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Small business chat – Jenny Woodberry

mugsWelcome to another brand new small business chat, and I’m delighted to welcome Jenny Woodberry, who’s building up her business Miss Fighting Fit, going straight into entrepreneurship as she was finishing her education, and providing a good role model as a young woman who’s interested in being strong, fit and healthy. Unlike some of my older interviewees (and me!), Jenny was able to make a quick move into her new endeavour, and had the energy to run it alongside what must be a pretty demanding day job. With no worries to hold her back, she’s just gone for it, and is doing well so far, while recognising the need for a healthy work/life balance, too.

Hello, Jenny! What’s your business called?

The two sides of my business are called Miss Fighting Fit / Fighting Fit Kitchen

When did you set it up?

I set up the business in February 2014.

What made you decide to set up your own business and what made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I had developed a keen interest in nutrition, fitness and a healthy lifestyle over the last year and after completing my nutrition course decided to offer personal nutrition plans to my fellow fitness enthusiasts to share my knowledge with other people who were aiming at living a healthier lifestyle. From there i have written plans for all kinds of people with all kinds of goals! In the last couple of months I launched Fighting Fit Kitchen, as my daytime job involves working in the kitchen at top Falmouth restaurant Oliver’s and I have ALWAYS had a passion for cooking! People would comment on Miss Fighting Fit’s food photographs and i realised that there was a real gap in the market for convenient food that was healthy and nutritious!

Had you run your own business before?

No, i hadn’t really thought about it either!

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

I didn’t really think too much about it, I just had the idea and ran with it, and I think that really worked for me. A friend of mine had just launched a fitness business very quickly and suggested I just go for it and I’m so glad I did. I kept my part-time job in the restaurant and spent my spare time writing nutrition plans for people. Now on my days off work I am in the kitchen again but on my own terms and cooking healthy menus for my customers! It’s hard work but i love it!

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

That setting up a business as a nutritionist means that you are considered to be the food police! People hide treats from me all the time! Haha!

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

To keep going and remember to take time for yourself. It’s always difficult at first and each time I have progressed Miss Fighting Fit it has taken a few months to get into a comfortable work/life balance – but it always happens in the end!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Nothing really: I feel like everything so far has gone according to plan and worked out well!

What are you glad you did?

I’m glad that I went ahead and started!

What’s your top business tip?

I have three!

1) Be Brave! If you are unhappy or your current career/lifestyle isn’t what you want to do then make the change and get on track to a better future – there’s always time to change if it means doing what you love!

2) Make time for yourself. Whether its 30 minutes with a book of choice or a nice hot bath, it’s important to take the time to turn your business head ‘OFF’. I spent the first few months of Miss Fighting Fit feeling run down and unwell because I didn’t realise that it was OK to say no to work and that it was important to take care of myself as well as my customers!

3) Make friends! Honestly the best thing you can do to boost your business profile and customer base is be friendly! The nicer you are and the more people you go out and meet, the more likely people are to want to support you!

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

When I first started, I was just writing nutrition plans for people and posting healthy recipes on Facebook. Now I operate Fighting Fit Kitchen too, which supplies healthy ready meals on a weekly basis. I have also given nutritional talks at events and worked with CJ’s Bootycamp to give advice and guidance. I am just about to launch Fighting Fit Dining Experience, offering a pop up style restaurant experience where diners can relax knowing that everything they are given is healthy and nutritious!

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I have so many plans for the future, it’s fantastic! Potentially i would love my own restaurant and to collaborate with more fitness professionals and set up Fighting Fit HQ – a place for fitness, health, well-being and tasty food! I am also really interested in studying food as medicine, as I strongly believe that our diets have the power to cure so many ailments and illnesses!

