Welcome to an update to Jane Badger from Jane Badger proofreading and editing, working full time as an editor with a dose of writing on the side. We first met Jane in November 2013 and updated ourselves on her new business venture in December 2014 – when I asked her where she wanted to be by now, she replied. “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, it’s always nice to have my own books mentioned, and let’s see how Jane has been doing … Oh, and don’t forget the EXTRA BONUS QUESTION – Jane’s got an interesting perspective on that!
Hello, Jane! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Pretty much! Corporate work continues to be my bread and butter, but I’ve also edited some excellent books, which I’ve really enjoyed.
The writing side of life has hit a minor block. My children’s book hasn’t been published as the publisher is experiencing something of a hiatus, but I am not, I find, particularly upset about that. I was asked on the back of that book to write another, but I absolutely hated it. I really don’t like writing fiction, and I now know that for sure. I have to say it’s a lot easier for my family if I’m not writing fiction, as apparently it was like living with a black cloud of gloom while I was attempting to write. I have started researching another non fiction book, and have written a proposal for it which is currently out with knowledgeable friends being assessed before I launch forth with it! And I am a cheerful happy bunny when researching, which I’m not when doing fiction, so that’s a win for everyone.
On the marketing side, I’ve done a new website, which I’m pleased with, had some professional pictures taken of myself (something I have put off for years because I loathe being on the other side of the camera), and so now have something I’m happy to direct people towards for more information.
I’ve also joined the SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and will start their courses in the New Year.
As for social media, which I’d planned to make more of an effort with, that is still a bit of a slow burn. Doing a new website was the main thing I needed to achieve in order to kick start it. That I’ve done, so I’ve worked on my LinkedIn profile, and have planned a series of blog posts that I hope will prove useful to my clients. I have kept up with my social media profile as an editor/pony book expert, and that’s brought me some work.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’m still doing a lot of corporate work, but have also written and delivered a training course on common punctuation and grammatical mistakes. I spent some years as a freelance trainer, so was relieved to find out that I could still do it! Technology has moved on somewhat since I last trained, and it has undoubtedly made life easier.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
One thing I’ve learned is not to discount skills you haven’t used in a while, like training, because they might well still be useful. I’m still thinking over whether I want to do more training – I hadn’t expected to do any at all, but I was asked and said yes. I don’t want it to become the mainstay of what I do, but as a controllable small element, I think it could work.
What do I wish I’d known a year ago? If you know you have a problem doing a certain thing (in my case, it’s marketing) you are going to have to keep chipping away at it and not assume because you’ve managed to overcome your aversion to doing it that that’s it – you’ve solved the problem. Because it is still there, and you still need to be aware that it is, and that you need to keep your eye on it.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Always be open to new suggestions – even if you dismiss them, investigating them can open your mind to other things you could be doing with your core business.
Extra question: What question would you most like to ask your fellow small business owners?
I always want to know how things are going for people, and this series answers that admirably! There isn’t, I think, any one particular thing that I want to ask people. When I talk to other small business owners, there’s often something they’re doing that I’m not, or they do something in a different way to me, so I ask them about that and how they find it works for them. That doesn’t mean that it’ll work for me, but it does give me more information on which to make a decision.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Still growing, I hope.
Jane seems to be doing admirably well, and I really like the way that older skills and interests are still playing a role in her business. I’ve used all sorts of things that I learned about years ago in my business – I learned how to do audio typing in 1992 and started using it for transcription jobs in 2010, for example!
Find Jane’s new website at janebadger.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.