Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Aberdeen Swiftie Bex Elder dreams of owning wee bookshop

She also told us she wants to help more people find work.

Aberdeen businesswoman Bex Elder.
Aberdeen businesswoman Bex Elder. Image: DCT Media

Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Aberdeen-based translator and copywriter Bex Elder.

How and why did you start in business?

I’m always a little embarrassed to tell this story. I was in my final year studying interpreting and translating at Heriot-Watt University. I went along to a Starting Work  as a Translator or Interpreting career day, and suddenly realised being a translator was an actual job.

I didn’t really fancy working in-house and project managing, and I wanted to move back to Aberdeen, so I decided to go freelance straight out of uni while I had less responsibilities and obligations.

I’ve since expanded into podcasting and copywriting, as I love telling people’s stories and communicating their passion.

How did you get to where you are today?

I definitely owe a lot to so many kind people who have encouraged me, and been so generous with their time, knowledge and expertise.

A lot of it is also just down to the fact I’m determined or stubborn, depending on how you look at it. I tend to just keep going, figure out ways around the problems in front of me and not give up.

Who helped you?

Gosh, so many people. I have a huge amount of respect for my lecturers, who were also practitioners and could give me an insight into how the industry works. Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire has given me so much practical support, and it’s all free. I’d also like to thank every client for trusting me with their incredible businesses.

And of course, my family and friends, who didn’t think I was insane for starting my own business, Bex Elder: Translator and Copywriter. They cheered me on when things were hard and celebrated my successes.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

Take the long view. Don’t just make decisions based on what’s good in the short term but also what’ll help you reach your long-term goals.

What is your biggest mistake?

I hate saying this, but being too trusting when I first started out and being scammed by a couple of non-paying clients. I now always ask for a 50% deposit the first time we work together and make sure I pay quickly when I’m hiring a freelancer.

What is your greatest achievement?

Professionally, I’m proud of being invited to speak at the Institute for Translation and Interpreting UK conference. I’ve done that twice now and love being part of this amazing community.

I also worked on all the copy for filo Coffee House in Aberdeen. Creating their brand voice and seeing it all come to life has been one of my favourite projects to date.

Personally, prioritising my mental health and working to improve it.

Bex Elder
Ms Elder at work. Image: Bex Elder

How are you managing rapidly rising costs and how could the government help?

It’s tough, especially when AI (artificial intelligence) and the economic climate makes clients less likely to invest in translation or copywriting at the moment.

I’d definitely like the government to make it easier to work with the rest of Europe.

With the election only a few days away, I know the Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the next government to end the scourge of late payment. Having legislation that would stop ridiculously long payment terms – like 90 days – would be amazing.

As a small business, I make every effort to pay invoices as soon as possible. I’d appreciate the same courtesy from bigger businesses.

What do you still hope to achieve?

So many things. I would love to work with more sustainable and value-driven businesses to help them launch or relaunch their brands. Working on websites is one of my favourite types of project.

I’d also really like to have a not-for-profit strand of my business offering CV and interview prep to help people who have faced barriers to work find employment.

My ultimate dream is to own a little bookshop – that means you’re paid to read, right

What do you do to relax?

I’m a big fan of reading and journalling as a way to switch off. Spending time with my niece and nephews also always makes me smile.

I’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with running and weightlifting. I’m relaxed once it’s over.

What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?

Current obsessions include the Earth novellas by John Boyne and Louise Penny’s Three Pines series, any Netflix sport documentary and Taylor Swift’s whole discography.

What do you waste your money on?

Recently, on money for my (Taylor Swift) Eras Tour outfit. I’m not sure I would count that as a waste though.

Taylor Swift performs on stage during her Eras Tour at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
Taylor Swift performs on stage during her Eras Tour at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Image: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Snooze my alarm, read the bible and drink tea.

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I currently drive a Seat Ibiza, and would love to drive an Audi A1 or Ford Fiesta. Parking isn’t my strong point so I need something easy to manoeuvre.