This morning I spent over an hour designing an incredibly intricate and beautiful business card only to realize after I ordered them that I had forgotten to add the client's name to the card. I was so focused on the design that I forgot about a critical text element. I did the proper edits to the design, reordered the printing (at my expense) called my client to confess and, thankfully, we had a good laugh on the phone. I had broken my rule of “two sets first” (two sets of eyes on everything) before acting (in this case ordering) and it cost me time, money and my client an extra day getting her business cards.
So many times we look at our own work for far too long, miss critical elements and are faced with a palm to the forehead later. We get in a hurry, the phone is ringing or we’re out in the field on our own and it’s so easy to skip this last, critical step. Believe me, I know and this is why all small businesses need outside support. What inevitably happens is we bring more work on ourselves as we then have to problem solve issues later. Our shortcut turns into phone calls, emails, and/or in my case case an extra time redesigning, a phone call to a client, a day waiting on an order and money out of my own pocket. We don’t actually save time by skipping proof reading, we simply waste it.
By having someone proof your material you also invite insight. I have a client who emails me things to review simply in an effort to improve business processes. I’ve been able to improve their branding strategy, help make their quotes and invoicing more efficient and cut down on some of the yearly work for their accountant just through proofing and also adding insight along the way.
Two sets first. Remember this and you’ll save yourself time, money and a palm to the forehead.