I love Jenny’s point about people thinking she’s the food police (in error, I’m sure). I get people telling me they’re worried about making spelling and grammar errors when they’re replying to my social media posts or commenting on blog posts – and just like I encourage people to express themselves, I’m sure Jenny would rather people discussed good nutrition with her, or left it out of the equation sometimes, rather than fearing her sharp eye! She’s got great plans for the future and bags of energy, so I’m sure we’ll all looking forward to seeing what she gets up to in the upcoming year. Good luck!

Miss Fighting Fit can be found on Facebook, as can Fighting Fit Kitchen. You can also get in touch with Jenny via email.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
 

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Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith (plus update from Sally Evans-Darby)

mugs It’s time for a new Small Business Update, and I’m delighted to welcome back my old friend, Annabelle Beckwith, of Yara Consulting and Never Mind the Buzzwords. We had a reunion weekend last month, along with two other ladies we met on the first day of university, and we’re still rather surprised that the two of us are running our own businesses, however, we always knew Anna would be doing something creative involving other people, and that I’d end up something to do with books. Anyway, on she goes, collaborating, learning, developing new training programmes and jet setting around the world to do so, as well! I first interviewed Anna back in 2012 and again last year. At that point, her plan for where she wanted to be now was: “Working collaboratively with others for larger clients … and maybe I’ll get some of those online products going!” Let’s see how she’s doing – oh, and look out for a quick update and farewell for the time being from Sally Evans-Darby …

Hi again, Annabelle! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Sort of! I’m working with other people and have been approaching larger companies for bigger pieces of work, which is working well.
We’re building our own team of associates, so in a practical sense there are more of us to be able to actually deliver larger programmes to clients, and we’re deliberately working with people who have specialist skills that complement our own, meaning that we can pitch for work which we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
In addition, my business partner, Ian, and I are developing some online products (a series of business scenarios and activities which in-house trainers or other providers can use within their own courses) and the first of these will be launched in September.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Not enough has changed and it’s not moving fast enough!! That’s how it feels, anyway. We’re moving in the right direction, though, and I’m working with the right people now. Our business model is changing as we’re targeting longer-term programmes and consultancy rather than one-off projects, which will give us more financial stability.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned a lot by looking at what other training companies are doing, and also by looking at what consultancy companies in other sectors are doing, and pinching ideas from them. I wish I’d done this a year ago, as I’d be further ahead now!
Any more hints and tips for people? 
Things can take longer than you think they will. But keep going with it!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Working with more clients on longer-term programmes, and able to invest more money in marketing and PR.
Perseverance is the key here: in the mature business, things don’t change quite as rapidly as when we’re starting out, and especially for dynamic and changing business areas, this can be frustrating. Checking out the competition and what peers are doing is a great way to pick up hints, tips and ideas, and helps you to stay fresh and at the front edge of the game. Let’s hope things are moving to Anna’s satisfaction by this time next year – I can’t wait to find out what she’s up to!
Annabelle’s business collaboration, Never Mind the Buzzwords can be found online at http://www.nmtbw.com/ and on Facebook. The Yara Consulting website can be found at www.yaraconsulting.com  and she has a blog, too. Anna can be contacted via email or her contact page online.
And a quick update from Sally Evans-Darby of Write Sense Media. As Sally’s business has settled down, she finds she doesn’t  have much detail to report since the last time we spoke, although things are going well and she has this to say about her progress: “Another year has zoomed by! I’m very happy to say that my business is still thriving, with a good solid client base along with some new ones that I’ve just started to work with. I feel like during the past year I’ve managed to cultivate a good work-life balance, with many and varied jobs to keep me busy but essential time for leisure too! I love the work, and as I head towards my two-year anniversary as a full-time freelance, I couldn’t be happier.” So, we won’t be following Sally’s progress any more, but I’m very happy to see how well she’s doing, and wish her every success in a settled and balanced career in the future.
You can find Sally’s website at www.writesensemedia.co.uk and, of course, email her. She’s on social media, too, for example Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 

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Small business chat update – Julia Walton

