I have lost count of the number of people who do call me out of the blues to ask me “what business should I start?”. My response is always, I don’t know your area of strength so well to be able to tell what business you should go into. So what I want to do in this series is to succinctly present various business ideas in a practical and applicable way, so that anyone with the desire to start a business can key into any of the business ideas that compliment their area of strength, and then take a plunge. This series will run into over 20 interesting parts and more.
What will I be doing?
In this day and age of new media where everybody now have access to write what is on their mind and post it publicly via their social media handle. It is now very imperative and quintessential for organisations and public figure individuals to ensure that content that goes out through their handle are grammatically error free. Are you frequently finding grammatical errors in books, magazines, and other people’s post on their social media handles? Do you have a love for language that makes you look for ways of improving written communications? If so, consider establishing an editing or proofreading business in your home.
A proofreading service checks written materials for accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. An editing business helps others apply the rules of good communication to documents they write, focusing on content. Editing often requires some rewriting and reorganisation of material. Many businesses offer both editing and proofreading services.
What will I need to start?
First, you must have a thorough knowledge of good written communication skills, including punctuation, grammar and style. You may have a degree or simply an interest in English language. You will, of course, have plenty of resources: a good dictionary, thesaurus and style and grammar references. You will also need knowledge of how documents are edited and corrections are marked using what are called “proofreader’s marks.” Most books on editing include these standard marks. Learn and practice using them.
You may use a computer for proofreading and editing, receiving from your client a document file that you can transfer to your computer. Some word processors offer an editing mode that allows you to cross out and insert words as needed, documenting the changes you’re suggesting.
Who will my customers be?
In some cases, your customers will be book or magazine publishers or newsletter publishers. In others, your customers will be businesses preparing promotion materials, annual reports or corporate brochures. Your customers may also include individuals who want your expertise on a resume or a manuscript they’re submitting for publication and organisations or individuals who want an error free social media posts.
Where can I find these customers?
You can contact local desktop publisher services, writer’s groups, newspapers, magazines and other communication companies to inform them of your services and fees. Most importantly, contact organisations and individuals that you have been noticing errors on their post privately, and offer them your service at a very affordable price and ask for referrer.
How can I get started?
This job may require credentials or someone with a high level of interest that has developed his/her editing and proofreading skills to a standard required level. You’ll need some experience as an editor, perhaps a degree in English, communications or journalism and a technological device which could be your phone or a laptop. However, you can build credentials by doing good work for your clients and building references. Social media platforms will be useful for creating awareness and promoting your efforts.