Small business chat update – Chrissie Metcalfe

Small business chat update – Chrissie Metcalfe

It’s Small Business Update time and today we’re saying hello again to Chrissie Metcalfe from Chrissie Metcalfe Recruitment. We first met Chrissie in February 2012, and she updated us in April 2013, May 2014, June 2015. and September 2016. At that point her plans were as follows: “In another year’s time the events side of the business will be standalone and I will have a member of staff looking after this full time. I WILL have my convertible. We will still be in Morley and I will be out of the office more bringing business in, as the office will be covered every day.” Did Chrissie get her convertible? Read on to find out!

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

I am further forward now than I thought I would be, as there are four of us in the office now. Helen is still by my side, I have an events manager and also a part-time young lady who is learning recruitment and supporting us in the office and out on the events.

We are in a bigger office now but in the same office block in Morley.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I am still the same person and we still recruit in the same personal and caring way that I did from day one. I am still very grateful for every job that comes in and for every second of work that the team do to take CM recruitment Ltd further forward.

What has changed is that I delegate now instead of trying to do everything myself. The team are skilled in their own unique ways and I make sure they use their skills as well as learning new things all the time.

I also allow myself time off.

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

I have learned that is not always good to try to do everything yourself and that actually I am not the best at everything. Helen is 100 times better than me at the back office stuff i.e., payroll, invoices etc…

Also it is not a bad thing to walk away from a client if you feel that they treat staff badly or if they want you to do a quality job on the cheap.

I wish I had moved to this location years ago as the move is the best decision I have ever made.

I also wish I had known that relaxing a little does more good that trying to push forward so much that you end up exhausted and no good to anyone, but at the time you don’t see it

Any more hints and tips for people?

You will fail but get up, you will fail again but the person the keeps getting up is the person that will succeed

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

This time next year I will have just come back from a fabulous luxury holiday that myself and my fiancé have just booked and I will WILL be in that convertible I have been going on about.

We will have one more staff member in the team but will still be in the same office block.

We have 145 staff on our books for event work and I see this being double this time next year which means we will be able to support more events

The permanent side of the business will be bigger and myself and one other person will be the ones going out to bring business in rather than it just being myself.

I love CM Recruitment Ltd and I really feel that CM recruitment Ltd loves me now…..

What fantastic positive news and I’m sure there’ll be a pic of Chrissie in her convertible next year! I totally agree with the concept of taking rest: you are all the better for being rested rather than run ragged.

Chrissie Metcalfe Recruitment’s Leeds phone number is 0113 887 3786 and they can be found at

Topcliffe Mill,
Topcliffe Lane,
LS27 0HL

Their website is now at and you can email Chrissie or the general office address and she’s also and on Facebook and 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. 

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat


Tags: ,

What information does my transcriber need?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about setting expectations with service providers and how to make sure you’re giving the person who will potentially be working for you the information they need to be able to quote for you and do the work. I promised then to add some detail about particular kinds of work that I do and what I or another person will need in order to quote and book you in. I’ve already covered what your editor needs to know here, so let’s look at transcribers.

What is transcription?

I’ve covered this in more detail in this article, but basically transcription means taking words that have been spoken and recorded on some kind of audio file and turning them into words typed on a page via a word processor. You can use transcription for many things: here are some examples of the kinds of people I’ve worked with.

  • A journalist who has interviewed a celebrity and needs to write an article based on the words on the tape
  • A journalist who has set a tape running while two people talk and wants an exact record of that conversation
  • A student who has interviewed people about their topic and needs it turned into text to study
  • An academic doing a long series of interviews for a book without the time to type them all out
  • A psychology student who has taped some practice therapy sessions and needs to analyse them
  • A student who has taped their lectures and needs to have them in writing
  • A ghostwriter who is producing a book and needs their subject’s voice captured accurately from their interviews in order to write “their” book
  • A member of the public recording their parent’s memories to turn into a printed memoir
  • A blogger who does podcast interviews and wants to produce extra content for their subscribers in the form of transcripts
  • A marketing company who has recorded people being interviewed about a product they’ve tried and needs to provide quotations and feedback to their client
  • A marketing company who has recorded interviews with a client from which to produce content for their marketing materials
  • A financial company that does monthly dial-in phone calls and needs a record of what they and their clients said
  • A translation company hired to produce a printed record of an entire conference

Other common transcription tasks which I don’t provide myself:

  • Medical transcription – typing up dictated letters from consultants, etc.
  • Legal transcription – typing up records of interviews with defendants, etc.