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, and I’m sorry it’s a bit late but I had commitments to clients and had committed the terrible blogger’s sin of not scheduling in advance. Today we’re catching up with Julia Walton from J. Walton Restoration  who we first met in July 2013. When I asked her then where she wanted to be now, she replied “Hopefully contentedly plodding along much as I am now (maybe with a bit more money coming in, though). I can only do as much as I can so don’t want to increase my workload too much. I’d rather enjoy my work and do it well: I might as well be doing something different and have a job that pays more money if I’m not going to enjoy myself”. That sounded like a good plan to me, so let’s find out how she’s been getting on …

Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I don’t feel things have changed that much in the past year as much as I’d hoped. I’m still working on increasing my client base. I have some things in the pipeline and am hoping for some good feedback on a large job I have coming in soon.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
One big change which actually occurred this summer is that I’m breaking up a working relationship with a joiner I’ve been working with. I’m taking a chance of dropping the client because the work really doesn’t suit my skills. This way I’m giving myself more time to devote to work that will stretch and improve my skills.

What have you learned? 

I’ve learned that taking on a job that’s not really in my field just because it pays is not always a good experience. By stepping outside my comfort zone I’ve learned new skills and how to transfer the skills I have, but on a couple of occasions I’ve really regretted not trusting my initial instincts and have wasted a lot of time worrying over jobs I shouldn’t have started.
 
What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
About a year ago I took on a client that was pretty toxic. If I could go back in time I’d definitely make sure I told myself not to be so trusting and set a very short limit on working with outstanding payments!
Any more hints and tips for people?
Take time to assess each and every job before saying yes. Even if it’s from a client you deal with all the time, if the job is not what you feel comfortable doing just say no rather than worry about it after you’re committed. Remember to give the customer what they want, nothing more and definitely nothing less, if you can’t do that then don’t take on the job.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’m really not sure. Permanent workshop space is an issue and I think that’s something I need to look at, however relocation back to the north of England is niggling away at the back of my mind, we’ll see.

It looks like some good lessons learned there. It is often a few years in to a business that a) you start to look more carefully about which clients and opportunities to say yes to, and b) you start to explore diversifying and looking at new areas to grow into – but as Julia comments, it is vitally important to make sure that you assess those opportunities and check whether it’s something that you want to do again. I wonder where Julia will be in another year’s time – both with her business and her location! I’m looking forward to finding out!
You can find Julia online at www.juliawalton.co.uk and email her if you want to discuss any restoration or other work.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
 

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Small business chat update – Tammy Ditmore

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, and it gives me great pleasure to publish my second update post with fellow editor Tammy Ditmore of eDitmore Editorial Services. We first met Tammy back in June 2012, and read about her growth and achievements in June 2013. At that point, here’s where she was thinking she’d be by now: “I’m not quite sure, actually. I feel I’ve taken initial steps in several different directions that may pay long-term benefits. I’m hoping to remain flexible enough to pursue the best opportunities that come along—let the business grow more organically, to use a bit of jargon. Even though I’m not quite sure what eDitmore Editorial Services might look like in a year, I feel confident that I’m on a good path and am looking forward to what this next year will bring.” So, where is she and how’s she doing? 

Hi, Tammy! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Well, a year ago I didn’t want to predict where I would be, so I have to say that, yes, I’m right there! Seriously, my business has continued to be steady, and I continue to gain clients from expected and unexpected places. I am usually booked several weeks in advance, even though I’m not doing a lot of active marketing, which is good. The downside is that I’m often overbooked, and I wind up working long, frantic hours to finish everything by the clients’ deadlines.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I think for the most part things are pretty much the same. I’m still thrilled to get to work on a wide variety of projects. This year I added some new clients, including working on a federal grant application for the first time. I also got a chance to speak to several groups about editing, and I enjoyed that experience very much and discovered I would like to do more of that in the future.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I recognized earlier this year that the majority of my clients have come from word-of-mouth referrals from friends, co-workers, and clients. So I feel if I keep pleasing my clients, then my stream of work will probably stay steady. A lesson I have been learning, and continually re-learning, is that I can’t do everything. There is always more to learn, more people I could talk to, more social networks I could join; there are better ways of recruiting clients, better computer apps and programs that might make my life easier, more productive habits I could adopt. But I find myself getting so wrapped up in trying to make everything better that I actually make it harder on myself just to do the work that is in front of me.

