What Typos Say about Your Business

As an editor I am probably more attuned to typos and grammatical mistakes because I have been trained to notice them. While a lot of people will not notice or fault you for using a hyphen when an em-dash was appropriate, blatant typos tell your clients something about your business. For example, if you saw “certifed public accountant” on a CPA’s website, you might question that firm’s attention to detail and whether you feel safe trusting that company with your money. Or what if you saw a website for a “crimnial defense lawyer?” Each of these is an actual typo I have seen in websites that caused me to question the ability of that company. No company is expected to be an expert grammarian or keep a full-time editor on staff, but not hiring one is like cutting your own hair before a major event, making your own suit, or constructing your office space from a do-it-yourself kit. How a person represents his or her company either in person or through a website or print material is how potential clients form their opinion.

Business owners should understand better than most that our economy works on the idea that some people are experts in one field, while others offer the products and services they know best. This division of labor allows me to write and edit for a living rather than dividing my time between growing food, drawing water, discovering electricity, building shelter, making my own clothes, going to medical school to learn to heal myself, etc. This might sound extreme or absurd, but this is similar to the thinking of one who believes running a spell check program is equivalent to editing. When I worked at the Texas Legislative Council, the typo I saw most often in bills was the “l” being omitted from “public.” Both are words, but with very different meanings, which spell check won’t catch. The clothes I make will never be of the same quality as someone trained to make clothes. The quality of medical care I would provide wouldn’t even compare to someone who had actually been taught to save lives. Be the best at what you do and leave the editing to the professionals.
The most important thing for business owners to keep in mind is that they are not saving money by not hiring an editor if they are losing clients as a result of poorly written or edited copy. The cost of editing-it-yourself might just be your professional reputation. If in doubt, contact...
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