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Small business chat update – Nicole Y. Adams

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, this time with Nicole Y. Adams of NYA Communications, who works primarily in editing and translating PR and marketing materials. We first met Nicole in November 2012 and then had an update in December 2013. At that point, when asked where she wanted to be in a year’s time, Nicole replied “I hope to continue to spend around 80% of my time on PR and marketing translation, and 20% on coaching services. I also wouldn’t rule out additional publications for the language industry. But PR and marketing translation will always remain my first love“. Now, one thing I’ve learned in my time publishing these interviews is that pretty well nothing goes exactly to plan (often in a good way!). Let’s find out how things have gone for Nicole …

Hello again, Nicole! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes and no. I’ve published some more e-books for freelance translators just as I hoped I would, and I have continued to enjoy great working relationships with my clients. What has been a very welcome change is that I now translate and edit 100% of my time rather than just the 80% I’d hoped, which has been a very welcome change.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

The biggest change has been that I stopped offering coaching services at the start of last year and have instead created a comprehensive online course for beginning freelance translators, The A to Z of Freelance Translation. You could say I’ve gone back to my roots and once again translate and edit marketing and PR copy 100% of my time.

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

I’ve learned that it’s crucial to dedicate your time to what you want to do in your business and not offer additional services because you feel you are expected to, because ‘everybody does it’ or because people ask you for them. I’ve had quite a few tempting offers to present webinars and speak at conferences, for example, but I’ve decided that I don’t wish to diversify into those areas because my calling is translation.

A year ago I still felt bad about declining fantastic offers because I felt I was expected to accept them, but I’ve come to realise that it’s important that we stay true to ourselves and only do what we are comfortable with and what fulfils us. In my case, that’s translating PR and marketing copy for my clients, and helping new translator colleagues through my online course. That means no webinars, no podcasts and no conference presentations – and no guilt about declining them

Any more hints and tips for people?

Take an introspective look at yourself and your business every year to determine if your business is aligned with your personal preferences and structured exactly how you like it. If not, make some changes to ensure you are (still) following your true calling.

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

I’m not expecting any major changes. I’m perfectly happy with where my business is at the moment, and I’m hoping to continue in the same vein.

This interview has been very inspiring for me, personally. I’ve had quite a few requests – more and more as time goes on – to offer mentoring services to individual editors and transcribers. I love helping people, but I’m an introvert, and too much people-time burns me out and tires me. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, I’m (slowly) putting together some self-mentoring materials to work alongside my business books, and I’ll be creating a version of my two main business books aimed at editors, with the self-mentoring materials included, which should be out soon(ish). Nicole has helped me to accept that this is the right way to go – have a think about what you’re doing in your business and see if you can identify areas into which you’re putting effort but which don’t fulfil your needs. You shouldn’t be run by your business; you should run your business! So thanks for that, Nicole, and best wishes for a calm and balanced year!

You can visit Nicole’s website at www.nyacommunications.com and you can of course email her. She’s on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Skype: NYAcommunications.

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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Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Daniel Sodkiewicz

mugs Welcome to a new small business chat. Daniel Sodkiewicz from Royal Deer Design in New York contacted me to ask if he could be featured – I’m always happy to talk to businesses all over the world (I get equal traffic on this blog from the US and UK, so it definitely gets seen by his compatriots, and of course, like my business, web design companies are not restricted by the geographical area in which they physically operate. Just like our UK interviewees, Daniel started off doing something he knew, which is always an advantage, having worked in a similar industry, and, most importantly, he knew he was good at – and enjoyed – the ‘doing business’ side of things as well as the ‘doing the work’ side – something people tend to underestimate. So, let’s meet Daniel, whose company is one year older than Libro, and see what path he’s taken so far as his business has grown.

Hello, Daniel. First things first: What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

I started my company, Royal Deer Design, in 2008.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I was working as a full time employee at different web design companies, working on projects for T.Rowe Price, Canon and other big name brands. Part of my job was working directly with clients and I really enjoyed that part of the process. Meeting with prospects, writing proposals and even competing with other companies for business was an adrenaline rush – one which I could not fully experience working for someone else. I value my freedom and the flexibility of being an entrepreneur, and so I knew it was time to be my own boss.