Any more hints and tips for people?

I was really surprised this year when I stepped back and analyzed where my clients had originally come from and saw how many of them were from personal contacts. (I wrote a blog post about my findings if anyone is interested.) Since then, my advice to any independent business owner is to tell everyone you know what you’re doing and ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of anyone looking for the kinds of services you offer. Some of my favorite clients have found me from what I would have considered very unlikely sources.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Probably in about the same place as I am today. I recently stepped back and took stock of my current family and life responsibilities, and I realized I just need to focus right now on keeping my business steady so that I have the time and energy to take care of these other obligations. I do have some dreams for expanding into other areas at some point, but I don’t think this will be the year for that. Admitting that I needed to take a step back — or at least not try to move forward — was hard at first, but it’s given me a greater sense of peace and helped me focus on what’s most important to me right now. I believe there are seasons to life, and I don’t want to miss this particular season by trying so hard to launch myself into the next one.

Tammy’s only about 18 months “behind” me on the freelance editing journey, so I always find her updates very interesting. I urge you to go and read her post about where she’s found her clients – very interesting. It was at about the point Tammy’s at that I took stock, too – I recommended some clients transferred over to colleagues as the way they needed me to work and I wanted to work didn’t gel any more, and I have a much more relaxed and flexible life now, with slightly (but not much) less income but much more time. I wrote about how to achieve that balance here. Update: Tammy wrote a lovely blog post of her own about the process of doing these interviews!

Tammy’s website is at www.editmore.com and you can of course contact her by email. She’s based in Califormia.
 

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
 

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Introducing my new business titles: Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase and Your Guide to Starting and Building your Business

Liz with her new books

Liz with her new books

It’s time to tell the world: I have two new books out, and I’m pleased to share the news with my readers and subscribers.

Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase: Who are you Calling Mature?” is a look at what happens next. Following on from “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment: Going it Alone at 40“, it shares what I’ve learned about optimising your customer base (including saying no to prospective new business), optimising your income, keeping that vital work-life balance, and blogging and the use of social media to build awareness and grow your business. It’s had some good feedback both personally and on its Amazon review page and I’m really pleased to be able to help people further along their journey through the wonderful world of self-employment and running a small business.

You can buy the print or e-book version from Amazon – you can go straight to Amazon UK, or see the book’s web page for links to the other international Amazons, and buy in different formats including pdf and for Kobo at Smashwords.

I decided to put “Your Guide to Starting and Building your Business” together to offer a low-cost option for people who want to read both books. It’s on e-book only at the moment, and is an omnibus made up for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” and “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase” which takes you right through from how to decide whether to go self-employed, taking the first steps, perhaps while working in a day job, setting up your business, getting your first customers, working out which customers to continue working with, using blogging and social media platforms and getting your life back while running a successful business. I really do write this blog and these books to help people, so I’m really pleased to be able to put this package together at a decent price, and it’s so great when I hear how I have helped people!

You can buy the e-book only omnibus from Amazon UK and other versions of Amazon (see list of links), and for all e-book formats, from Smashwords.

Thank you to everyone who’s supported me in my writing efforts – I’m so glad when I hear how I’ve helped people, and hope that I can continue to do so for many years to come. Watch this space for my new venture – an editors’ version of the two books and a workbook to go with both sets of books, based on the mentoring I’ve been doing with some industry colleagues this year.

