Catherine responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses via questionnaire – here are Catherine’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
Chapter One Book Production provides book design and production services to publishers and independent authors.
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
A maternity cover contract came to an end. I’d had enough of commuting into London but I still wanted to work on designing and producing books.
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
LinkedIn, Website, Facebook page, Twitter & local face to face networking.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
Getting regular, repeat business from the same client.
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
Widening my client base & gaining visibility.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
Various Facebook groups – Freelance Heroes, The Freelance Lifestyle, The Messaging Den, Women Who Thrive in Business, Get Outside the Box Freelancers, LinkedIn Marketing Group – each with some excellent resources and training available both free and paid for.
Various websites – espirian.co.uk, helenpritchardonline.com, Lynda.com & InDesignSecrets.com.
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Love what you do, know who your ideal client is, be honest and authentic when promoting your business & have a good support network.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
To widen my client base through regular and consistent promotion via social media, especially LinkedIn.
As soon as income levels permit, start using a VA for some admin and social media management.
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
The Crowood Press for ongoing regular work;
Reedsy – a publishing specific platform from which I have had several successful collaborations with independent authors;
John Espirian – genuinely “relentlessly helpful” on LinkedIn and his website;
Helen Pritchard – her LinkedIn training has been very helpful;
All those who put much time and effort into running FB groups.
Any other comments?
Be patient – it is still relatively early days for my business & the publishing business has long lead times so what I am doing now in terms of promotion may not bear fruit until next year.