What does your transcriber need to know in advance?

So there are lots of reasons to use a transcriber: what do they need to know before they can give you a quotation (if you’re a new client) or book you in:

  • How long is your audio file (in minutes)? This is really important for setting expectations. It takes me an average of three hours to transcribe one hour of audio. And I’m quite fast. This can change dramatically (I’ve written about that here).
  • Have you got the audio ready to send over to me now?
  • What is your deadline (see the first point. I have to have enough time to a) type it up at approx. three hours per hour of audio b) take rest breaks, eat and sleep. Yes, a nine-hour tape will theoretically take me 27 hours to type up, but I won’t be doing that continuously!)?
  • How many people are speaking on the tape?
  • What is the format of the recorded session (e.g. is it an interview with questions from the audience at the end, a focus group, your own thoughts spoken into a microphone)?
  • What is the general topic of the session (very important if it’s medical or legal, as some people (e.g. me) don’t have the specialist training to work on such topics)?
  • Is there any content that might offend or upset the transcriber (some agencies won’t deal with swear words, apparently; some people don’t like drunk people talking about drugs; I like to be warned of any descriptions of violence or cruelty and might turn extreme content down)
  • Are the speakers native English speakers (I specialise in non-native English speakers; some people don’t have experience working with accents and potentially non-standard English)?
  • What type of transcription do you require – verbatim, tidied, rewritten (see my post about this here)
  • Do you require the transcriber to type the transcription into a template? If so please provide a copy.
  • What time-stamping do you require (see below)?


This is a big topic as it can really alter the amount of time it takes to complete a transcription. Time-stamping means inserting the time into the document at prescribed intervals. It helps you to find places in the tape or reference particular parts of the tape easily.

If you need a note of the time entered every 10 or 5 minutes, that can be done without interrupting the flow. That’s why I include these options in my basic pricing, for example.

Other options include time-stamping:

  • Every time the interviewer asks a question
  • Every time someone new starts speaking
  • Every few sentences
  • Every time someone starts a new sentence
  • Every time someone starts a new clause or part of a sentence

For the last three, it’s vital to explain what you mean and give examples, so that your transcriber produces exactly what you want. If you want to have this extra level of time-stamping, be aware that this will add a lot of time to the process (it’s hard to do it automatically, especially if there’s a template to enter the information into) and will therefore add to the cost.

I work for an agency and we are doing a quotation for a client

This is often the case and that’s fine: you just need to find out all this information from your client in advance. I will ask you to do that anyway, so if you come fully equipped, that process can be done sooner.

Note that all the extra information I discussed for agencies in my original post apply here.

  • Let me know this is a quotation not a guaranteed job
  • Get the information from your potential client in advance
  • Let me know when you will know whether you have succeeded in getting the job
  • Let me know whether or not you have succeeded in getting the job

I already work with this transcriber: what do they need to know about my project?

You might already work with a transcriber, in which case you will have their pricing and terms already. However, when someone emails me to let me know they have a job for me, I still need to know the basics:

  • How long is the file (in minutes)?
  • Do you have it ready now?
  • When do you need the transcription back from me?
  • Is anything different from usual (tape quality, number of interviewees?)

Why does my transcriber need all this information?

Your transcriber needs this information because without it they can’t give you an accurate and fair price and turnaround quotation.

For example, if you contact me to say you have about an hour of tape that you need time-stamping, I am likely to reserve a three-to-four hour slot in my schedule and quote you my basic price band for a customer of your type.

  • If it turns out to be a legal transcription, I can’t do it.
  • If it turns out to be 90 minutes, that’s an extra 1.5 hours of working time for me
  • If it turns out that you need time-stamping every sentence, that will add about an hour to the time

This is why I ask for all this information up front. The more you give me initially, the more accurately I can let you know a) whether I can do it, b) how much it will cost, c) how long it will take. If you don’t give me this information until a long way down the process, in an extreme case I will have to cancel the job and leave you looking for someone else.

In this article, I’ve discussed what information your transcriber needs before they can prepare a quotation and let you know if they can do a job. Miss out information at this stage, or provide inaccurate information, and you may be disappointed.

I hope you’ve found this useful – do hit the share buttons or comment if you have!

Other useful articles on this blog

Setting expectations with your service provider

Working with an editor 1: Asking for a quote

Working with an editor 2: Negotiating and booking in

How long does transcription take?

What are the types of transcription?

