should be concise, clear, and easy to read quickly by busy individuals, thus, avoiding important information to be overlooked. Keeping the memo focused will help ensure that your message is received and understood.
Single-space your document. Business memos are usually not double-spaced. In order to keep the page number down, consider single-spacing, but leave spaces between individual paragraphs or sections.
- There is usually no need for you to indent your paragraphs.
Consider your audience. The content, style, and tone of your business memo will all be affected by the intended audience, so think carefully about everyone who will receive your memo.
- For example, there is a difference writing a memo to your colleagues about planning a surprise party for the people in the office compared to when writing to your supervisor telling him/ her about the results of your months-long investigation.
Avoid using emotional language.It’s best to use a neutral tone while writing and avoid using emotionally-charged language and refer to facts and evidence to support the claims that you have made.
- For example, avoid claims like “I think we’ll all be so much happier if we’re allowed to dress casually on Friday.”
Label your memo. There are many different types of business correspondence but the standard practice for a memo is to explicitly title the document.
- For example, type “Memo” or “Memorandum” at the top of the page.
- It’s up to you as to whether you want to center or left-justify the title.
Write the heading of your memo. The first section of your memo should include four key pieces of information.
- TO: include the names and titles of everyone who will receive your memo.
- FROM: provide your complete name and title.
- DATE: provide the complete and accurate date today’s date.
- SUBJECT: provide a brief, yet specific description of what the memo is about.
Choose your recipient list carefully. Include everyone who needs to be informed or updated.
- Don’t send your memo office-wide if only a few people are concerned or affected
Compose the subject line carefully.Be sure that your subject line is short, clear and not too general.
- For example, “New Business” term is vague, and later if someone is searching through their files, they may have a hard time pinpointing your memo.
- Something better would be “Progress Report on Investigation for Expanding Customer Base”.
Skip the salutation.Prefacing your message with greetings and with a salutation like “Dear Ms. Winters,” or “Dear Colleagues” is not expected in a business memo.
- Memo is a quick and efficient means of communicating important information, and it should be clear to your audience who is receiving the memo and who it is from.
Compose the first, introductory section of the memo. Clearly, state your purpose for writing and sending the memo.
- For example, “I am writing because…”. The introduction should provide a very brief overview of what the is to come in the memo.
Keep the introductory section brief. There is no need to provide all the details or evidence in the first section of your memo.
- Keep it short and simple—a few sentences or a short paragraph will suffice.
Decide on the organization of the body of your memo: A business memo usually contains an additional two to four paragraphs before concluding. The content and organization vary depending upon the topics.
Decide if you want to include sub headings and titles. Your business memo should have clear sections. It’s common for business memos to be divided into clear sections so that the recipients can read and digest the information with ease. You may further help them grasp the important points of your memo by labeling the subsections.
Write specific subheading titles. Make sure that the focus of each subsection is clear to your audience.
Include topic sentences in each of the body paragraphs of your memo. The first sentence of each subsection or paragraph should tell the audience about what is the main point of that section.
- The individual paragraphs or sections of your memo should be focused on just one idea.
Consider using bullet points. You may find it helpful to use bullet points or create lists if you want to highlight important points. This can help your readers zero in on the key points and help them be able to read the memo more quickly and efficiently.
Keep it concise. Typically, a business memo should be no longer than one to two pages, keep it short and to the point.
- The standard page limit is one- two pages for a single-spaced document with spaces between sections or paragraphs.
Decide if you need a summary paragraph. Generally, you won’t need to summarize. However, if the information you have put in is complex or if your memo is longer-than-normal then it may be helpful for you to briefly sum up the key points.
Include a closing section or paragraph. Even if you judge that it’s not necessary to summarize the memo, you still need to end it on a concluding note. Think about the following:
- What is the take away from the memo? Do you need the recipients to do anything? Should they respond by a certain day? If so, clearly state it.
- If no further action is required, including a simple closing sentiment such as “I’m happy to discuss this further” or “Let me know if you have any questions or concerns”.
Sign if you wish. It’s generally not necessary to add your complete name or signature at the end of your memo. Keep in mind, though, that it’s safest to follow the example of others in your field.
- If they sign formally (for example, “Regards, Ms. Smith), then follow suit.
- Even if you skip the signature, you may want to include your initials at the end of the document.
Make a note about any attachments.Be sure to make a note of any attachments you included with your memos, such as tables, graphs, or reports. Remember, to refer the attachments in the body of the memo as well.For example, if you want to inform your employees about an upcoming office move, you may write something like the following: “We intend to be finished with the moving process by the end of the quarter. See the attached Table 1 for a more detailed schedule.”
Review the memo carefully.Carefully proofread your text before sending. Check if your sentences are grammatically correct, free from spelling or punctuation errors and that the content makes sense.
- Consider holding off on sending it after your initial proofread if it is not time-sensitive. If you review the memo again after an hour or two, it may happen that you may find mistakes that you initially overlooked.
- If the memo contains sensitive information, check your company’s policy to see who can review the memo for you and give you final approval on the content.
10+ business memo examples and samples
A memorandum (memo for short) is a short piece of writing generally written by the officers of an organization for sharing information among them. The main purpose of writing a memorandum is to keep the record or convey information and decisions or to make short requests. To achieve its purpose a memo is usually written in an easy-to-understanding language. Plain and direct statements of facts are made to achieve its purpose.
A memo plays a very useful role in an organization. It also enables officers to maintain good business relationships. Another useful function of a memo is to establish accountability. Many organizations use printed memo forms. One can quickly write the message and transmit it to the concerned officer. Writing a memo takes comparatively less time since it does not contain several details which a letter has. However, some examples of memos have been presented here to help the businesses to write memos correctly.
Memo Letter Example: 1
A memo letter informing the Office Manager about the purchase of office chairs.
Instant Procurement Services Pvt. Ltd.
B-11, Sector 12, Noida 123001
Date: 15 August 2016
To: Office Manager
From: Zahir Islam, Purchase Officer
Subject: Purchase of Office Chairs
As desired, the order for the supply of 500 office chairs has been placed with Nagana Furniture Mart, 16 Baradari, Delhi 1204. The chairs will be supplied in two lots of 250 each on 26 and 30 August 2016.
Memo Letter Example: 2
A memo letter requesting Marketing Officer to provide information about the export of Jam and Jelly in Western countries.
Lexicon Herbals Ltd.
32, Kalibala, Delhi 1217
Date: 29 August 2016
To: Marketing Officer
From: Hasan Mahmud, General Manager
Subject: Export of Jam and Jelly
Recently, I visited the manufacturing plants at Gurgaon and discussed with the production managers the possibility of increasing the production so that we can export these items to western countries. They see no difficulty in doing so but before they take any define initiatives in this direction, they would like to have an estimate of the demand for our products in these countries.
So, I request you to contact our agents quickly and let me know the estimates by the end of September.
Memo Letter Example: 3
Write a memo letter informing the vice principal to make all staff be punctual.
Drona International School
18 Lelah, Bangalore 1216
Date: 15 July 2015
To: The Vice Principal
From: Aryan Hasan, Principal
Subject: Punctuality of all Staff
This is to inform you with great anxiety that the authority has noticed some teachers are not punctual and indifferent to their duties. In these circumstances, you all are requested to be more punctual and to take all necessary steps to maintain the smooth environment of education in the institution.
Memo Letter Example: 4
A memo letter for the Marketing Manager to take necessary steps to increase the sale of products.
18 GTB Nagar, Delhi 1000
Date: 15 July 2016
To: The Marketing Manager
From: Manna Lal, General Manager
Subject: Carelessness of Marketing Officers
This is to inform you with great anxiety that the rate of sale of our products has decreased tremendously due to the negligence of the Marketing Officers. In these circumstances, you are requested to take all necessary steps regarding the issue.
Memo Letter Example: 5
A memo letter to the district managers to improve their services and dealings with people properly.
Rural Development Committee
28 Mirpur, Darjeeling 1214
Date: 15 September 2015
To: All District Managers
From: Manna Lal, Vice President
Subject: Improvement of Services and Dealings
This is to inform you all with great anxiety that many complaints have been received against district offices that you are not maintaining the standard of services and dealings with our valued clients. So, all concerned are requested to improve their services and dealings with our valued clients.
Memo Letter Example: 6
A memo letter requesting all college staff to contribute a part of their salary to the affected people.
Delhi Technical College
Dhaula Kuan, Delhi 1216
Date: 15 July 2015
To: All Teaching Staff
From: Mahmudul Hasan, Principal
Subject: One day’s Salary to the Cyclone-hit People
This is to inform you all that the authority of the college has taken the decision to extend its helping hand to the people of cyclone areas. So, all concerned are requested to come forward with their one day’s salary to stand by the distressed during their miseries and sufferings.
Memo Letter Example: 7
A memo letter apprising the employees of all branches about the suspension order of an employee of the same office.
Central Bank of India
28 Moti Nehru Road, Delhi 1000
Date: 15 July 2016
To: All Branch Managers
From: Mohit Hossain, General Manager
Subject: Appraisal of Cashier’s Dismissal
This is to inform you all that Manhood Hasan, Cashier of GTB Nagar Branch, has been suspended on the charge of misappropriation of fund. All concerned are requested to abstain from the transaction with him. The bank authority will not be responsible for any sort of mishap.
Memo Letter Example: 8
A memo letter informing the employees of all branches to give Eid bonus.
Unique Fabrics &Fashions
Date: 15 November 2014
To: All officials
From: Zahirul Islam, General Manager
Subject: Festival Bonus for All Employees
This is to inform you all with pleasure that the authority has taken the decision to distribute Festival Bonus to all employees of the company. This decision is the result of the overall profit of the company. Bonus will be equal to every employee’s one month’s basic salary.
Memo Letter Example: 9
A memo letter requesting the subordinates to attend a farewell meeting of one of the members of your staff.
Date: 15 November 2016
To: All Employees
From: Abdul Hasan, Manager
Subject: Request to Attend Farewell Ceremony
This is to inform you all that the farewell ceremony in honor of Mahmudul Hasan, Assistant Manager, is going to be held at 11 a.m. on 25 August 2014. All concerned are requested to attend the ceremony.
Memo Letter Example: 10
A memo letter from a Mayor requesting an officer to distribute relief good among the poor.
Dehradun Municipal Corporation Office
GMS Road, Dehradun
Date: 26 July 2016
To: Urmila Narwhal Officer,
GMS Road, Dehradun
From: Kaiser Ahmed Chowdhury, Mayor
Subject: Request for Proper Distribution of Relief Goods
We came to know that the relief goods sent from the Prime Minister’s Emergency Fund are not being distributed properly. Instead of the real flood victims, the relief goods are going to the influential who are not at all flood-affected.
We hope that you will direct the authority concerned to investigate into the matter and ensure proper distribution of the relief goods.
5+ memo templates
The success of the company lies on the contribution that each and every individual of that company puts in. Every person here pays a big and important role, no matter what his or her position is or how much money he or she earns, it is absolutely immaterial. Truly, if it was not so, the CEO and the General Managers would not have been calling them for every meeting, and wouldn’t have been asking or considering their opinions in big business decisions.
The best thing about a memo is that it informs every person about the happenings of the meeting. It gets every person involved and prepared.
- Standard Memo Template: It is a formal design for writing a professional memorandum which has a design that contains a rectangle box inside you can write basic details including receiver’s name, sender’s name, date, and subject for the memorandum. It also contains a guide on how to begin and conclude it. Write CC at the end of the memo.
- Memo Formal template: The design offers space to integrate logo at the top section. Customize it by filling sender’s name, receiver’s name, Date, and subject line. It also provides you the basic guidelines to write the opening, summary, and conclusion and add CC and attachments if any to the memo.
- Memo Casual Template: It is used for writing business memorandums. It can also be used to send a memo for internal and external company affairs. To write the memo body it should include the summary, opening, and conclusion.
- Elegant Simple Memo Sample Template: It has a basic design with formal structure. The design uses bold fonts for writing receiver’s name and address with no styles for sender’s name and subject line. You can here, add the company name at the top of the memo followed by a black line offering a wide space for writing body content.
- Executive Approval Memo Template: Before taking any step-in the workplace, you’ll always be required to seek your superior’s approval and for that, you will be needing a memo that stands out from the rest. To do that, you could take the help of this executive memo template.
- Executive Resolutions Annual Meeting Memo: As an executive, you will often have to attend annual meetings where all the important resolutions and decisions are taken. Once these decisions have been taken, a memo stating the pros & cons and other minutes of meetings will have to be issued. In that case, you will need this type of template.
- Executive Memo Template: Who said executive memos are boring or mundane? You could surprise everyone by opting for this amazing executive memo template. The purple theme certainly adds to the charm of the memo as a whole.
- Memorandum for the Head of Executive Example Template: If you’re the head, your memo needs to be professional and have an official tone and for this you could always take the help of this amazing executive memo template.
- Simple Executive Memo Template: Any kind of memo, especially an executive one, looks great when kept simple and to the point. While writing these types of memo do not forget that this is a professional type. That is precisely why you should go for this template. It looks attractive and elegant! There lies the charm of this executive memo template.
- Chief Executives Memo: At regular intervals, the chief executive is expected to issue a memo to his juniors. Then this would be the best for you to edit and quickly send in the memo. In that case, this would be the perfect memo template for you!
We are sorry that this post was not useful.
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?