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I’ve been involved with computers since high school when I was running a large online discussion for computer gaming fans. This led to managing other websites and helping online startups. I enjoy working with business owners and startups who are passionate about their work. I like to see how they grow and to know that I am helping them succeed.

Had you run your own business before?

I’ve always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit which has helped me develop my management, marketing and sales skills. Before launching my current business, I was involved in freelance work, selling scripts and plugins I created. All of my experience has shaped me into the leader I am today.

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

Leaving corporate America and launching my own Web Design Firm felt like a natural part of my evolution. I was working for companies and knew I could deliver better services to the clients than what they were doing, and I did not always agree with their vision or poor work ethics. I went through a smooth transition from full time developer at a corporate firm to freelance work to establishing a company with a business partner.

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

One of the most important lessons is learning to say “No” to certain projects. When starting out, you are hungry for business and do not want to lose any potential deals, but there are some projects you need to walk away from. It is not worth winning a project at any cost, because you end up spending too much time and don’t make any money, or have clients you can never please. Being willing to walk away has provided me with the freedom to choose who I work with, and now when prospecting for clients, I want to see if the potential client is a fit for my company, as much as they are looking to see if I am a fit for them.

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

1. Owning a business is more about running the business (sales, marketing) and less about the actual work (web design and development)
2. It’s a numbers game. For every X number of cold calls you will get Y number of prospects which will become Z number of clients.
3. Have fun, because in the end that’s all that really matters.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Started my business sooner.

What are you glad you did?

I took my time to find the right people to collaborate and work with. I do not rush into hiring because I want the best people who fit into our culture. When attending networking events, I am always on the lookout for quality people, which is how I met Michael Platania, writer extraordinaire! :) Michael is a part of my team. We follow a rule at Royal Deer Design: hire slow and fire fast. Without a good team, even the best product or idea will fail.

What’s your top business tip?

Educate your clients. When they first come to you, they often do not know what they need or what is involved in making it happen and it is our responsibility to educate them so there are no surprises down the road.

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

I have grown my business since starting and now have a team of people working for me. The success I have achieved has allowed me to branch out with a few side projects devoted to helping other entrepreneurs succeed, which I am very passionate about. I launched a website called Area301.com to help web designers find leads for business, and techstarsdigest.com, a listing of the best tech articles on the web. I am in the process of launching my new website: digest.nyc – an online hub connecting entrepreneurs and techies in NYC.

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

I will continue to run my web design firm and grow my team. Creatively, I plan to continue my side projects and be a resource for technologists and entrepreneurs. I want to continue working with clients, setting goals and milestones that we work together to achieve.

I find Daniel’s attitude to his entrepreneurship and skillset quite different from many of the interviews I’ve run with UK business owners. This reminded me of a research study I took part in a while ago, comparing the words that US and UK entrepreneurs used of themselves – here are the results, if you’re interested. US participants tended to come across as more self-confident and happy using the word ‘entrepreneur’, while Europeans tended to be more reticent in their descriptions. I’m business-minded and proud of it, and maybe there’s a lesson here to hold our heads up high and celebrate our skills and those of our colleagues and fellow-workers! Anyway, going back to Daniel, I’ll be interested to see how he grows and develops his business over the next year. This is often a time of consolidation in a ‘mature’ business, and sometimes it’s easy to sit back and not work on those side projects; I’m sure we’ll see some interesting developments here this time next year!

Royal Deer Design, LLC
50W 97th Street, #12N
New York, 10025 NY

Tel: + 1 (646) 657.9323
Email:
Web: www.royaldeerdesign.com

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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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Sophie Playle

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update – today we’re revisiting Sophie Playle, from Playle Editorial Services, who we first met in December 2013, at which point she’d only been going for eight months! When I asked her where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “Hopefully, I will have a more stable income, and a few more regular clients. I hope to start working with publishers as well as continuing to work with writers. I’d love to edit more speculative fiction novels, as this is a particular passion and expertise of mine!” I have to say it’s lovely to have specialised fiction editors to pass prospective clients on to, as I only take on a small number of fiction books a year myself, and it’s been good to see Sophie going from strength to strength over the year. Let’s see how she’s doing …

Hi Sophie, and welcome back! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

To a degree, yes. I’d hoped to have a more stable income … That hasn’t quite happened yet! Things are still very up and down month-to-month, but I have had a continuous stream of work this year, which I’m very proud to have achieved; project timescales and waiting for clients to pay makes it very hard to predict a monthly income, so I’ve discovered having a buffer is very important.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I rebranded my business during the year, and made the decision to focus exclusively on editing – mostly fiction editing. Previously, I’d also offered copywriting, but I was finding it difficult to target my marketing when I had two very different markets. I had planned to create a separate brand for copywriting, but this hasn’t yet happened.