If you’re interested in how I got to this point, do pop over to my Adventures in Reading, Writing and Working From Home blog, where I talk more personally about writing the books and choosing (and tweaking) their titles.

And you can find info on all of my books on the Liz Broomfield Books website!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Business, Ebooks, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Find and replace in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013 3: finding formatting

In this series of articles on Find and Replace in Word, we’ve looked at basic Find and Replace and advanced Find and Replace (wild cards and the like). Now we’re going to have a look at finding and replacing formats.

Why would I want to search for formats?

There are lots of reasons why you might want to search for formats. I’ve used this particularly when working with anything that has specific formatting for specific words or phrases. For example, you may have decided to italicise all book titles in your thesis bibliography, only to find that they’re supposed to be in no italics and bold. You can search for all text that’s in italics and change it to being in bold using Replace All (or Find Next – Replace, which, as we discussed in the first article, is a safer option just to be sure). Another way I use this is if I need to look for manual page breaks that have been inserted into a document, or section breaks: it’s much quicker than scanning through hundreds of pages looking for formatting marks.

How do I search for formats in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013?

Some good news here first of all: once you’ve found your way to the Advanced search dialogue box, the procedure from here onwards is exactly the same for Word 2007, 2010 and 2013. Phew!

To search for JUST a format, rather than a particular word in a format, you need to leave the Find what search box blank. Then click the Format button at the bottom left, to bring up the familiar Format menu that you find if you right-click on any text in the document itself:

1 Find format

Click on Font, for example, and you can search for text in any Font, Font Style (marked here as I’m searching for Bold text) or Size:

2 Find format

When you’ve clicked on Bold (or whichever format you’ve decided to search for) you will be returned to the standard Find dialogue window. You can see that “Format: Font: Bold” appears underneath the Find what search box. I find it useful to select Highlight all – and as you can see, this has highlighted all of the text that’s in bold in my document:

3 Find format

How do I search for a word in a particular format?

You can combine format search with the standard text search. For example, here I’ve chosen the format to be Bold and have then entered the word “troughs” into the Find what box. As we can see from the text behind the box, this has searched for the word troughs in bold:

4 Find format with a word

How do I remove format search from my search?

If you want to remove the format search, you will need to press the No Formatting button at the bottom of the screen. This will remove the “Format: Font: Bold” or whatever note from your Find What search box. If you don’t remove it, Word will continue to only find text in that format, whatever you enter in the search box.

5 remove Find format

How do I replace a format with a different format?

Once you’ve found all of the text with your required format, you can move to the Replace tab and replace one format with another. In the Replace tab, press the Format button just as you did in the Find tab:

6 replace format

Here I’m choosing to change the Bold text I highlighted earlier into Italic text:

7 replace format

I’m being brave and hitting Replace All, and here’s the effect: those sections that were in Bold are now in Italics:

8 replace format

How do I search for page breaks and formatting characters?

You can also search for different kinds of page formatting using the Special button at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialogue box. This gives you a whole range of formatting characters that you can search for, including paragraph marks, section breaks, etc.

9 special

I find this very useful for searching for manual page breaks – you can do this with formatting marks turned on or off (if you have then turned on, it will highlight the formatting mark; if they’re turned off, just the space where it would appear). Here I’ve searched for manual page breaks (where I’ve pressed Ctrl-Enter to force a page break):

10 special

You can see that it’s highlighted a space where the page break is hidden from view – but there:

11 special

If I turn on Show Formatting, you can see what Word is highlighting:

13 special

In this article, we’ve learned how to Find and Replace formats in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013, and how to search for breaks and other formatting characters. If you’ve enjoyed this post or found it useful, please do take a moment to share or comment – your comments and shares are always appreciated!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all of the short cuts here

Related posts on this blog:

How to use Find and Replace 1 – basic find and replace

How to use Find and Replace 2 – advanced find

Formatting marks and how to turn them on and off

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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