Louis Francis

The most important thing is to make a start. Get your rough ideas down on a page or brainstorm. They can always be refined and developed later.


Louis Francis is the founder of Quality Proofreading Services. The company’s aim is to make professional proofreading and editing services available to the wider public at an accessible price.

Where did the idea for Quality Proofreading Services come from?

I have always found it very helpful to ask a friend or family member to proofread my writing, whether that be an assignment or CV/resume. Having a ‘second pair of eyes’ check over a document is extremely important. It is all too easy to get too close to your own work and miss typos and errors.

At university, friends and colleagues, some of whom were not native English speakers asked me to check their work. Students facing the challenge of learning a new subject in a new language do not always have adequate support systems.

That was when I realised that an online proofreading service would be a valuable service for anyone, including native English speakers to improve their written English.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I prefer to get up early. I find that taking advantage of the full day’s light helps improve productivity and overall wellbeing.

The first task of the day is, as in any business, opening the mail. Checking emails is a priority for ensuring good customer service, and I monitor them throughout the day.

Having a routine which includes downtime helps maintain motivation. For example, I commit to going to an outdoor fitness class at my local park three times a week. Having this scheduled in my diary keeps me going.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The most important thing is to make a start. Get your rough ideas down on a page or brainstorm. They can always be refined and developed later.

What’s one trend that excites you?

There are some interesting automated proofreading tools emerging that complement the work of a human editor. These tools help free up time for higher level and meaningful editing.
Auto checking a document for consistent use of spelling or hyphenation, for example, is a useful tool for proofreading. However, nothing can replace the value added by an experienced editor.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Maintaining a routine and establishing a work-life balance.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Jot down a few tasks for each day on an A5 notepad. Prioritise 3-5 task for the day.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Hawaiian pizza is delicious!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Getting in the habit of monitoring business data, such as sales, client feedback, and other metrics. If something is measurable it can be tracked and reacted to effectively.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Automating repetitive tasks allows you to utilise time effectively. It is worth working with a dependable web developer to create systems that reduce administrative tasks, such as order processing, staff availability, routine enquiries and monitoring customer feedback.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

For any online business, there can be dips in website traffic, and new competitors can arrive to the market quickly. The way that we have overcome this is by establishing successful relationships with clients over time. Having a solid customer base and referrals helps cushion the impact of other risks.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Many authors search for editors with backgrounds in specialist fields, such as engineering, as they know that the editor will understand the technical terminology from their field.

Advertising online as freelance editor can provide remote work with flexible hours. This can be an enjoyable addition to your day job. A popular platform to advertise on is the Society for Proofreaders and Editors (SfEP).

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Intelligent Editing PerfectIT – this is an MS Word plugin that scans through documents to check for consistent use of things such as hyphenation and spellings in a text. It is an invaluable tool in final checks – particularly with documents containing hundreds of pages.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Breevy – this is a ‘text expanding’ application that helps save time by pasting regularly used phrases. You simply save a ‘snippet’ of text and assign a keyboard shortcut. For example, you can write ‘tvm’ and the application will insert ‘thank you very much’.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The most regularly requested style guide for editing is the American Psychological Association (APA).

What is your favorite quote?

‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today’ – have the confidence to try new ideas. It’s all too easy to get in a comfort zone then get left behind.

Key Learnings:

• Take time to reflect on processes and development. Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.
• Surround yourself with people that inspire and motivate you.
• Take time for hobbies and passions that excite you.
• Carry a dongle – 4G wireless internet availability is so much better these days. It can save a lot of time and frustration knowing that you have a reliable internet connection available, rather than relying on patchy WIFI hotspots.