In business, letter writing is a major thrust area of communication. The modern goal of nations for a free global trade and the need to cut across national, linguistic and cultural barriers to promote trade have made the letter an important business tool.
A business letter serves certain important functions :
1. A business letter acts as a representative of the organization. It is an inexpensive substitute for a personal visit. i
2. It seeks to provide information on subjects connected with business.
3. A business letter provides valuable evidence for a transaction and thus serves a legal purpose.
4. A business letter becomes a reference material to future transactions between organizations and individuals.
5. A business letter promotes and sustains goodwill.
6. A business letter motivates all the people involved in a business to a higher and better level of performance.
7. A business letter enlarges and enhances the business. We can elaborate each of the functions thus.
Every organization has to continuously promote and expand its business. All information on its product and service gets updated through a business letter sent to customers and clients. It is a micro-level substitute even for advertisements. Agents and retailers in turn pass on the information to clientele spread over a large area. It promotes goodwill. New business contacts are forged and the already existing ones get reinforced. Goodwill promotes the image of an organization and gives scope for fair, ethical business values. Letters sent from an organization and received by it when classified and filed serve the purpose of reference. Precedents are available to guide future actions from files of outgoing and incoming letters. It has great archival value in helping to draw a graph of the growth or a slump in trade and business. Business letters have legal validity. In times of dispute and doubt they can provide substantial evidence to solve them. Many issues can be sorted out if mutual positions taken by transacting organizations are available through letters written by them.