Recording and sending audio files for researchers and journalists



Posted by on November 8, 2017 in Business, Transcription


Tags: ,

Small business chat update – Tone Hitchcock

Small business chat update – Tone Hitchcock

It’s time for one of my favourite Small Business Chat updates, saying hello again to Tone Hitchcock of Anthony Hitchcock Art & Design. I first interviewed Tone in May 2012 and then we did updates in June 2013, July 2014, September 2015, and October 2016. Last year, when asked where he wanted to be by now, Tone answered,This time next year? More of the same, hopefully. I have some potentially ace stuff coming up (some of which was potentially ace at this point last year too, but is now a lot closer to potentially happening…), so I’m feeling very optimistic for 2017!” Was he right to be optimistic? I think so …

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

The year since we last chatted has been pretty amazing, actually; I’ve been very, very busy, and have done a massive variety of projects, the largest of which was designing, creating and installing an 8.5m long Pliosaurus in Bristol Museum. I hinted somewhat obliquely at this job in my last post, as we were just about in the very early stages of working out how the exhibition was going to come together. The whole project was about 3 months work, spread over an 8 month period; unusually, we managed to control the work to the extent that it didn’t get on top of me, and I had time for other commissions in between. The finished piece has been in place in the museum since June; she is suspended from the ceiling as if swimming, but is close enough to the ground for children to interact with; she has a face tracking camera installed so her eyes follow you around the room, and a movement sensor triggers a deep growl if you get too close to her sore mouth. The project culminated with the museum producing an exclusive toy Pliosaurus to sell in their souvenir shop, based on my original sculpt: having a toy dinosaur made is, quite literally, a childhood dream come true!

I’ve included pics of last year’s Art Ninja stuff, which has now been broadcast; I did some more work for them this year, so I’ll share those images next time. I’ve worked for Leviathan Workshop again, sculpting heads for Katy Perry’s dancers to wear at Glastonbury, and a swan pedalo for a musical in London; I made some fantastically fun props for Jeremy Clarkson’s Grand Tour show, did some mutant potatoes (or ‘mutatoes,’ as we decided to call them) for a horror comedy film, sculpted some giant eggs for a Really Wild Show special, and made a load of exhibition props for various clients too, so all in all I’d say I’m further along this year than I expected to be.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’m still doing the same kind of work, but every year, I make more contacts, and have a better body of work to show to prospective clients, so while the nature of the job is the same, the quality of projects I’m being offered is definitely improving. I’ve also had a some extremely good propmakers recommending my work to some quite big clients, which is at once rather humbling and very satisfying.

The Pliosaurus was the first project I’ve done that I needed to bring extra people on for, too, which was a slightly alarmingly grown up change, as normally it’s just me in a shed making random nonsense on my own. This really felt like a big step up. Still not sure if I’d want to manage a team all the time, but it all went very smoothly; I had Brendan Arnold & Emma Powell working on the animatronics for the eyes, and the control system for the camera and sound, Sarah Dowling helping me with the actual construction (along with my Dad, and my mate Dan, who happened to have a day off at the right time!), and my cousin Giz Hitchcock, who I’ve worked with a lot before, on the installation and final artworking. I also managed to rope in Damir Martin, a longstanding FB friend from Croatia, into producing some amazing CG animations that are projected onto the curved walls around the Pliosaurus to further the illusion of being underwater.

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

This year has, in fact, been pretty smooth. Obviously, every project has its own challenges and issues, so you learn from them, but, for a change, there haven’t been any massive lessons this year, probably because I haven’t made too many gaffs in the initial part of a job, so haven’t had to do any real fire-fighting.

Any more hints and tips for people?

In this job, you ALWAYS need to keep a beady eye on tv & film production assistants. They tend to be very lovely and affable, but inevitably have far too much on their plates, which means that often emails don’t get read properly, you’re always chasing them for decisions, and once the project is complete, they tend to move on very quickly to the next thing (read: forget to send your invoice to their accounts department…). As I’ve sais before, the admin side of this job is the least fun- let’s face it, no one decides they want to make film pops for a living because they actively enjoy paperwork- but you really do need to make sure that EVERYTHING is written down and signed off properly.

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

More of the same! Bigger and better, hopefully, although a life-sized Pliosaurus is going to be pretty hard to top. This year, I also spent a week as an extra on a film (based on a Scandi Noir book; it’s been relocated to the US, and filmed as ‘3 Seconds,’ if you fancy looking it up on IMDB), which is the first time I’ve had time to do this since spending a day as a medieval Lord in ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War.’ I played a Hispanic gangmember, complete with facial tattoos, in Gloucester Prison, which was standing in for New York. Great fun. If I can fit in a few more gigs like this in between my proper job, I’d be quite happy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So he was right to be optimistic – what a fantastic year and fancy having a toy made from one of your designs – that’s got to be a high point in anyone’s career. I can’t wait to see what Tone does next!