I have been editing more genre writing, which was one of my goals. I’d also hoped to work with more publishers. However, I’ve only worked with one publisher this year, on a single book. They sought me out – I haven’t been pursuing work from publishers yet, and I’m not completely sure I do want to go down this avenue. I really enjoy working with self-publishers and with writers directly, as I love their creativity and enthusiasm.

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

I’ve focused a lot of my time and energy on professional development this year. I completed a training course (PTC Copy-Editing) and earned a certificate in Basic Editing from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I also attended the SfEP annual conference, which was a fantastic networking and learning experience.

In terms of business sense, I’ve learned a huge amount – I wouldn’t be able to write about it all in a single post! I think the most important thing I’ve learned, however, is perhaps the most surprising. I had thought that all I had wanted was to edit fiction, but doing that non-stop for a year has really drained my energy. I’ve discovered that I’m the kind of person who needs variation. This year, I narrowed the focus of my business; next year, I’m widening it again (but in a more targeted way).

Any more hints and tips for people?

Sounds boring but … accounting software! FreeAgent has been a lifesaver, and one of the best investments I’ve made in my business. I use it to create and track invoices, track my profits and expenses (handy graphs included), manage my projects and timescales, and even time-track my work to see my productivity levels and profit margins. Next year I’ll also be using it to submit my tax return. I highly recommend it. (Use code 43g3im21 to get a lifetime 10% discount!)

Also, I’ve discovered just how important it is to look after yourself. Set boundaries for your business – who you’re happy to work with, when you’re happy to work, etc. After all, it’s your business. Create a schedule, but focus on one thing at a time. (These are all things I’m still working on!)

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

Ah, the million dollar question. (Hmm, with a million dollars – or pounds – in the bank wouldn’t be a bad start.) But seriously. I have big plans for 2015. Unfortunately, the #VATMOSS mess has put a major spanner in the works. I’d hoped to branch out into offering products and courses for writers, and I still plan to do this, but I’m going to wait and let the dust settle on this #VATMESS thing for the time being, then figure out my next move from there.

I may also set up a separate copywriting side-business. In short, though, I want to make sure I have enough diversity to keep me motivated, and I’m determined to reach a certain income goal, too. (Probably not a million dollars.)

Thanks for having me again, Liz! I’ve really enjoyed reading about other small business owners in your series. It’s amazing how much we can learn from each other, even if we’re working in vastly different industries. I’m a big advocate of ‘power to the people’, and I think small businesses owners are doing just that: claiming their power. To me, that’s hugely inspiring.

I find Sophie’s interview really inspiring, too, and hope you do as well. I love her learning points – it’s great that she’s picked up on the looking after yourself side of things nice and early, and she’s right about using accounting software or good systems right from the start – it makes life so much easier, and it’s so important to know where you are at all times. Best of luck to Sophie as she continues learning and developing – I’m sure 2015 will be a good year for her!

Sophie Playle is a professional editor who specialises in helping fiction writers reach their literary potential. Find out more and download your free guide, ‘15 Steps to Get Your Manuscript in Shape Before Hiring an Editor’, by visiting her website: Playle Editorial Services

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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Posted by on January 10, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Ellie Levenson

mugs It’s a special bonus Small Business Update today, because Ellie Levenson’s book, “Election”, published by her own publishing company, Fisherton Press, launches today! I joined in with a Kickstarter campaign to publish this book, and I received my own copies a few days ago (pop over here to my book blog for photos and a review). So it seemed fitting to publish this update today. When I originally interviewed Ellie in November 2013, she had only just set up the Press and hadn’t been going long enough to be able to answer all of my starter questions. She did, however, have this to say about where she wanted to be by now: “Having launched our first few books and hopefully seeing orders for them roll in! And preparing a big launch for our Kickstarter crowdfunded project, Democracy for Toddlers”. So as well as being a bonus Small Business Update, this one has bonus questions! Let’s see how things are going as the first book comes out and the reviews start coming in …

Hello, Ellie! Thanks for taking a moment at this busy time to answer my questions. First of all, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I originally thought we would have published some books by now but it quickly became apparent that these things take a bit longer than anticipated so I very quickly decided to take a bit longer about things. Our first book is now published, with three to five more planned for this year depending on when they are finished and when I think the market is right.

