• Abigail Dillon

Should we accept bad spelling in business?

Updated: Oct 28, 2018

You can't be good at everything. I'm the first to admit that. I try my best to be a fantastic mother/ partner/ dog owner/ writer/ home owner/ daughter/ sister/ charity giver/ gym go-er/ cook (the list goes on), however I cannot, for the life of me, draw, bake good cakes, fit a kitchen, perform brain surgery (this list goes on even further). One thing I am good at, or three things in fact, is/are spelling, punctuation and grammar.

In an entrepreneurial age, where start-ups and freelancers are sprouting up all over the place, the need to outsource certain skills is becoming imperative. It is absolutely OK to be a fantastic painter and decorator, but not be au fait in the spelling department. Or to be a spreadsheet whizz and accountancy aficionado, but not know whether you need to use a comma or a semicolon. You can't be good at everything, so if you're not good at writing / spelling / grammar etc. then turn to someone who is. Just like fashion and cuisine, language changes over time and the modern, colloquial approach to language (enhanced by social media and mobile phone communication) is lulling us into a false sense of security that inaccurate writing is acceptable - but in business, it is not. Don't let your amazing skill and business services be marred by website inaccuracies or advert misprints. It will have your potential customers turning to your competitors faster than you can say 'homophone'. Read what the BBC has to say on the matter here.

Even in writing, you have just one chance to make a good impression. Thoughtful, correct and accurate business writing isn't just about personal satisfaction. It has a much wider impact:

1. It vastly reduces the chance of what you are trying to say being misinterpreted.

2. It reflects the credibility and reliability of your business.

3. It shows that you care about your business.

At the end of the day, you're in business to make money. You make money from your customers. If you give your customers clear information about your product or service, whilst showing them that you care about your business and that you're credible, intelligent and reliable, you are going to be much more successful than the alternative scenario.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is, rather than waste your valuable time and effort on something that is not your predominant skill set, and leaving the door open for potential errors and miscommunications, why not outsource your website content, your leaflet copy or your social media posts to a dedicated copywriter (ahem...)?

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