10 ways to start your own transcription services business today

 10 ways to start your own transcription services business today

Becoming a transcriptionist can be incredibly lucrative, especially if you have the right tools, expertise and experience. This guide lists 10 ways to start your own transcription services business today. It includes how to assess your skills and how to get the training you need in order to become certified as a court reporter, medical transcriptionist or legal transcriptionist. Once you’ve gained all of the necessary skills and experience, there are plenty of places you can work from that allow flexible scheduling, so that you can work from home as well as make money from home online as a freelance transcriptionist!

Learn from mistakes

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; indeed, don’t let them be an excuse. It’s good practice to learn from your errors and try not make them again. After all, it’s not how many times you fall that matters but how many times you get up. So, if you make a mistake, ask yourself what went wrong, assess what should have happened instead and take some time to find out what other people in similar situations have done. Then, when something like that happens again, you can act on your new knowledge. And don’t forget: You are never alone—there are experts everywhere who want to help!

Know what you’re getting into

If you’re new to running a small business, know that it requires a lot of work. You will have to create, implement and maintain all aspects of your business yourself. Many people do not realize how much time and effort goes into every stage of running a small business. As such, consider what you are getting into before you commit to starting your own company. This is especially important if you plan on working from home as there is no separation between work life and home life.

Use technology to get where you want

Technology makes things faster and easier. When starting a new service, it’s important to realize you can use technology to make things easier on yourself. Use a smartphone app like Google Docs or Evernote to track your progress as you take notes during an interview. You can also use these apps to record your interviews and then transcribe them later. If you want to set up a quick website for your business, there are plenty of sites that will let you create one for free with no programming knowledge required.

Get a head start

In addition to knowing how and where you want to work, it’s important that you have a way of contacting potential clients. If you don’t have a strong connection with someone who can introduce you to businesses who need Transcription services, consider joining an association or professional group that can help facilitate introductions. Once you have a client base, get in touch with potential prospects and let them know what you do and how much it will cost them.

Take breaks

Most people think that you have to work hard from 9-5 every day if you want to run a successful business. This is not true at all. If you don’t give yourself breaks, you will burn out. The best way for a transcriptionist entrepreneur is to schedule their work in 3 hour increments each day. There are no rules for scheduling work time, just make sure it works best for you. In those three hours, get as much done as possible. Get up and take breaks every hour or so and do something different than what you were doing before. Stretch, talk on the phone with friends or family, walk around outside or just simply relax and listen to music while you rest your eyes for 5 minutes. After your three hours of working straight without any distractions (or more), go do something fun! Take a shower or go play with your kids.

Try free alternatives first

Before you sink money into new software or equipment, take a few minutes and Google around for free alternatives. In most cases, you’ll find there are plenty of websites with tools that are just as good, if not better than what you can buy. The only caveat is that they might not be as user-friendly. Do your research and figure out which tool will work best for you before plunking down any cash.

Surround yourself with positive people

The most important decision you will make as a young entrepreneur is who you spend time with, and where you get advice from. Surround yourself with people who have succeeded in similar ventures—they’ll encourage and support you, rather than tear you down. Network at events and seminars focused on entrepreneurship; work for an established firm for a year or two so that other entrepreneurs see that you’re committed. And never forget: The best way to be around positive people is by being positive yourself.

Have realistic expectations

This might be difficult at first, but once you’ve completed several successful projects, you’ll see how easy it is. A realistic hourly goal for beginning freelancers is $25 per hour—and many experts will tell you that $30-$40/hour is more realistic after several years in business. If you’re new to freelancing, don’t expect a huge payday right away! But if you work hard and focus on long-term growth, it can happen. It takes time to build up a client base, gain experience, and become an expert in your field.

In addition to setting an hourly rate (which you should do before even starting out), also set a maximum number of hours per week that you are willing to spend working on freelance gigs (e.g., 30 hours). The reason why we suggest doing both of these things?

Be patient with learning curve

Transcription can be a fast-growing business, but it does take time to build. In most cases, you’ll need at least a few months of experience before you see clients lining up at your door. This is why so many people who have started their own transcription businesses have been those with previous legal or medical experience—they are well-positioned for translation from day one. If you don’t already have that kind of background, try taking some online courses or volunteering in an area related to what you want to do. Even if they aren’t directly applicable skills, they will help develop your knowledge base and show potential clients that you know what it takes to get things done right. The more you can demonstrate expertise, competence, and professionalism early on, the better off you’ll be.

A good way to start is by working as a transcriber for other companies first. You may not make much money while doing so (or any at all), but it will give you valuable insight into how transcription works as well as providing exposure to various types of audio files that might otherwise go unlistened to.

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