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

So far nothing, but I am sure I will learn many lessons over the coming year.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Again so far nothing but we’ve only just published the first book. Ask me again next year.

Will do! What are you glad you did?

I’m really pleased I paid a designer to do my logo and website as I think they look professional and will be usable for some years to come.

What’s your top business tip?

So far it’s one I gleaned from a book by the Not on the High Street founders, which is don’t spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need. So I haven’t had business cards made or had a launch party.

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

It’s been tempting to diversify as I’ve been sent some great book pitches for audiences that aren’t my target and it has taken a lot of willpower to stick to my original plan, for now at least.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Just that I have slowed things down and decided to take more time over the whole process.

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

I’ve learned a lot, but so far I don’t wish I’d known anything in particular … but watch this space!

Any more hints and tips for people?

Your friends want to help you and will like to hear about progress and offer advice where possible. Use (but don’t abuse) their good will. On the other hand, also feel able to say no to friends – I have had some pitches from friends that weren’t right for the company and have had to politely say no even though they are people I would like to work with or feel I should work with. Also, if someone is messing you around early on they will continue to do so, and therefore call time on a working relationship as soon as it isn’t working rather than waiting to see if it improves – it won’t.

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

Hopefully with a few books published, learning what works and what doesn’t, refining our processes, sticking to quality not quantity, perhaps even turning a profit…

It’s all very exciting – this first book is a good one, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this new publisher develops over the next year!

Fishterton Press‘s first book, The Election, by Eleanor Levenson and Marek Jagucki, is out now. and is available direct from Fisherton Press, from Amazon and from Ellie Levenson’s local independent bookshop, The Big Green Bookshop.

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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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Ruth Badley

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, today with Ruth Badley from Ruth Badley PR. We first met Ruth in October 2012 and updated her story in November 2013, at which point this was her plan: “I hope to consolidate and keep the clients I have. I don’t have much more capacity right now and it was never my plan to grow so big I needed to take on staff to cope. I have no wish to build an empire – doing a good job for the clients I have is enough for me.” That all sounded eminently sensible, and she was in the kind of position that I’m in, running a stable and mature business and wanting to continue doing a good job and carrying on the same path. So, did that happen? Hmm … let’s see …

Hello again, Ruth! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I have an unusual response to that question right now. If you had asked me that two months ago I would have said yes, pretty much where I predicted I would be. I have taken on a couple of new clients, work with existing clients has grown and the picture seems quite settled but then…

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

The opportunity to relocate to Dubai for two years! So all change but, thanks to technology, I will be able to continue my business from the UAE. I have been very encouraged by the response from clients, who have all indicated they will be happy to see how a remote PR service works out for them. I am hoping my client base will indeed stay the same. I am currently balancing my work with preparations for departure in early 2015. I do a good deal of my work for my husband’s employer and this opportunity has come about through the company’s international reach.

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

I am learning to be flexible – at very short notice and under pressure of time. I wish I’d had an inkling a year ago that relocation was on the cards. The organisation required is enormous so if like me you have a home office full of clutter, do yourself a favour and get rid now! Even if you don’t plan on moving, the process is very cleansing!

Any more hints and tips for people?

I have fought shy of having a website for several years but prompted by the move, my son has created one for me. I am used to advising other people on what their website says about them and now I have the chance to be more creative on my own behalf. www.ruthbadley.com is currently under construction and this exercise alone is helping me to really focus on how I want to communicate my services and the personality of my business, in a way I have never thought about before.

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

Definitely in a warmer place! I hope to continue the work I am currently doing whilst also taking time to immerse myself in a totally different way of life, in a location which offers so many new and exciting possibilities. I don’t think I would be wise to predict where my business will be in a year’s time but I am looking forward to finding out.

