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Proper English Grammar Help Businesses to Succeed

Jun 7, 2008
Ignoring proper English grammar in your business could be devastating to your bottom line. While you may not think of yourself as a writer, your role as a business owner requires you to write on a regular basis. You likely send out correspondence to potential clients, email back and forth with your employees, and write memos to the organization as a whole. If you do not use proper grammar when writing these documents, you could look foolish and uneducated in the eyes of your employees, your superiors, and your potential clients.

What are the consequences of this? One or two serious grammar mistakes could cost you that contract you have been working so hard to land! Besides making you look foolish, improper grammar can lead to confusion between you and the person you are writing to, because many common grammar mistakes actually change the meaning of what was written. For example, if you write a double negative, such as "You don't never need to come to work on Saturdays," you will not only sound silly, but you are actually saying that the individual does need to come to work on Saturdays. This lack of clarity in your writing can cause tremendous confusion.

To further understand the need for proper grammar in business, put yourself in the place of your client for a moment. If you are considering whether or not to spend a large amount of money on someone's product or service, do you want to feel confident in that individual's ability to do the job? Of course you do! Often the written word is the first contact someone will have with you and your business. If you do not come across as professional, you will lose some credibility in that individual's eyes.

Sometimes a simple grammar mistake that is easily overlooked by you can stand out to your customer. Your customer may not notice anything else about your letter, because that grammar mistake is so glaring. Also, you never know when the person you are negotiating with is a grammar expert. Sure, your potential client is probably not a school teacher, but many people have grammar pet peeves, and ignoring proper grammar could rub your client the wrong way from the very beginning of your professional relationship.

Additionally, if you create ad copy that has grammar or punctuation errors, you will lose many more potential customers. A misplaced apostrophe or comma can show quite a bit to your target audience about your attention to detail.

If you are worried about your weak grammar skills, you will be happy to know that there are ways to get around this problem. Not everyone can have excellent grammar skills, but almost everyone can use tools to create well-written documents. First, make sure that you take advantage of electronic grammar and spelling checkers.

While these do not catch all mistakes, and they may point out mistakes that aren't actually wrong, they can help you to see areas that you need to improve. After running your grammar check, have someone else read the document and make suggestions. This doesn't take long, but having an outside source read what you have written will help you to catch any clarity or grammar issues that the computer didn't catch. Then, set the document aside for at least a day. After this short break, come back to it and read it again. Read it out loud to further check for clarity. At this point, you should have a well-written document that is ready to be sent to your most important client.

These steps do take time, but overlooking grammar could be deadly for your business, so take the time to create well written copy every time!
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