June F2 Business Huddle

F2 Business Huddle with Cairn

Networking with a purpose

Friday 9th June 2017 

Midday until 2pm

Denvilles House
33 Emsworth Road
Havant
Hampshire, PO9 2SN

Reputation Matters

Reputation Advocate, Graham Martin from Red Pixel Creative will provide an overview of key elements that are used in graphic design and how they help to bring a successful design together.

If you miss this one the Next F2 Business Huddle is on 14th July 2017.

£14 on the door includes a light lunch and free parking. (Reputation Advocates – £10.)

Read more and book your place..

When to use an apostrophe

I don’t know about you but it really bugs me when I see an apostrophe being used incorrectly. If you have a reputation to uphold then the last thing you want to do is damage it by sending out written material that contains errors.

You wouldn’t believe the problems this tiny little punctuation mark can cause. It’s so insignificant you probably don’t even notice it when you’re reading at normal speed….

….and that’s the nub of the issue. People either don’t notice it’s there (or not) or they don’t notice whether it’s correct (or not), but for pedants like me, I do notice it!

So, let’s have a quick look at the only two instances when an apostrophe should be used.

To show that something belongs to someone, e.g.

Singular nouns and personal names:

The dog’s tail – says that the tail belongs to the dog.

John’s car – says that the car belongs to John.

Personal names that end in –s:

Charles’s ball – says that the ball belongs to Charles.

BUT some place names are an exception to this rule, e.g. St Thomas’ Hospital

Plural nouns that end in –s:

The dogs’ bowls – says that the bowls belong to some dogs.

Employees’ workplace – says that the workplace belongs to the employees.

Plural nouns not ending in –s:

The men’s hats – says that the hats belong to the men.

The children’s toys – says that the toys belong to the children.

The women’s coats – says the coats belong to the women.

To show that letters have been left out, e.g.

I’m – short for ‘I am’

They’re – short for ‘they are’

Didn’t – short for ‘did not’

He’ll – short for ‘he will’

It’s – short for ‘it is’

The apostrophe goes where the letters have been missed out and are used this way in informal writing. You should not shorten words when you are writing formal letters or emails.

One of the commonest mistakes I see is where people use an apostrophe to express a plural, especially when figures are involved, e.g.

In the 1980’s…

This is incorrect because it’s talking about the decade from 1980 to 1989 so it’s a plural and should be written ‘1980s’.

As a proofreader this kind of mistake is the sort of thing that I’m on the lookout for, not just because I’m a pedant, but to ensure that your writing is accurate, looks professional and is error-free. This gives you peace of mind safe in the knowledge that whatever you’re publishing will mean your readers will focus on your message or the meaning of your content and not looking for the next mistake.

If you would like me to help you to ‘get it right first time’, then please contact me on:

T: 07843 304743

E: peter@ppgproofreading.co.uk

Speak soon

Peter Clarke

aka The OopsProofer & Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate

Thinking of outsourcing : do your diligence!

This time of year many business owners look to outsourcing certain activities. This can be a great way of reducing the burden or growing the business.

On the other hand the wrong outsourcing partner can cause mayhem and add to the stress levels. Not an ideal solution!

To reduce the risk do some basic diligence:

  1. Do they have appropriate qualifications – this could be a recognised qualification or qualification by doing. In other words do they know what they are talking about?
  2. Are they experienced – have they done the work (or similar work) in the past and can you talk to a previous client about their experience?
  3. Do they comply with the relevant legislation – they need to know what laws apply to their business and be compliant with them. A great example is data protection. You don’t want to have an issue because your outsourcing partner doesn’t understand their responsibilities with your data!
  4. Are they insured for the work they will be doing for you – insurance is a safety net for you and may influence your bargaining position over rates!

The extent of the diligence you do clearly relates to the value of the contract but remember it is your reputation to lose!

If you are going to rely on recommendations from others, always ask yourself why the person is giving the recommendation. For example is it because:

  • they have experienced the service and found it to be satisfactory?
  • they know someone from a networking meeting?
  • they know someone from social media?
  • they are going to receive some form of payment for the introduction?

The rationale for the introduction is important to your decision making process.

If it helps Crimson Crab can carry out diligence on potential outsourcing partners read more…

Our Reputation Advocates have been checked against the membership criteria, so that some of the diligence legwork has been done for you. They also work to our Ethical Trading Policy and Code of Conduct to give added peace of mind. The directory of members is here.