Wow – what a change, coming out of nowhere. I don’t know if it was the effect of Ruth’s mention of getting rid of clutter, but I did spend a chunk of this morning tidying my desk, although I’m not anticipating a call to Dubai myself (but who knows!). I really hope it goes well for Ruth. I know it’s perfectly possible to work remotely for my clients, who are all over the world and in many different time zones, so I’m sure it will work out for Ruth. Good luck, Ruth, and we look forward to hearing how you’re doing this time next year!

For more information on Ruth Badley see her LinkedIn profile – you can contact her via email and you can follow her adventures in Dubai on Twitter.

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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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Liz Dexter (was Broomfield)

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, oh, and it’s with me! I always take the unpopular between Christmas and New Year slot for myself, because it doesn’t seem fair to leave someone else languishing here, but I do like to do one every Saturday. So, my last update was on 28 December 2013, and I had this to say about my plans for the upcoming year: “I’ve just published a short guide to transcription as a career, but I want to get my next main book, tentatively called ‘Who are you Calling Mature? Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase’, completed, edited and out in January or February. That should bump up my ‘passive income’ from book sales, and I might even manage a print edition of ‘Going it Alone at 40′. We’ll be married by this time next year, and I’ll not have worked on our honeymoon! I’m also hoping to have a more crafty and creative 2014. I’ve been inspired to get out the sewing machine again, and to think about taking a few courses. I made some of my Christmas cards this year, and most of my wrapping paper, and would like to continue playing around with stamps and ink in 2014!” So … how did I do with those almost-resolutions?

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

To take them in order … I got my next business book published and I also created an omnibus of the first and second business books, print editions of them both AND wrote and put out a totally new book, “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” (find out more about all of those here). So my writing plans went well.

We got married in April (hooray!) and had a mini-moon in the Lake District that month and a honeymoon in Iceland in June. I am happy to say that I did no work on either of those trips, thanks to my superb friend Laura, who covers my work while I’m away (I do the same for her).

I didn’t do any sewing courses but I did make some Christmas Bunting on the sewing machine at a Crafternoon I organised with a couple of friends as part of a bigger event in support of the charity, Mind. I didn’t make any of my own Christmas cards or wrapping paper this year, but I did do cartoon cards through the year as the inspiration took me.

One thing I didn’t put down but did intend to do was work further on my research on the author Iris Murdoch. I presented a paper on my research project getting book groups to read “The Bell” at the Iris Murdoch Society Conference in September and wrote up that paper to send to my groups.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

Well, my name has changed from Broomfield to Dexter, and I had to devote some time to sorting out my SEO so looking for both of those names takes you to me! I left my books under the Liz Broomfield name to avoid having to change them all. My husband finished one job, had six months working from home for himself then got another office job, so that involved some changes in our home life!

I changed the titles of my two business books from “Going It Alone at 40″ and “Who Are You Calling Mature?” to “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” and “Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase” with the two original titles as sub-titles, after doing some market research. I also created a brand new and separate website for my books, as I felt they were getting lost on this big website.

My book sales changed for the worst with the Amazon boycott that started to pick up speed in late November / early December. I have been buying what I need through other sites or direct from the authors, but other people seem to have stopped buying entirely. That mostly made me glad that my book sales do not form the major part of my income!

What’s stayed nice and constant is my on-going daily work. I’m doing editing, proofreading, transcription and localisation and enjoying having regular clients and a schedule I can predict in advance. I’m still doing slightly less work and earning slightly less than I did in my first year of full-time self-employment, but am happier and with more time for the rest of my life.

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

I wish I’d known a year ago that the book titles I’d chosen for two of my books were not going to work that well! I did do market research on that at the outset, but when I checked in with people on this, the attitude was that they should change. I then had to spend time and effort working on changing the records on the sites where I sell them, the cover design, the contents, links to the books in the other books, website info, etc., etc.

I’ve learned that the best thing in the whole of self-employment is having someone to cover your holidays – it worked so well this year and I’m eternally grateful to Laura, who is my cover person. It makes such a difference to know you can go away and don’t have to think about work!

