Your friends convince you to go to a new restaurant. You had dinner cooked already, but you haven’t seen them in a while and it’s always good to try new things. The hostess seats you promptly, the building itself is nice enough, and everything smells great. You take a look through the menu–maybe you’re looking at the caesar salad, or a nice steak, or maybe…a ”barbacue chicken sandwhich?”
Wait, what’s that?
Is this place supposed to be a professional operation?
Chances are, when you go home, you’ll remember one thing about that place–and it isn’t the food, or the drinks, or the service, or anything a restaurant wants to be remembered for. It’s that one typo on the menu that they couldn’t bother taking an extra second to look at.
Why Should You Care?
Proper grammar isn’t necessarily fun, nor is it cool, but it is essential. The role it serves in a business setting cannot be overstated, and the message that you want to convey can be changed entirely by one simple grammar mistake.
While the above restaurant menu example might not be your typical “business environment,” it underscores the importance of keeping up with your grammar, especially when the stakes are much higher than having a star taken away from you on Yelp.
When your credibility is all you have to sell, it does you no favors to use the wrong “your/you’re,” or to misspell a word that can easily be searched in two seconds on the internet. If you don’t care enough about your product to make sure it’s perfect, why would a client believe you care enough about their product?
The complete takeover of social media has given rise to a new, preferred method of communicating with your client base, which is incredibly helpful and convenient. However, it doesn’t come without its pitfalls. A simple grammar mistake can turn your well-intentioned message into a black hole for commenters who just want to point out that you used “they’re” when you should have used “their.” Going viral for all the wrong reasons is not a path you want to find yourself on, and it’s important to double check things like social media posts, email blasts, presentations, graphics, or just about anything that you’re putting out to the world.
How Are You Helping Yourself?
When I went in to interview for PCG, one of the first things they had me do was take a grammar test. While I’ll never know (and I probably won’t ask), I believe that knowing my stuff was a huge contributing factor to why I’m sitting here writing this today. Make the effort to carry yourself professionally–you never know when it could come in handy.
Today, it’s easier than ever to make sure your grammar is correct and ready to put out to the public. With web-based services like Grammarly and Scribens, you can get a second set of professional eyes for free. Just run your text through their platform and it’ll tell you what to fix, whether it be a spelling error or a grammar faux pas.
Take a look at some of the most common grammar mistakes that people make and save yourself some embarrassment, or check out this infographic on how to proofread your work. It could be the difference between booming business and turning off a potential customer, because pride in your own work starts with dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.