And so, we come to the end of another year – is it a cliché to say that it flew past? I do feel as if I blinked in March and then ended up here in December. Accuracy Matters has continued to prosper and grow: we are working with some fascinating new clients including a European lighting company, an online savings marketplace, a trade association and another international NGO (making a total of three in our client list).
There was a lot to do for our existing clients, too, including 28 projects (exhibition panels and learning resources kits) for English Heritage; 180 days of in-house support proofreading annual reports; 47 days’ proofreading content marketing materials and magazines; and 42 days’ checking McDonald’s packaging, menus and books for Happy Meals. We also wrote and edited 10 large NHS reports and copy-edited and proofread 23 university prospectuses and brochures.
My focus has been on training and personal development this year. After seven years of running the business, I thought it was time to identify areas that could do with strengthening/an external perspective. I’ve updated my web editing skills (with help from the SfEP), attended one of Sháá Wasmund’s excellent bootcamps and gone all in on LinkedIn with the indomitable Helen Pritchard. Please do take a look and join in the conversation on LinkedIn. It’s the first year since 2015 I’ve felt able to push well out of my comfort zone and get to grips with growing and adapting myself alongside the business.
We also updated the Accuracy Matters logo. It felt strange to let go of the old branding but it was time for a refresh and we took a long, hard look at the business and realised that we do a lot more than proofreading for our clients (actually proofreading was about a third of the business in 2018/19). So, for our strapline, it was out with ‘The Proofreading People’ and in with ‘Making words work’, which better represents what we offer and the value we can add.
Our team has changed somewhat as well. Elizabeth joined us in January as general business and marketing support – and has helped to whip us into shape and relieved me of a lot of the ongoing management and admin tasks needed to keep the business running smoothly.
Sadly (for us – I expect she’s quite pleased!) Janet is retiring at the end of 2019. I’ve worked with Janet for around 15 years and she has been crucial to the success of Accuracy Matters from start-up and throughout the last eight years, devoting her time, energy and expertise, not to mention a sympathetic ear, shoulder to cry on and excellent box-set recommendations. I will miss her very much – and I hope to emulate her regular yoga, outdoor swimming and long country walks when my own retirement is around the corner.
2019 was a particularly special year for me as I acquired two fur-babies – Bella, our 10-year-old rescue cat, came to us in March and then Daisy, a ‘jackchi’ (chihuahua/Jack Russell) puppy, joined us at the end of June. Bella has been typically feline and relaxed provided we don’t bother her too much and food is supplied regularly. Daisy, however, has been a handful and I’ve experienced a steep learning curve in puppy care and training. She’s adorable, affectionate and wonderful company though – and we’ve even tapped into a global community of jackchis through the strange (and terribly distracting) world of doggy Instagram. You can follow her exploits at @tinymissdaisydiddles, if that’s your thing.
My favourite new podcast of the year has been This Podcast Will Kill You, about disease ecology, which, if you’re into health and wellness stuff is equal parts engrossing and gross-out. It’s best to avoid the real-life disease descriptions while eating dinner. They have a comprehensive sources/reading list on Goodreads – These Books Will Kill You – which is now populating my ‘to read’ list for next year.
Thank you and happy new year!
Thanks, as ever, to my brilliant team, our patient and outstanding-in-every-way freelance associates and our lovely clients – as well as all our new friends, followers and commenters on social media. We wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous start to the new decade. Let’s see what the next 10 years have in store.