Welcome to an update with the lovely Amelia Wilson of Localisation Translation, offering copyediting, translation review and localisation services (and someone I recommend to prospects for these areas when I can’t fit them in to my schedule. We originally met Amelia in November 2014, when her plan for this year was this: “I’d like to have some products to offer besides the service-based side of the business, whether that be e-books or training courses, I have a few ideas floating around. I’d also like to network more, and build relationships with other professionals in my field working in similar ways. I’d like to outsource some of the less exciting tasks (I hate invoicing!), but overall I’m looking forward to taking a look at the data from being a year in business, seeing what goals were met and finding new ways to improve.” Let’s see how she’s doing now …
Hello again, Amelia! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I think so, or at least well on the way! It’s been a really busy year, I’ve been steadily growing my client base and at the same time becoming more secure about what I’m doing and creating with my business.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’ve really niched down in my offerings. Before, I was a bit of a jack of all editing trades; I was offering all the services I used to perform while working as an in-house editor – which was a lot! But over the second half of this year I’ve become much more specific and cut out a lot of the things that I don’t enjoy. This allows me to be more engaged with the work I’m doing, and helps my clients by not overwhelming them with a thousand different services. I’ve also dipped my toes in the water of outsourcing and working with virtual assistants (a god send!), started email marketing, joined a small mastermind, and I’m working on two products, one of which is a bit ambitious (why not!) and the other I hope to launch in the first half of next year.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned how important it is to say no, and to create boundaries in your business. When I started out, I would very rarely refuse a project, and I ended up spending time on things that weren’t as profitable or enjoyable as they could have been. It’s actually really powerful to be confident in saying no sometimes, because it frees you up to focus on areas that are important and ultimately much more rewarding.
Any more hints and tips for people?
I think it’s super important to know your own mind, and what you want to achieve. I’ve had a lot of business advice over the past year from friends and mentors, everyone has an opinion about what you should be doing and how you should develop and grow. It can be overwhelming, so I think it’s important to know exactly why you went into business, for me it was freedom and autonomy, and what you want to achieve with it. It helps you take everyone’s advice into account but stand firm when it comes to your personal goals. And deciding what they are in the first place can be tricky!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
That’s a great question, because for the first time since I started I’m setting goals and intentions for next year. I feel like I’ve got ground beneath my feet now, and I can start building. I would like to niche down even more, and package my services into something very specific, with my products to go alongside. I keep overhauling my website, it’s quite basic at the moment but I’d like to create an online home I can be really proud of, and which better serves my clients and readers. I’m also setting revenue goals so that I can improve on last year and continue to grow. Here’s to an exciting 2016!
I firmly believe that specialising and learning to say no are two hugely important tasks as you develop your new business – I’ve certainly refined my offering since I started, as well as branching out into new areas to test the waters. I think Amelia’s definitely going in the right direction, and I look forward to seeing how she does in the next 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.