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The importance of proofreading your business literature

When you're writing promotional materials, a web page, or organising a marketing campaign, proofing your content may be the last thing on your mind. But paying more attention to the words you're using could help to maintain and improve the perception people have of your business.

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Business owners have been known to ruin whole print runs because of bad spelling, punctuation or grammar that a spellchecker didn't pick up. Could you afford to waste the cost of your average print run thanks to a glaringly obvious spelling mistake in your company name?

Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and sloppy sentences can make a business look unprofessional, which will only encourage potential customers to look for other - more professional - companies to spend their money with.

Follow these six top tips to before you approve any documents:

  • Print out your documents before reading. Don't read them on the computer screen as you are more likely to miss errors this way.
  • Edit in a contrasting ink, such as red, and then correct the mistakes on the computer.
  • Remove all distractions. You need peace and quiet to proofread something properly so clear your desk, turn off the radio, leave your email alone and put your phone on divert.
  • Don't rely on spellcheckers as they don't pick up everything, especially words with similar spelling or pronunciation but different meanings, i.e. write and right, accept and except, complement and compliment.
  • Double check numbers. These are commonly overlooked, so remember to check that they are correct.
  • Always get a second opinion. When you have spent time writing something it can be very easy for you to read what you expect it to say. A second pair of eyes will notice any errors and anything that is unclear or sounds awkward.
  • Ask to see a final proof before printing. Something that looked perfect on a sheet of white paper might look odd when it is set in the final design.