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What else do editors and other small business owners do?

I haven’t got a Small Business Chat to share with you all today, so I thought I’d have a bit of fun and ask the editing and general small business community … what else do you do?

I’ll go first, shall I, then I’d love it if people shared in the comments. I’m looking for maybe surprising things you do outside of your job / business, whether that’s sport, crafts, volunteering or family responsibilities, whatever any of those things mean to you.

I’m an editor, proofreader, transcriber and localiser, and while my long-lasting hobby of reading All The Things (see my book review blog here) also keeps me sitting on my bottom a lot, my other hobby is running and all things to do with running.

So as well as running myself (I’m pictured here with running chums having done my third marathon, a DIY one), I’m a qualified Run Leader (so I can support groups of new and established runners), I’ve just qualified as a Level One Endurance Official (meaning I am working my way up through the levels of officiating at cross-country and road races), I regularly volunteer to lead runs and support beginners at my running club and I’m a committed parkrun volunteer. Keeps me busy and on my feet and outdoors, which is really important for balance in my life and keeping me socialised, too!

How do you keep balance in your life and switch off from your work responsibilities. Do share in the comments, and of course feel free to include your URL!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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

 

Should I use an editor before submitting to agents and publishers? A reblog

My wonderfully experienced and knowledgeable colleague, Louise Harnby, has written the perfect article about the issues around authors using editors before submitting to agents or publishers. It has loads of information for both editors and writers and will help writers to decide what process to use and editors to decide whether to take on projects.

Editing prior to submission: First principles
Here are four things that writers and editors should be mindful of at the outset:

  • Not all editors are the same: editors have different skill sets and specialisms.
  • Not all authors are the same: writers have different budgets, goals and preferences.
  • Opinion abounds about whether writers should hire editors. And while there isn’t  consensus, some overarching good-sense guidance prevails.
  • Right/wrong or yes/no isn’t the best approach. Instead, I recommend that writers make informed decisions based on a solid understanding of editorial process, and that editors make informed decisions based on professional integrity and a solid understanding of authorial intention … Read more

I strongly urge you to read the rest of Louise’s article here.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Desk bikes – the Tour de Your House

Desk bikes – the Tour de Your House

My friend and colleague Laura Ripper talks about her desk bike in this interesting article.

Laura Ripper | Proofreading and copy-editing

Last Wednesday was National Fitness Day in the UK.

Keeping fit’s a doddle if you work from home, isn’t it? You start the day with yoga. Go swimming at lunchtime. On sunny days you put down your pen (or keyboard) and head to the hills for a long walk – because you’re your own boss and you can do what you want.

Hmm.

It’s not always easy to find time to exercise when you’ve got a business to run.

You might rather keep working on something you’re really enjoying. There’s only you to get the work done, so sometimes you need to keep going to meet all your deadlines. And there isn’t always enough time to go to the gym and be there to sort out [insert home repair job of your choice]. Today, for example, the plumber’s here in the morning and the electrician’s coming in the afternoon. (Stop…

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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Wyke Farms: Please change your mind on your Superlight Cheese!

Reblogging from my Adventures in Reading, Writing and Working from home blog to leverage the bigger audience for this blog. This is a plea to bring back the only cheese I could eat on my cholesterol-beating regime, which has now been discontinued. Please click through to the article, like, share, etc. Thank you!

Adventures in reading, running and working from home

Wyke Farms Superlight Cheese Wyke Farms Superlight Cheese

Way back when I discovered I had high cholesterol and became determined to get it down using diet rather than drugs, my friend Gill went to the Good Food Show and came back with some SuperLight cheese by small producer Wyke Farms. Hooray – created for a family member who had high cholesterol himself, this cheese had only 1.5% saturated fat. And.

And.

AND

AND

it tasted really nice. Like proper cheddar. Because it was proper cheddar. Cheese you would want to cut a slice off and actually eat (but would melt nicely on toast or on top of your pasta, too). I wrote about it in my book. I wrote about it in this blog.

First of all, I could get it from a few places locally. Then it narrowed down. But hey, it was OK, because I could still get it direct from…

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Small business chat update – Sarah Goode

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, this time with the lovely Sarah Goode of Pookledo, who makes lovely, unusual jewellery. Sarah’s been having a very exciting year – although she hasn’t yet got the shop she was talking about when we met her in August last year, when she said, “We’ve put in an offer for a small shop so, all being well, in a year’s time I’ll be working full time for myself,” she has taken the big step of leaving her day job and going full-time with her business (gratifyingly, she’s been reading and talking about my book on the subject, and even photographed it on her jewellery stall – see the first pic on this page!) and she’s been taking full advantage of this new freedom, attending lots of fairs and planning on how to expand her business. Let’s see how she’s getting on …

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

Not quite! The shop we are buying is still “subject to contract” due to different legal issues with the vendors, so I’m still not in the property. However, I am working for myself full time now. I handed my notice in at the bead warehouse in the summer and started working for myself full time in July. I now have a regular stall on Coalville indoor market every Friday selling my handmade jewellery and doing costume jewellery repairs, which is proving to be an interesting experience, and I’ve also started booking jewellery parties in people homes. I’m still selling online and at craft fairs but I’m also booking stalls at more festivals and larger events.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

What has changed is that I can dedicate more of my day to making custom orders, which is brilliant. However the time I spend working is pretty much the same. Due to the extra time spent marketing and advertising, more custom orders are coming in, so I still seem to have a full order book. This is a good thing, though, as I always have some work to be doing that I know will be going to a good home where it will be appreciated

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

I learned that I took the leap at the just the right time. I’d been building up the business for a number of years and it’s given me a solid base to work on, both with the skills that I have, the network of friends and business contacts.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Make sure that you have a solid foundation to build on. It may seem right to just take a leap of faith, but without the structure to my business that I have built up whilst working for myself part time, I wouldn’t be able to do the job I am doing now, and loving every minute of it.

