How to Start a Proofreading Business

Proofreading requires individuals to search through documents and text, looking for errors, omissions, and misspellings. Proofreading one’s own work can be challenging, as individuals may read the text as they intended to write it (however, there may be errors that they’ve passed over).

Although having friends, family, and even co-workers read over work is great, they will not be as reliable as a professional proofreader. Basically, proofreaders are experts in this area. If proofreading is something that you’re skilled at, then you could potentially start a business.

What you should know before you start your business

Before you start your business, there are some things you need to know. If you’re going to take a proofreading business seriously, then you should be aware of the following:

  1. There will be a lot of competition. However, if you’re good at what you do, you can charge competitive rates.
  2. You will need to be patient, as a healthy business will not develop overnight. It takes time to build a business, especially a successful one.
  3. In terms of earning potential, rates vary. This will depend on your business model and clients.
  4. Training and education is not a waste of time or money, it’s an investment in your business.
  5. You need to be creative in terms of marketing and planning.
  6. You will encounter more than one type of customer. If you can adapt to various expectations, then you can expand your client search. For example, corporate clients differ from publishers.

How to start your proofreading business

Starting any business takes time, planning, and some start-up money. If you’d like to start a proofreading business, follow these steps:

1. Obtain qualifications

Obtaining qualifications and seeking proofreading training is an important step. Not only will it give potential clients confidence in your abilities, but it will also increase your confidence. When you receive proofreading training, you improve your personal knowledge, heightening your skills and abilities.

You will need to find a course that fits your needs. There are courses in which you can take through distance education. Meaning, you can complete courses from the comfort of your home.

2. Register your business name

Unless you’re using your own personal name, you need to register your business. You would hate to market your business name, only to find out that it’s already taken. Not only will you have wasted marketing funds, but you could face legal issues. It is an easy process, costing a small fee.

3. Make a business plan

Now that you have your name and your skills have been sharpened, it’s time to make a business plan. You need to set goals and put them into action. First, where will you operate out of? Are you planning on setting up an office? You need to take freelance work very seriously.

  • What will you need? Do you need a new computer? How will you obtain it? What programs and software do you need? Editing tools will be crucial, so make sure you have everything you need. You can also set up a little reference library in your office. It’s important to have reference books and materials.
  • Will you build a website? If your budget does not allow you to hire someone, build a website yourself. With sites like WordPress, building your own website is easier than ever. The difficult part will be filling your website with important information. Before you publish your content, have someone else proofread it as well.
  • Create business cards, which can be done for fairly cheap. You can then hand them out around your town, so individuals know that you provide proofreading services. If there are bulletin boards where people in the community post jobs or ads, take advantage. Bringing your business cards to the local library is also a great idea.

4. Network

What did you do before this? What got you to this point, and who have you met along the way? Networking is such a beneficial resource, as contacts can provide you with multiple opportunities. They can also put you into contact with others in the industry.

The longer you work, the larger your network will grow. If you have worked with a client successfully, ask them if they’d mind you adding them to your LinkedIn contacts. You can continually grow this network of people.

The key is staying focused and driven. If you have the right skills and high levels of motivation, there’s nothing stopping you. Take the necessary steps, doing everything right. This will ensure your success.