See what Tone’s been up to recently at Anthony Hitchcock Art & Design at You can, of course, email Tone.

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. 

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat


Tags: ,

Marten or martin?

This Troublesome Pair is another animal one, so it kind of goes with mink or minke and maybe even mandrel or mandrill. So, what is the difference between a marten and a martin? Well, one of them’s an animal and one of them’s a bird …

The marten is the animal – it’s the weaselly mammal that lives in the coniferous and northern deciduous forests of Europe, Asia and North America. I call them weaselly; they aren’t weasels, but they are related to weasels, mink and ferrets, as well as wolverines and badgers (I didn’t know a wolverine was a real thing. I feel a wolf or wolverine post coming on now!).  In the UK, we have pine martens in Scotland and there’s a European pine marten too, as well as a Japanese variety.

The martin, then, is the bird. The name is used for a subset of the swallow family, which are found all around the world, apart from on Antarctica. There’s a very detailed Wikipedia article about how exactly the swallows are divided up into river martins and everything else – we probably know house martins and sand martins best, but there’s a lot of them around. Apparently, house and purple martins have developed a habit of only nesting around houses and in special nesting boxes, so hardly ever nest truly in the wild any more.

So, no pine martins or house martens, please!

You can find more troublesome pairs here, and here’s the index to them all!


Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Errors, Language use



Small business chat update – Alison Thompson

Small business chat update – Alison Thompson

It’s Small Business Chat update time with Alison Thompson from The Proof Fairy, proofreader, editor, and author. We first met Alison in this series in July 2012, and  she updated us in July 2013, August 2014 and August 2015, Last year, when we spoke in August 2016, Alison had just had a tricky period in her business when some big clients moved on, through no fault of her own (these things happen, they’ve happened to me, particularly when agencies lose a big contract and you can’t do anything about it), so she’d taken on a part-time job to keep things stable. When I asked about her plans for the year, she had this to say: “Whatever I say in this section, I never seem to get there! So I think I’m going to leave this really open and just say that in another year’s time I want to be financially comfortable and doing something I really enjoy. And I will DEFINITELY have written that erotic novel!” So, what happened next? Read on to find out …

Hello again, Alison. Last time we talked you had just started a part-time job and had some fairly open plans. Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Well, I was pretty vague about my plans for the next year, so I guess I’m where I thought I’d be! The part time temping job because permanent at the start of 2017, and then full time in May. I’m now responsible for health & safety, facilities management, temp recruitment, training and HR admin for a retail fulfilment company. It’s taken me into areas I’d never dreamed of working – who’d have thought I’d spend most of my day in a hi viz vest and safety boots! I’ve also been learning lots of new things so my “portfolio” of skills has grown substantially.

However, I still do a little bit of freelance work. I’ve kept a couple of long-term clients and do monthly newsletters, blog posts and proofreading for them, plus I take on other projects as and when I can. I’m currently proofreading and formatting a travelogue, which is quite an enjoyable job, and I have a website redesign coming up too. It’s been much harder than I thought to juggle the two roles though – I’m usually tired when I get home from the day job, and then want to relax at the weekend rather than work! I’m gradually starting to find a new routine.

I’ve still not written that erotic novel though …

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

See the above answer! I’m working a full-time job, dabbling in freelance stuff on the side and trying to fit in a social life too. I guess the biggest change is that I’ve pretty much dropped my plans for any sort of coaching business, partly because I don’t have the time to give it to do it justice, but also because, especially with the ADHD parent coaching, I found it too draining on me emotionally.

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

The biggest lesson has been to never say never. Twelve months ago, I was starting the temping job fully expecting to hate working fixed hours, hate working with other people, hate having to get changed out of pyjamas in the morning and hate being told what to do! But actually, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of a more traditional job and have made good friends. I’ve also thrown myself into areas I had no previous experience of and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Be honest about how things are. When my business was struggling, I stuck my head in the sand for a long time in the hope that things would pick up. If I’d been honest with myself I could probably have turned things around much faster. And be open to opportunities, especially those where you can transfer your skills to a new area. You never know what you can do until you try!