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

Hopefully we will happily be trading in our own business premises but until then, I’ll be travelling to different venues, making contacts, and meeting lots of lovely people.

It just shows how many different ways there are to start a business, doesn’t it – last week we met a lady who leapt straight into it, and here’s Sarah doing what I did, building her business part time until she’s ready to fly, knowing she has the safety net of knowing what she’s doing and having regular customers and a good idea of what people like. The regular stall in Coalville and the new party idea should both give a nice structure, and let’s hope that Sarah’s in that shop this time next year!

You can find Sarah’s Pookledo jewellery online at www.pookledo.com and on her Facebook page, read her blog and visit her Etsy shop for more goodies.

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 September 27, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat, Uncategorized

 

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Small business chat – Jenny Woodberry

mugsWelcome to another brand new small business chat, and I’m delighted to welcome Jenny Woodberry, who’s building up her business Miss Fighting Fit, going straight into entrepreneurship as she was finishing her education, and providing a good role model as a young woman who’s interested in being strong, fit and healthy. Unlike some of my older interviewees (and me!), Jenny was able to make a quick move into her new endeavour, and had the energy to run it alongside what must be a pretty demanding day job. With no worries to hold her back, she’s just gone for it, and is doing well so far, while recognising the need for a healthy work/life balance, too.

Hello, Jenny! What’s your business called?

The two sides of my business are called Miss Fighting Fit / Fighting Fit Kitchen

When did you set it up?

I set up the business in February 2014.

What made you decide to set up your own business and what made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I had developed a keen interest in nutrition, fitness and a healthy lifestyle over the last year and after completing my nutrition course decided to offer personal nutrition plans to my fellow fitness enthusiasts to share my knowledge with other people who were aiming at living a healthier lifestyle. From there i have written plans for all kinds of people with all kinds of goals! In the last couple of months I launched Fighting Fit Kitchen, as my daytime job involves working in the kitchen at top Falmouth restaurant Oliver’s and I have ALWAYS had a passion for cooking! People would comment on Miss Fighting Fit’s food photographs and i realised that there was a real gap in the market for convenient food that was healthy and nutritious!

Had you run your own business before?

No, i hadn’t really thought about it either!

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

I didn’t really think too much about it, I just had the idea and ran with it, and I think that really worked for me. A friend of mine had just launched a fitness business very quickly and suggested I just go for it and I’m so glad I did. I kept my part-time job in the restaurant and spent my spare time writing nutrition plans for people. Now on my days off work I am in the kitchen again but on my own terms and cooking healthy menus for my customers! It’s hard work but i love it!

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

That setting up a business as a nutritionist means that you are considered to be the food police! People hide treats from me all the time! Haha!

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

To keep going and remember to take time for yourself. It’s always difficult at first and each time I have progressed Miss Fighting Fit it has taken a few months to get into a comfortable work/life balance – but it always happens in the end!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Nothing really: I feel like everything so far has gone according to plan and worked out well!

What are you glad you did?

I’m glad that I went ahead and started!

What’s your top business tip?

I have three!

1) Be Brave! If you are unhappy or your current career/lifestyle isn’t what you want to do then make the change and get on track to a better future – there’s always time to change if it means doing what you love!

2) Make time for yourself. Whether its 30 minutes with a book of choice or a nice hot bath, it’s important to take the time to turn your business head ‘OFF’. I spent the first few months of Miss Fighting Fit feeling run down and unwell because I didn’t realise that it was OK to say no to work and that it was important to take care of myself as well as my customers!

3) Make friends! Honestly the best thing you can do to boost your business profile and customer base is be friendly! The nicer you are and the more people you go out and meet, the more likely people are to want to support you!

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

When I first started, I was just writing nutrition plans for people and posting healthy recipes on Facebook. Now I operate Fighting Fit Kitchen too, which supplies healthy ready meals on a weekly basis. I have also given nutritional talks at events and worked with CJ’s Bootycamp to give advice and guidance. I am just about to launch Fighting Fit Dining Experience, offering a pop up style restaurant experience where diners can relax knowing that everything they are given is healthy and nutritious!

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

I have so many plans for the future, it’s fantastic! Potentially i would love my own restaurant and to collaborate with more fitness professionals and set up Fighting Fit HQ – a place for fitness, health, well-being and tasty food! I am also really interested in studying food as medicine, as I strongly believe that our diets have the power to cure so many ailments and illnesses!

I love Jenny’s point about people thinking she’s the food police (in error, I’m sure). I get people telling me they’re worried about making spelling and grammar errors when they’re replying to my social media posts or commenting on blog posts – and just like I encourage people to express themselves, I’m sure Jenny would rather people discussed good nutrition with her, or left it out of the equation sometimes, rather than fearing her sharp eye! She’s got great plans for the future and bags of energy, so I’m sure we’ll all looking forward to seeing what she gets up to in the upcoming year. Good luck!

Miss Fighting Fit can be found on Facebook, as can Fighting Fit Kitchen. You can also get in touch with Jenny 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. 

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat, Uncategorized

 

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