An example business memo follows. Below the memo is a description of the specifications followed in the memo.

Memo

To: Managers in Dallas
From: Alexis Davenport
Date: June 15, 2020
Subject: The new financial stewardship initiative
After our very fruitful meeting on Friday, I am going to follow the advice of the consultants and you, the management team. We will begin the new financial stewardship program. This memo briefly explains the plans for beginning the program.

We will begin the program on July 1 and continue it through June 30, 2021. During that time, we will follow these measures to see whether following them will reduce our expenditures without creating stress in the system:

  • We will make only those purchases required to operate the company in its present status. The accountants have prepared a budget based on the previous years’ expenditures to provide a guide for us. We have extracted anything from the budget that we could have avoided purchasing during the last year.
  • We will discuss any additional expenditures that seem to be in the best interests of the company. Please submit any requests to me so we can discuss them at the next Management Team meeting. Include rationales for the expenditures and figures so we can decide how to satisfy your needs while holding the expenses to a minimum.
  • We will be limiting all travel to trips that require one of us to be at a location. All other meetings and other activities will be completed through conference calls, Skype, and Microsoft Team.

Thank you for working at finding ways we can reduce expenditures during these belt-tightening times. As always, I invite you to stop in my office to talk or give me a call if you aren’t in the office.

An explanation of the format and content of the memo follows.

Font: 12-point or 11-point
Times Roman or Arial
Black
One-inch margins all around

Memo Use the heading “MEMO” or “MEMORANDUM.”

To: Managers in Dallas Refer to the readers with a specific designation. Avoid general terms such as “All” or “Everyone.” You may skip no space between these lines or allow three or six blank points.
From: Alexis Davenport Write your initials to the right of your name. Don’t sign a memo at the bottom.
Date: June 15, 2020
Subject: The new financial stewardship initiative Write a subject line that will tell the reader clearly the important point of the memo.
After our very fruitful meeting on Friday, I am going to follow the advice of the consultants and you, the management team. We will begin the new financial stewardship program. This memo briefly explains the plans for beginning the program. State the reason for the memo and the contents. Break for a new paragraph when you begin the body of the memo. If there is an action the reader must take, put a statement of the action in the first paragraph. You may provide details about the action in the body. Break for new paragraphs to put the message into distinct blocks. When you finish one idea, break to let the reader know you’re going on to the next.

We will begin the program on July 1 and continue it through June 30, 2021. During that time, we will follow these measures to see whether following them will reduce our expenditures without creating stress in the system: State the point you are going to make first. Follow with the details. Don’t write details with the point afterwards. The readers need to know what you’re talking about.

    • We will make only those purchases required to operate the company in its present status. The accountants have prepared a budget based on the previous years’ expenditures to provide a guide for us. We have extracted anything from the budget that we could have avoided purchasing during the last year.

If you have a message with two or more discrete parts that you can give a name to, such as “conclusions,” “recommendations,” or “actions,” put them into a bulleted list. Don’t leave lists in paragraphs. If you have a long paragraph in the memo, check to see whether you could put it into a list. Give the readers rationales for your statements in the memo. That lets them know you regard them as partners rather than peons to be ordered about. Rationales can also head off some negative sentiments about the contents.

    • We will discuss any additional expenditures that seem to be in the best interests of the company. Please submit any requests to me so we can discuss them at the next Management Team meeting. Include rationales for the expenditures and figures so we can decide how to satisfy your needs while holding the expenses to a minimum.

Provide all the detail the reader needs to act. The reader should not have to ask for or wait for more instructions.

    • We will be limiting all travel to trips that require one of us to be at a location. All other meetings and other activities will be completed through conference calls, Skype, and Microsoft Team.

Thank you for working at finding ways we can reduce expenditures during these belt-tightening times. As always, I invite you to stop in my office to talk or give me a call if you aren’t in the office. Close with some encouraging comments if possible. Memos can sound like the writer is a drill sergeant barking orders. A cordial ending with an offer to receive contacts helps build the team.