What is involved with offering Typing as a service?
Can anyone type, yes but can everyone offer typing as a service? Typing can be more than just copy typing. Typing can involve creating spreadsheets, graphs, charts etc or even creating graphics. So you need to ask your prospective client what is involved with the typing before quoting.
· Is the typing just plain copy typing, what you see is what you type, is there any tables, graphs, charts as they must then be created, you might have to create a graph or chart in excel and copy it across to word, that is time taking and is not straight copy typing, as you must create the graph etc. Sometimes you might have to scan an image from an book, so that means you need to scan it on a scanner and then resize to insert it into your document, this is not straight copy typing. You might need to find an image on the Internet, so that will involve research, finding the image. You might have to create a graphic, the client might have drawn an image, maybe a flow diagram, you will need to recreate this in the document this can also involve using graphic software then copy and insert within your document, and also this is very time consuming.
· A client might send you to copy a PDF document for typing. Not all PDF conversion software works nicely when you convert a PDF document into word. You might find you still have to reformat the document this is time taking and often much quicker to just type the document from scratch. Note here the client will know the document is not typed from scratch, they will know you have used conversion software to convert the document and often this is not the quickest route to take.
· You might need to firstly print out what the client has sent you so that you can type from it, it takes time to print out a document, and it costs to print from a printer.
· At the end of your document you need to proofread and perform a spell check, this should be part of your quote or terms and condition; this task must always be done. Make sure you list this so that clients can see that you perform this task.
· Sometimes clients might want their document saved to a memory stick (flash drive) you need to charge for this as it is time taking and maybe you need to a buy the memory stick.
· If you offer typing as a service make sure you state that you can create graphs, tables, charts, brochures, graphics, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations. Do not assume all typing is simple copy typing, often it is more involved.
· You may need to insert equations, this takes extra time to do this, so make sure you feature this time into the length of time it will takes you to complete the typing. Maths Equation typing is not easy and is time consuming, it is not straight copy typing as you need to go into the maths equation to get symbol etc you need.
· You can no longer send large files through email and often you have to make use of Google docs, Dropbox, Send this File etc so make sure that your Internet bundle (capped or uncapped) can cope with offering typing. Files will need to be downloaded and uploaded. A file with graphics, graphs etc will take time to load and is very time consuming loading to Send this File or Dropbox etc, especially if it has more than 20 pages. A large manual with graphics, graphs and flows, a large spreadsheet, a PowerPoint presentation can take a few hours to upload, you have to remember this when it comes to your deadline and getting the work back to the client in time.
· If you contract typing out to a subcontractor make sure you check the work thoroughly and ask the subcontractor to make sure they proof their own work then you double proof the work when you get it back. Often a subcontractor will just do the work and send it back to you and tell you it is proofed, don’t make the mistake of sending it to the client without you doing a proofread and spell check. You are the one the work is sent to from your client and not the subcontractor so it is up to you to make sure you send back a quality document.
· When offering typing services sometimes you will get in tasks that you don’t like doing, maybe lots of figure typing, this can be boring for some, listen to music as you type, this will help the time go a bit quicker.
· When pricing, look at the task at hand and charge accordingly for how long the task will take and what is involved in doing the task. Most typing is charged on a per page basis but it can also be done on an hourly rate, whichever works out best for you, is what you offer.
· Authors and students may ask you for a charge per word, roughly you normally get ±750 words to an A4 page at Ariel at a size 12 font.
· If you have a table within the document, check out the other tables within the document, maybe you can just copy and paste your first one and just change the data, this can save you time.
· Know how many pages you can do in an hour, day, or week so that you can let the client know if you can reach their deadline, remember if you have graphics, graphs, charts etc within a document it might take you longer to create these so therefore affecting the time it takes to complete your document.
· Ask for client preferences: fonts, size of text, colour in graphs, flow diagrams, spacing, justification, ask if the client can provide you with the company logo’s/graphics, templates if required. etc.