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

I’m enjoying the “proper” job at the moment and I hope that will continue, but who knows what’s around the corner? In terms of the business, I’d like to have found a way to promote my ADHD online parenting course so it makes a regular passive income, because that would be a far more efficient way of supplementing my salary than spending every weekend proofreading!

As for the erotic novel … I live in hope of doing it one day!

I admire Alison for her positivity and tenacity and for doing so well in her part-time temp to full-time permanent role. I completely know where she’s coming from with the coaching: I’ve had people approach me for career coaching, especially in transcription, and I’m just not keen on spending all that energy doing that one-to-one, it’s just not my forte. I can’t imagine how hard that would be in the ADHD area. Like Alison, I’ve created resources instead, which helps other people without exhausting ourselves. Good luck with that erotic novel, Alison and thanks for sharing your story with all its ups and downs!

The Proof Fairy: Helping You Take Your Book from Possibility to Plan to Publication Tel: 01367 888229 Mob: 07927 330293 Skype: alisonthompson555

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. 

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 28, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat


Tags: ,

How do I set expectations with my professional services provider?

When you’re hiring a professional services provider, you need to set expectations for your project before you even agree the contract. If you don’t agree the terms and conditions and specific requirements upfront, in the worst case, you might find that your project is cancelled before it starts, or you may get a result which doesn’t match your expectations.

In this article, I’ll share a few points to consider and ways to make sure that you have a good start to your relationship with your service provider and a good experience (for both of you) throughout the project.

I’m addressing this issue as a provider of editing, proofreading, transcription and localisation services, but I’d welcome comments from service providers in other fields, too.

In this article, I pay specific attention to people who work at agencies which work as a middle-provider between the client and the professional services provider. All of the points apply to agencies, too – some of them are specific to agencies and I highlight when that is the case.

Think about what you want before you seek a service provider

Before advertising, searching boards or doing a Google search, think very carefully about what you’re looking for and the kind of person you’re looking for. Write down the parameters of what you want, in detail. This can include, but not be limited to:

  • The scale of the work – whether that’s in words to be translated, minutes of tape to be transcribed, number of receipts and invoices to go to a book-keeper. This must be honest and measured, not a guess. Typically, you will underestimate what you need to be done. It’s a good idea to check it.
  • The deadline for the work – both your ultimate deadline and one for your service provider which will enable you to ask questions or make the changes that might arise. For example, I recommend a Master’s student keeps at least 24 hours aside for checking my suggested corrections. Bear in mind that you will need to interact with whatever is provided to you in some way (for example, following up unclear names on a transcription; answering an accountant’s queries on your plastic bag full of receipts). Note, if the deadline is “two weeks from when I finish writing the book” be clear about when you intend to do that!
  • The details of the work – this is one you need to think really carefully about, and not make any assumptions. Does your manuscript have to be in US English or fit a particular journal’s article submission requirements? Do you require your transcription to be time-stamped every minute?
  • Get a sample of the work ready – an extract from your document, part of the tape you want transcribed, a scan of what your receipts are like.
  • If you are working at an agency and preparing to tender for a job for a third-party client, try your best to gather this information from them in advance.

Note: a good service provider will know about this stuff and is likely to ask you about it. But it’s best to be prepared and to provide this information up-front when you’re looking for someone to do the work for you.

Provide potential service providers with full information

However you contact potential service providers, do give them all the information you worked out above. They will need it in order to be able to assess the project, give you a fair quotation and let you know whether they can fit it in. If you give them all the information at the start, it will:

  • Save time as they won’t need to ask for any further information.
  • Lead to a fair price (fair to you and the service provider) because it’s based on the full parameters.
  • Lead to an achievable turnaround time which is not going to slip – if you change the parameters or explain the project in full once the work is underway, it may take the provider longer to do it.

This is such an important point that I’m going to put it in bold: If you’re working at an agency and this is an enquiry to allow you to bid for a project yourselves, please inform the service provider when you make the initial enquiry. Most people will still give you the information you need, but promising a project you haven’t yet got yourself isn’t very kind or transparent, and multiple examples are likely to put people off working with you.

Answer any questions from the service provider as fully as you can

If your potential service provider comes back to you with questions of their own, or with a questionnaire to fill in, make sure that you answer it as fully as possible. Explain your terms in detail. For example:

  • What you call “line-editing” or “proper time stamping” can mean many things to many different people. Explain exactly what you mean.
  • One person’s “flexible deadline” is another person’s “one more job I can’t fit in in the time”. Be clear on dates and times.

