The Effects of Poor Writing Skills on Business

Businesses who hire marginal or poor writers hurt the bottom line in many ways that are difficult to quantify. Lost sales and fractured customer relationships often can’t be counted—but they are real.


Badly written internal communications such as emails and memos can lead to misunderstandings that waste time and effort.

Poor Performance

Employees who can’t clearly express themselves are unlikely to get ahead because their poor communication often becomes an obstacle to effective teamwork.


Lost Revenue

Unclear, badly written marketing materials, Web content, and other external communication make potential customers look elsewhere for goods and services.


Damaged Reputation

Allowing poorly written documents to be seen by outsiders shows an overall disregard for quality that applies equally to products and services in the minds of clients and competitors.


Lost Credibility

If customers can’t trust what they see in writing, they’re unlikely to trust anything else the company produces. A product’s picture may be worth a thousand words, but a picture with a misspelled word in the caption is worthless.



  • Why Does My Boss Hate My Writing?; Becky Burchmyer; 2007

About the Author

Since 1983, Karen Ellen has written on business, technology, cruise travel, feline and general interest topics, and has been published at and in "Cruise Travel," "Credit Union Business" and "PC Solutions" magazines. She has authored two nonfiction business books, and holds a bachelor's degree in human resource management from the University of Richmond.