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Grammatical errors hindering SMEs, according to new study

Graeme Parton

A survey has revealed that almost 50% of shoppers would be dissuaded from buying something from a brand if the company has made a spelling error or grammatical mistake in one of its signs or website pages.

The study, conducted by, looked into how small businesses can be affected by language mishaps as it seeks to increase the standards of spelling and grammar among the UK’s SMEs with a new initiative.

The campaign is being supported by the Apostrophe Protection Society, which works to raise awareness around the accurate use of the much-abused mark. The society’s chairman, John Richards, spoke about the study’s results, saying:

“We would say that correct grammar is very important to a business of any size. A firm is judged, at first, on its presentation. Many people would think that if a company owner can’t be bothered to use correct grammar or is too lazy to learn, then where else might they be found wanting?”

The study also found that consumers felt most strongly towards ‘text speak’, with many saying it would cause them to question the competence of the small business owner in question. On top of this, among the consumers questioned, nine out of 10 consider grammatical and spelling errors in the websites or signs of small businesses as “unacceptable”.

Within the new initiative, has agreed to offer a professional proofreading service to any small businesses in the UK that wish to get involved.

Many of the UK’s SMEs already realise the importance of accuracy when it comes to the language used in pieces of promotional text and website content. A large number of these firms choose to outsource content creation to a professional copywriting company to ensure embarrassment is avoided and respect is maintained.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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