If you don’t understand what the service provider is asking you, ask them to explain rather than making an assumption or ignoring the question. We all have jargon we think is clear, and I’m always happy to explain a term a potential client is unfamiliar with.

Set expectations on the process and be fair and transparent

You can find information on booking in an editor and handling the process in this article and my advice here is basically the same:

  • Tell the service provider you’re negotiating with when you expect to make your decision.
  • Don’t play multiple service providers off against each other: examine each offering on its own merits but don’t try to start a bidding war.
  • Tell all of the service providers when you’ve made your decision, even the ones you don’t offer it to.

If you are working for an agency, it’s really important to:

  • Tell the service provider when you expect the client to make their decision.
  • If your agency gets the job, tell the service provider who will be doing the work and inform anyone else you were talking to who you haven’t chosen to work with.
  • If your agency doesn’t get the job, still inform the service provider(s) you’ve been discussing it with.

Typically, your potential service provider(s) will be holding open a slot in their schedule for your project, in case you assign it to them. So it’s only fair to make sure that you tell them when they’ve haven’t got the job, as well as when they have. Otherwise, they may continue holding the spot open, turning down other enquiries in the meantime.

Once the project is confirmed and underway

You may need to do contracts, either from your end or the service provider’s end, at this point.

  • Make sure everything you’ve discussed and agreed matches the contract.
  • Do not change anything once the project is agreed, if you can possibly help it (I do understand that agencies’ clients can add demands; if this happens, consult with the service provider and get back to the client with any changes in deadline).
  • Accept that any changes you do make will affect the deadline.
  • Understand that the service provider has set aside a time slot for you. This means
    • you must deliver the project to the service provider when you said you would.
    • if you increase the parameters of the work, the service provider might not actually be able to complete the job if it goes outside the amount of time they’ve set aside for it.

If you follow these guidelines, I think you will have a higher rate of success in interacting with professional service providers and engaging their services, and everybody will have a fairer and smoother time.

Thank you for reading this article on setting expectations with service providers. Please do share and comment if you have found this useful, or share other hints and tips. I will put together specific guidelines for dealing with transcribers and localisers soon.

Other useful articles from this blog

Working with an editor 1: Asking for a quote

Working with an editor 2: Negotiating and booking in

What does my transcriber need to know?

What information does my localiser need?


Posted by on October 26, 2017 in Business, Copyediting



Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

Here’s a lovely update with my friend Annabelle Beckwith of the consultancy, learning and development organisation, Yara Journeys. I’ve known Anna since our very first day at university, and now here we are, both running our own businesses, me working on my own and interacting with almost all of my clients remotely, Anna out there interacting, training, facilitating and helping people to grow. I first interviewed Anna in 2012 and again in May 2013, September 2014 and February 2016. Her goal has always been to keep growing personally and in her business, and she’s also been working on side projects such as books and online materials. Let’s see how she’s doing now …

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

Yes and no: I’m still writing and delivering training programmes and travelling the world, but I’m now focused on productising my knowledge. I’m writing a book and setting up a branch of my website to sell training products and business games and scenarios

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’ve grown a LOT in the last year in a personal development sense. I’ve realised that there’s more I can do if I just push myself out of my comfort zone a bit, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve also realised that I don’t want to grow a huge company which I them have to ‘manage’ – I enjoy working with a range of colleagues and associates from project to project, so I’m going to carry on doing that, rather than succumb to the pressure of being an employer.

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

I’ve learned a lot about mindset and about finding one’s purpose and following that, rather than trying to plan life to the nth degree (and it never plays out that way anyway) In some respects I wish I’d figured this out years ago – on the other hand, if I’d come across the people and information and learning that have come my way this year, I’d have missed them because I wouldn’t have been ready to learn, if that makes sense!

Any more hints and tips for people?

INVEST in your own personal development. And do it properly – not just a few piecemeal workshops here and there or freebies from the local business enterprise agency. Invest in YOU because that’s who’s driving your freelance business!

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

I’ll still be writing and delivering programmes and travelling – but I’d like to be speaking at more events…and of course my book will be finished and my online business will be up and running

It’s always a difficult decision when you get good and well-known and then you need to choose how to grow. I’m like Annabelle, I don’t want to become an employer, and I don’t even contract work out or work in partnerships and collaborations myself – although, to be fair, that’s easier to manage when you’re in the training and development field than editing and transcription. I’m sure Anna’s chosen the right path, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops her new materials.

The Yara Journeys website can be found at . Anna can be contacted 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. 


Posted by on October 14, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat


Tags: ,