Why Bad Spelling Means Bad Business and How To Fix It

How do the following sentences make you feel?

  • “I went to there office last week.”
  • “Our buisness center is in New York.”
  • “We provide serviced office’s and meeting room’s.”

You’re probably wincing right now.

Sadly, incorrect sentences like these are all too common. Of course nobody is immune and despite best efforts, sometimes spelling and grammar mistakes slip through the net. At Allwork, we hold our hands up too. Here’s one we made earlier (now corrected!):

Typos like these are easy to fix. But unless you’re quick off the mark, the damage may already be done.

“Good grammar is a predictor of professional success”

In 2013, Grammarly – an online proofreading tool – reviewed 100 LinkedIn profiles of native English-speakers. Grammarly selected professionals of whom half had been promoted to director level or above within 10 years, and the other half had not.

Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly, posted the results on Harvard Business Review. In summary, he discovered:

  • Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles achieved higher positions. Those who had not progressed to a director-level position made 2.5 times as many grammar mistakes as their higher-level colleagues.
  • Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions. Professionals with one to four promotions made 45% more grammar errors than those with six to nine promotions in the same time frame.

This is a relatively small sample, yet as Hoover explains, it “clearly supports the hypothesis that good grammar is a predictor of professional success”.

Good grammar is good business

So why does it matter?

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From websites and social media to brochures, advertising signs, posters and emails, the written word takes up the lion’s share of marketing material. Given the prevalence of online media and open comment forums, it’s easier than ever to spot a mistake – yet it can have an extremely damaging and lasting impact on your business.

It’s all to do with trust. Poor spelling and grammar suggests lack of care and attention, laziness, oversight, and above all, unprofessionalism. If you were a client looking for office space, would you want to associate your business with a place like that?

One study by Global Lingo found that almost 60% of respondents would not use a company that had grammatical or spelling mistakes on its marketing material. Can you afford to lose almost two-thirds of prospective workspace clients?

On the flip side, good spelling and grammar demonstrate quality traits such as attention to detail and accuracy, which enhances credibility.

When written communications act as the front door to your business, first impressions really are everything.

Add to that, we live in an age of cyber-crime and online security concerns. Often, a dead giveaway for a spam email or phishing attack is the way the message is written. If it’s poorly worded and riddled with spelling mistakes, it usually screams ‘Scam!’

Plus, incorrect spellings on your website – particularly with regard to important location keywords and phrases – will do nothing for your search engine visibility (SEO).

In an industry as highly competitive as flexible workspace, operators must do everything possible to demonstrate integrity, trust and professionalism. Credibility and reputation are essential factors in business, and often, it is your attention to detail that really counts.

If you’re concerned that your spelling or grammar isn’t up to scratch, hire a professional proofreader or copywriter. You’ll find plenty of recommended content professionals via freelance websites like Golance or Upwork, many of whom charge by the hour or by the word. Remember you will usually get what you pay for, so invest a little time in finding the right person.

Finally, if you’re looking for further proof why good spelling really matters, take a look at this cringe-worthy list of big brand spelling mistakes correlated by Hubspot. You’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.