I also learned recently that however well you’ve set up your systems, you can still make a mistake with your records and think you’re earning less than you are earning! I have tweaked my spreadsheets and all is fine, but it just goes to show that you need to set up checks and balances and keep an eye on things.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Don’t try to do too much at a time and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t achieve everything you want to achieve all at once.

Foster good relationships with people in the same business and find people you trust who can provide cover for you.

Trust your gut instinct – if you think someone is going to let you down or be a bad client in some way, listen to that voice and make sure you protect yourself. I’ve learnt that from my other interviewees’ experiences, too!

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

I will be reading more: my reading slipped a bit this year and that’s not good. More on my reading blog on 1 January about specific reading challenges for 2015. I’m getting back into my running and hope to be running longer and more regularly in 2015. And I aim to keep up with my crafts a bit more. I’ve already ramped up my volunteering to include parkrun and I’ll be making sure I keep up with that and other volunteering activities.

I want to finish writing up a longer-form version of my Iris Murdoch research and getting that out there somehow, whether that’s placing it with a publisher or creating an indie book again.

Although sales have dropped on Amazon for everyone (lots of people blame the boycotts or their new KDP Unlimited programme but no one really knows), I’m planning to rework my business books to create a self-mentoring guide for editors, produce a mentoring guide to go with the original books and also put together a guide for authors on working with editors, all to be out in … well, let’s say the first half of the year!

You can find me here, of course, and also on my books website and my book reviews one for more personal stuff. Happy New Year!

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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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Small business chat update – Jane Badger

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update – today we’re saying hello again to Jane Badger from Jane Badger books, now working full time as an editor. We first met Jane in November 2013 and when I asked her where she wanted to be by now, she replied, “I hope I’ll still be working for my regular proofreading clients, and that I’ll have acquired a few more! I’ve been asked to write another book (fiction this time) so I hope I might have finished it”. As you’ll read, Jane’s had an interesting year, with a slight change in direction and lots of learning experiences. She’s enjoying her new job and still writing as well as editing – sounds good to me!

Hello again, Jane! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Thereabouts – in fact slightly ahead.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

Although the business is certainly doing better than I’d planned, it hasn’t developed as much as it could, because of family illness. This is never something that you can predict; certainly not when it stretches into years. I underestimated the toll it would take on me.

Fortunately new clients found me, and I started doing manuscript assessments, which wasn’t a direction I’d planned on taking, but which I very much enjoy.

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

Don’t ever take your clients for granted: keep on working at building a positive relationship with them.

I’ve learned I can actually write fiction, having written a book which is, in theory, going to be published next year. The whole process certainly came as a surprise to me, as I’ve only ever written non fiction before.

I haven’t regretted giving up bookselling at all!

I am one of those people who tend to think “Give me ALL THE TASKS,” but I am, rather slowly, learning that I can’t do that, and that a slow rate of growth, and managing to keep all the balls in the air at home and at work is sometimes the best you can actually do.

I do find it challenging balancing the various facets of work me: the author, and the proof reader and editor. My rule is that stuff that pays always takes precedence; anything else is just a bonus. I can’t see myself ever earning a living from writing alone, so that does very much have to take a back seat.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Don’t beat yourself up if your personal circumstances mean you’re not going to be Entrepreneur of the Year.

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

I hope my latest book will have been published, but nothing is ever certain in publishing.

I would like to have a couple more corporate clients under my belt. I am very conscious I don’t make as much use of social media as I could, so I am putting together a plan (using your book!) to improve this.

I’m also working on my CPD (Continuous Personal Development), which has been a bit neglected this year, and am researching courses and accreditations.

To sum up, I want to be doing what I’m doing better, and taking it to more people.

Well, that’s some good aims, and I hope the new book is out there by this time next year, because I certainly want to read it! Jane makes a good point about not beating yourself up – we all have tough years or seasons and it’s just what happens – it’s best to plod on, do your best and not hold yourself up to impossibly high standards. I like her orders of priority, too – that’s how I arrange things as well, although it can be frustrating when there’s lots of lovely paid work in and you have to put aside something closer to your heart. I hope to hear good things from Jane next year!

You can find Jane on LinkedIn as well as on her editing website www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk/editing/ and visit the largest website in the world devoted to pony books at: www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk and blog:  http://booksandmud.blogspot.com/.

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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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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