Professional proofreading is essential for business owners who have to create official documents. The smallest mistakes can undermine your credibility and detract attention from your message. But why hire someone to do it? Many people have a good grasp of the English language and have spell check on their computer. Alternatively, they might have a friend in the office that is happy to look over their work. Isn’t this “good enough”? So why spend the money? What if your deadline is tight and your friend just doesn’t have the time? What about if you want more than just “good enough”?
Would you walk into the office wearing your slippers? No – it doesn’t look professional. You take pride in your appearance and it conveys your professionalism. The same is true for the documents you produce. If you send marketing material to print and distribute it to your target audience with “mess3age” or “Please complete the following from”, your target audience will think you lack professionalism. Your spell check will not pick up on a number in a word, and it will not pick up that you have used a correct English word that does not fit your sentence. A proofreader examines your work in such depth to specifically identify these errors. Using a professional proofreading service shows pride in your work, and in your business. Research shows that consumers are less likely to trust and engage with a business that makes spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Time is money
Hiring a proofreader frees you up from worrying about the content of one piece of work, and lets you move on to bigger and better things. How long do you spend trying to rewrite a sentence when its underlined in green and the grammar check says: “Fragment, consider revising.” We have all been there and it’s infuriating. Imagine how much more productive you could be if when you start writing your work, you just have to put your thoughts down on paper. You don’t have to worry about it sounding “perfect” or being “correct.” Someone else is there to do that FOR you. So many people struggle to get exactly what they mean in their head on to paper. A proofreader’s job is to make sure what you wrote, is what you meant. Instead of you “reading” it 20 times (lets be serious, you are only really reading what you THINK it says), a professional can check it for you in less time whilst you’re moving on to your next project.
Friends are amazing. They make work more interesting and are usually available to bounce ideas around with. A proofreader isn’t your friend. They aren’t there to be kind to your feelings and tell you “of course it sounds great.” Their job is to make it look and sound PERFECT. Friends also have jobs of their own to get on with. Proofreaders are there 24/7 with the sole purpose of looking at your work. They work to suit your deadlines. When you have carefully written your work, you
become emotionally invested in it. A proof-reader has no emotional investment in the content of your work at all. They will identify areas that sound a bit fluffy or vague and tell you. Proofreaders substitute superior words and phrases to augment the flow of sentences in any document. They will improve the organisation and formatting of documents. They are trained with the sole purpose of locating errors, correcting them, and enhancing the quality of your work. Proofreading prevents mistakes that could cause litigation and errors within text that could lead to the loss of custom. Finally, proofreading can be vital to the success of your company and products. The cost of proofreading is small compared to the cost of throwing away the first print run of a book, for example, because it says “Add the salted camel” instead of “add the salted caramel.”
Is “good enough” really good enough for your company? Is it presenting the best image of your company? Is your staff wasting a lot of time checking and rechecking each other’s work when they could be on to their next task? If you are hesitant about any of those questions, perhaps you should consider a proofreader. If you try them once, you will quickly see the benefits and wish you had used them sooner.
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