by Randall Davidson
Misspellings and grammatical mistakes create a negative impression of an author that can persist long after someone has finished reading the author’s work. Reliable, accurate proofreading services can help those who create written work for public consumption — and I focus on small business owners specifically in this article — avoid these problems. Finding the right proofreading solution for a company’s specific needs is essential in order to protect a company’s reputation and image. While freelance proofreading may be appealing due to its lower initial cost, the reliability and faster turnaround times of larger proofreading companies is generally well worth the small additional cost. Here are five reasons to choose a proofreading company over an individual offering freelance proofreading services:
- Experience. Individuals who advertise their freelance proofreading services typically do not undergo formal ongoing training. While this lack of knowledge and experience may not be obvious during the interview process, it becomes evident in their results. Professional companies typically employ qualified proofreaders with years of experience and a well-developed vocabulary and proofreading strategy. This allows proofreading companies to assign work to those who are most qualified to perform it, producing the best possible results for their clients.
- Efficiency. Because professional firms hire staff members with complementary skill sets, they can usually handle a wider range of subjects and formatting preferences than individuals who offer freelance proofreading services. A client’s tight schedule might lead a freelance proofreader to take on a complex project without allowing the time for necessary background research. Because professional proofreading companies generally employ many people, they can assign a complex project to someone who has the right experience to handle it, which means that time is not unnecessarily spent on training a proofreader for a specific complex project.
- Reputation. Professional proofreading companies depend on their reputations for accuracy in order to bring in new clients. Freelance proofreading, by contrast, typically is performed by only one person who may be less concerned with his or her reputation in the marketplace. Additionally, illness or other emergencies can also delay projects unexpectedly when working with freelance proofreaders. This can cause serious scheduling problems for small business owners.
- Accuracy. Accuracy, the most important element of proofreading, depends on the skills of the proofreader. Professional companies can choose among the best available proofreading professionals when hiring. As a result, the quality of the work produced by professional companies is usually significantly better than the work produced by a freelance proofreader chosen at random.
- Flexibility. The ability to produce results quickly can be very beneficial to clients of professional proofreading firms. Freelance proofreaders cannot offer the same flexibility in scheduling because, as individuals, they are limited by their own speed of processing these projects. Companies with multiple proofreaders on staff enjoy a significant advantage in the speed and flexibility they can offer their clients when rushing a project for a client is necessary.
Randall Davidson is a co-founder of ProofreadingServices.Us, a professional proofreading service based out of San Francisco, CA. Randall understands that the reputations of businesses and individuals alike can be seriously harmed by writing that is laden with errors and he works to provide others with the tools they need to ensure that their writing is flawless through the business proofreading services that his company provides. (photo: fensterbme)
Editor’s note: What do you think, freelancers? Is a professional proofreading company really a better choice for clients? As a freelance proofreader, I’m certain that my skills are up to par and my client testimonials reflect that. Please add your thoughts in the comments or, even better, submit a guest post giving your views on freelance proofreading.
Update: read my rebuttal in Freelance Proofreaders Rock, OK?