Every company and organisation needs specialist help to ensure their content development and language translation needs are met to the highest standards. One South African company, Edita Services, is rapidly building a reputation for itself as a leader in this field, providing a world-class service and creative written content to make any company stand-out in the marketplace.
LoA chatted to founder, Mignionette Fair, this month to find out what is what is on the cards for this specialist, quality driven business going forward.
What does your company do?
Edita is a one-stop language shop for anyone with a story to tell. We offer writing, translation, editing, transcription and interpreting services in all the official languages of South Africa as well as some foreign languages. We do websites; blogs; theses; newsletters; radio scripts; articles; press releases; social media... you name it, we do it. Our intelligent system matches you with the wordsmith best suited to your needs to ensure you get the best possible content for your business. In short? We make stories shine brightly in great turnaround times and at even greater prices.
“Edita is a one-stop language shop for anyone with a story to tell.”
What inspired you to start your company?
I've always had a passion for language and telling stories. I studied financial journalism and did my honours in journalism and media studies. It was here I discovered my passion for editing. However, after graduating, I couldn't find a job in my field, and so, in 2013, I was in a job I wasn't passionate about. I was desperate to find that one thing I was meant to do with my life. I went to our church's annual conference and asked God to reveal what it was that I was supposed to be doing. After the conference, I received the opportunity to translate Annique Theron's autobiography and so my business was born. We worked on the business part-time until 2015 when it had to go full-time. My passion for making stories shine and to create jobs for those who are in the same position as I was after graduating is what inspires me.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Whether it is bad spelling, grammar or content - it's unattractive. Studies show that companies can lose up to half of their online sales if clients find only one spelling mistake on their website or marketing material. Similarly, 60% of people will reconsider using a company if an error is found on their website or marketing material. And many people don't read past halfway if the content is boring, not related to them or long and verbose. Bottom line? You can't afford bad language if you want to do good business. And we help people tell their stories in the best way possible and make them shine brightly - all within your deadline, budget and languages.
Our intelligent system matches you with the wordsmith best suited to your needs to ensure you get the best possible content for your business.
Tell us a little about your team
I am the main spelling mistake hater and eliminator at Edita Services. I have a passion for good language and to help people make their stories shine brightly. My dream is to be the leading language editor, and I'm getting there... one spelling mistake at a time. But Edita is not a one-woman show. Our admin team, as well as our outsourced wordsmiths, make everything possible. We collaborate with Cecilia Mnisi from MMJ Language Solutions, Zama Bekeweni from Multilingualism SA and many more fantastic wordsmiths. We have a big database of translators, editors, writers, interpreters and transcriptionists - all just waiting to make your story shine.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I never envisioned myself as an entrepreneur. Way too stressful! Rather, I saw myself going to work for someone else in pencil skirts and corporate suits. And that's what I did, for about one year. Thankfully, I ended up on the right track and Edita opened its doors on 1 September 2015 (Fair Translation and Editing Services back then). It has been a roller-coaster journey, but one I wouldn't trade for anything. I have learnt and grown so much. I've been so blessed to receive amazing opportunities like being a fellow on the Lionesses of Africa Accelerator and I met the most incredible women! I am so grateful for my tribe. And yes, it's been hard and challenging and scary and stressful, but man, I can't see how I will ever go back to pencil skirts and corporate suits.
“My passion for making stories shine and to create jobs for those who are in the same position as I was after graduating is what inspires me.”
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our vision is to be the leading language editor and translator, nationally and internationally. A big dream, but we're getting there one spelling mistake at a time. We also want to engage with over 100 wordsmiths and have over 1 000 repeat customers by the end of 2019. In the long-term, we would love to equip those with the necessary skills to earn a living for themselves and give people an opportunity that I was not given when I graduated. And who knows? Perhaps an app or training courses are somewhere in our future.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being able to do what I love every day. And that each day is mine to do with as I please. My time is my own. There is also something special about doing what you love and building something that reflects your passion at the same time. Building something that will last for generations is extraordinary.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
A couple of things:
1. Get a mentor who can support your dreams and who has similar values. My mentor has been the biggest blessing in my business. I don't know where I would be without her.
2. Build your network - they are your net worth. Your connections are EVERYTHING!
3. Be a giver, not a taker. Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." We all have something we can give or contribute, so please do share it. Don't be stingy with your advice, time or support.
4. Don't stand back for anyone. You have a great purpose - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
5. Never give up! There will be days, months, years that you feel like giving up, but don't do it! Whatever you are going through, the reward will be worth it at the end of the day.
Contact or follow Edita
Why LoA loves it….
Africa needs businesses that provide the highest quality of specialist services to their customers, and particularly so in the field of editorial content and translation. Mignionette Fair and her company Edita Services is a real leader in the field in this sector, building a team of talented wordsmiths who are able to respond creatively and timeously to any editorial or translation brief. Their work is truly world-class, as is the professional standard of service offered to customers. This is a company making its mark and building its reputation, letting its words do the talking! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa