5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Hire a Proofreader Now
“Most writing could be better.
Not just a little better –
A little attention to the final
details can kick ‘pretty good’
~D. Bnonn Tennant
If your business goals include staying competitive in your market, improving your professional image, and opening your doors to more customers and a highly utilized staff, then you need to hire a proofreader on your business services team.
Let’s face it—very few businesses can afford to pay a full-time editor/proofreader and keep them on staff. That’s understandable. But not having a proofreader on your business services team has time and again proven detrimental. Here are 5 reasons why your business should hire a proofreader.
1. Cutting corners costs you money.
Grammar and proofreading errors are costly and embarrassing. And a proofreader is your last line of defense in customer communication. Grammatical mistakes are the easiest to fix before they’re printed, and the hardest to undo once they are printed. The little ones may go by the wayside, but the big ones oftentimes go down in the annals of history, at times taking a company’s reputation with it.
Every little thing should be proofread before printing–even a simple business card. We have seen many business cards over the years with cities misspelled or even have the wrong phone number. When your reputation and image is on the line, it’s not the time to cut expenses.
[pullquote]A proofreader is your last line of defense in customer communication.[/pullquote]
Beyond the basic printed typo, there are a plethora of errors that have cost companies—even corporations—plenty of profits. This host of print media and web copy errors can make a company blush, such as the misuse of accept/except, mediate/meditate (quite opposite meanings), and of course the always embarrassing six/sex and public/pubic.
A few examples…
- What happened when Old Navy launched their 2011 collegiate line? They printed an entire t-shirt line with a punctuation error: “Lets Go!” instead of “Let’s Go!”—a missing apostrophe that ended in catastrophe. Not only was Old Navy forced to pull an entire line of produced clothing already on shelves and featured in their online store (equals loss of inventory and money), they also became the subject of a firestorm of traditional and social media fodder, possibly jeopardized their reputation as a with-it clothing line and risking losing a multitude of collegiate accounts.
- Again in 2011, only days after Victoria’s Secret launched their women’s t-shirt line printing Michigan State t-shirts with their rival’s motto/fight song, Old Navy was at it again with another collegiate blunder—misprinting the founding year of three universities on still another line of t-shirts (something a quick phone call or Google search could have prevented).
- And let’s not forget back in 1999, mail-order company, L.L. Bean, distributed their catalog with the wrong toll-free number (due to employee error), resulting in an untold amount of money paid to buy the phone number from the Virginia-based company which owned it.
2. Polished, proofread content boosts your credibility with your customers.
A skilled proofreader can help establish you as an authority in your field. When an error is made, customers tend to focus on the error instead of the message. The result—a vanished sales opportunity, wasted money, and the most damaging of all—loss of customer trust and loyalty. After all, if a company can’t be bothered to produce accurate print media, what else can’t they be bothered with? Hiring a proofreader is the best way to help yourself and your business. (P.S. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Proofreaders are pretty non-judgmental. Believe me, they’ve seen the worst. They love what they do, and their only focus is taking pride in making you shine.)
[pullquote]A skilled proofreader can help establish you as an authority in your field.[/pullquote]
Professional proofreaders are also adept at correcting the common misuse of word in the English language such as…
- Accept / Except
- Affect / Effect
- Capital / Capitol
- Complement / Compliment
- Ensure / Insure
- Its / It’s
- Principal / Principle
- There / Their / They’re
- To / Too / Two
- Your / You’re
3. A qualified proofreader can only HELP your content.
A professional proofreader can get to the crux of your message and express it better than you thought possible. Think of a proofreader as being part of your communication team. They get paid to make you look great and to help you achieve your goals. Proofreading is, in fact, more than just correcting errors. It’s also finding the best way to say something as well as the best way to reach your audience on an emotional level and prompt them to take your call to action. Hire a proofreader and you’ll always be putting your best foot forward.
4. Your eyes and brain play tricks on you.
A fresh, new (and objective) set of eyes on your content is ALWAYS a good idea. Yes, you should proof your own work first. However, we often are too close to the things we write. And our eyes and our brains play tricks on us. We often read our own work knowing–and ‘seeing’–what we want to say, rather then being tuned in to what we’re actually saying. Even professional proofreaders need SOMEONE ELSE to proof their own work. It’s true! Even the best of writers still make mistakes, because we are all human. An unbiased professional proofreader, who hasn’t read the copy 77 times, can easily pick up on what you’re saying… and what you’re not saying. An experienced proofreader can help clarify your message so your readers/customers aren’t bumbling through your errors but sailing through to your message and call to action.
[pullquote]A professional proofreader can get to the crux of your message and express it better than you thought possible.[/pullquote]
5. Asking a friend usually isn’t the best choice.
While it is highly beneficial to have a third party look over your work, Are they truly the best person for the job. Just because someone you know is a teacher or was an English major in college doesn’t mean they are equipped for tedious proofreading. Are they skilled with the nuances of punctuation, grammar, and spelling? Will they help you select a better word or phrase? Or let you know if you are not appealing to your customer base in an emotional way. When you hire a proofreader, you don’t have to ask these questions.
Bottom line—every business leader who hopes to be successful in today’s market needs to hire a proofreader—not just for one project, but for every project. Finding a proofreading/editing company for your business services team that can offer personal service and work within your budget and time frame will help you soar ahead of your competition by leaps and bounds.
Have a wish-I-hired-a-proofreader story to share? Leave a comment below.
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Be Smarter Now, wordsmith, writer,
editor, poet, and mom. She developed
a love of writing and the English language
early in life and has been writing stories
since she could pick up a pencil. She
holds degrees in Communications/
Journalism as well as Creative
Writing and Business Administration.