Monthly Archives: April 2018

Small business chat update – Sophie Playle

Small business chat update – Sophie Playle

Welcome to an update with  Sophie Playle, editor and trainer of editors from Liminal Pages,  We first met Sophie in December 2013, at which point she’d only been going for eight months, Sophie updated us on how she was getting on in January 2015, March 2016, and most recently March 2017, where this was her plan: “This time around, I’m not going to make any grand statements or plans. I’m going to get my head down and continue doing what I’m doing – providing editorial services to authors and online training to editors – and see where it gets me. I share my most personal thoughts on being an editorial business owner in my Liminal Letters, which I send out roughly every fortnight, so if anyone wants to keep up with my journey, feel free to subscribe!” So, did things go to plan or did they change? Read on to find out …

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

Pretty much! I’ve just kept on keeping on. My schedule has been filled solid with editing work, and I’ve continued to create and run courses for editors. I haven’t quite managed to create and refine as many courses as I’d hoped by now – I always seem to make big plans and run out of time!

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

For the first time in a long time, pretty much everything has stayed the same. It’s a relief to feel some stability in my business, to be honest. At the same time, I don’t feel a though I’m stagnating. I’m continually tweaking and improving my work flow, brand, website, courses, skills, etc.

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

I don’t think there’s anything that’s made me think Darn, if only I’d know that … We can’t learn everything all at once. Sometimes the time isn’t right for the lessons we need. Often, we learn through trial and error – because there’s no one-size-fits-all way to run a business.

Any more hints and tips for people?

There’s no such thing as a ‘finished’ or ‘completed’ business. You have to keep chipping away at things, refining and developing. At times, it can feel frustrating that the work is never done, but try to enjoy the process, celebrate the small wins along the way, and be kind to yourself.

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

Where I am now, but better.

I actually loved it when things stabilised for me, a few years of full-time self-employment in, when you know what to expect and when you’ll be busy. Like Sophie, things have still changed for me, but in more minimal ways, for example starting to pick up more work for a) ghostwriters and b) university academics doing large projects, which is an extension of my transcription work and tends to come through recommendation. I love that Sophie is still finding time to help her fellow editors along the way, too, and sharing her experiences in her usual honest way.

Visit Sophie at her Liminal Pages website: or find her on Twitter or Facebook!

Sophie’s website is at and that novel-writing course can be found here: Conquer Your Novel

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. 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. 


Posted by on April 14, 2018 in Business, Small Business Chat


Plain English – what are the business benefits?

My colleague Laura Ripper is an expert in Plain English. In this excellent article, she explains the benefits of plain language. A must-read for all businesses, and if you’re looking for Plain English editing and proofreading, head her way!

Laura Ripper | Proofreading and copy-editing

A picture of a piggybank

If you run a business, you probably know that customers appreciate clear communication. They want to be able to find important information quickly – for example, about products and services, how to find you or how to return an item they’ve bought. Direct, concise and jargon-free text saves them time, frustration and effort. It gives your customers a better experience of working with you.

But what are the benefits for you – and your company? How can writing in plain English help you achieve your business goals, such as making a profit or building your brand? Is communicating clearly anything more than ‘doing the right thing’?

Using plain English can help your business in three main ways:

  1. It saves money
  2. It saves time
  3. It builds your reputation

It saves money

– and it makes money, too.

If your marketing materials, letters and newsletters present information clearly, your customers are more…

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Posted by on April 11, 2018 in Uncategorized