One of the worst enemies of a beginner copywriter is bad grammar, mistakes in spelling and punctuation. When it comes to writing business plans for aspiring entrepreneurs, the problem with grammar is even more dangerous. An entrepreneur will present the business plan written by you and expect to seem professional, knowledgeable and skilled. Any grammar or spelling mistakes will make your client look like an elementary school dunce in the eyes of bankers and investors. Therefore it is absolutely crucial to avoid spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes if someone wants to buy a business plan from you.
There are three ways to check spelling and grammar in any kind of text:
- Spell checking software;
- Manual proofreading;
- Hiring a third party proofreader.
Using spellchecking software
Software and internet sites that offer spellchecking services should be your first defence against spelling and grammar mistakes. Remember that using the software only is never enough: there are subtle mistakes that software cannot detect! These services can’t handle typos, which are correct words in terms of spelling and syntax, but inappropriate in terms of common sense: these words are one letter away from the correct ones. For example, no software will detect a mistake if you type “angel” instead of “angle”. This happens most often due to the fact that spellchecking services analyze words separately, compare them with their built-in dictionaries, without regard to their connection with other parts of the sentence.
Another disadvantage found in almost all online spell checking services is the complete disregard of punctuation, not to mention correcting it. However, many people have exactly this, correct placement of punctuation marks, as their weak suit. Options besides checking by a live editor are not viable here.
Using software is simple and straightforward. You copy the text into the clipboard and paste it into the window of the service in question. Many word processors have built-in spellcheckers that work as you type the words, no copying and pasting needed.
Proofreading amounts to manually checking every word in your text to catch any typos or spelling mistakes. It is a total manual check-up of the edited text. Its main tasks are:
- identifying any normal mistakes;
- identifying all kinds of typos undetectable by software;
- note the more subtle mistakes such as phrasing, semantics etc.
At this stage, you need to look at your work with an impartial gaze and honestly answer yourself: whether the given topic is well elaborated, whether the semantic sequence is observed, whether there are no lexical repetitions or a thought break in the middle of a sentence. To improve the freshness of the perception of the text, it would be good to be able to rest in bed or even sleep one night.
Of course, that advice on resting may seem counterproductive, because novice copywriters usually have very strict deadlines. But if there is some amount of time left, at least half an hour, then be sure to get a distraction from work. Then you can look at your article through the eyes of the reader and all the absurdities will be much more noticeable.
Hiring a proofreader
If you are unsure in your ability to proofread the business plan, you can outsource this work to another freelancer. Proofreading isn’t a very expensive job compared to writing, so you won’t lose most of your potential income by hiring a proofreader. However, hiring a new freelancer takes time, so this option is not the best if you have a strict deadline.
If you work as a freelance copywriter, you already know where to find your peers. Register on the same service that gives you jobs as a client, and posts in order to proofread the business plan you wrote. It may take some time, but eventually, you will find a third party proofreader who will provide this service to you.