Mahesh of Transcription Certification Institute is back with another great post. This time he is showing you how to set up your own transcription business. If you’re ready to be your own boss, keep on reading!
Transcription is one of the fastest growing careers around us. It comes with many options; you can join an office, you can work from home or you can build your own business. Transcription is one of those genres where it’s easy to build your very own home based transcription business.
The startup cost and initial investment is low compared to other businesses; you can later choose your workload, timings and make your own schedule.
Here is what you need to start a transcription business:
- Form a business.
- Build a website with abilities for file upload/download, file assignment, and online credit card processing.
- Recruit independent contractor experienced transcriptionists.
- Market your service and get projects.
- Start the business.
Business Strategy and Planning
Before starting any small business, you need to prepare a detailed strategy. It will act as a road map as you set up and then move forward with your dream. Building a business takes hard work and dedication. The right business strategy will help you get past the hard parts and move forward, so you can live the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
In your transcription business, some strategy questions you probably would need to decide would be, how much revenue you would like to generate in a stipulated timeframe, what should be the hiring criteria, will you offer generalized or specialized transcription or both? How much of workload can you take? What will be the payment pattern to other transcriptionists?
The best way to strategize will be to stimulate several business conditions and work out the details.
Marketing your business is the toughest part of setting up a business. Start with the question- why should clients elect to work with you or choose you over others? Is it because of your experience, cost, customer service, specialization ot turnaround time? You need to be able to effectively communicate and highlight your strengths.
If you want to offer different specializations (it makes sense because you are a new business), it is better to market to each sector individually. Clients requiring legal and medical transcription require different skillsets. So plan separate marketing campaigns and work out a budget.
Use social media to build your brand and credibility. It’s free but it involves an ability to network, connect, listen and respond. LinkedIn sets you up with professionals in a variety of fields. Craigslist offers free advertising. Twitter allows for constant updating and event announcements.
Professionals recommend dedicating at least 20% of your time to marketing and advertising strategies. Facebook, Hootsuite, Hubspot and Pinterest make it extremely easy to reach out. You can run low cost visibility campaigns on each platform, assess the impact and returns and continue the campaigns if they send clients.
Another way to get new clients is to ask current clients for references.
While online marketing is easy, pay a visit to the local attorney or doctor and ask if they require your services.
Build a website. In today’s technology focused world, building a website will be the main way people find your small business. Your transcription business is no exception. The more credible your website is, the more prospective clients will be drawn to it. Use security features to ensure confidentiality and security of client files.
Frequently visit sites like Elance and bid on jobs. The strategy should be to get a good rating. Once you have a good rating, you can increase your price.
Online marketing requires creating a lot of content: good content. As a transcriber, you have an advantage of being good at grammar. Use it!
Track Your Marketing
Tracking your marketing and targets is an essential part of your strategy because you need to understand what is working and what is not working and modify your campaign accordingly. For instance, you may have gained 2000 followers on Twitter, but how much business are you getting from Twitter? Were you able to hire even one good transcriptionist through Twitter campaigns? If not, why spend a lot of time and resources doing the same thing? Maybe you should modify your Twitter campaign to interact with businesses that may become your future clients.
Through tracking, you change your hard work into smart work.
Tools to Help Manage Projects and Work Allocation
Project management systems help you keep track of your workload and allocation that you have used in the past. These types of tools help you focus on improving the performance of your projects, whether or not you are meeting your clients’ needs and what you might be able to do to make things work more efficiently. Many of these systems offer a variety of features including plagiarism and spell check programs. It’s important to use these to their fullest potential because they can help you maintain an air of professionalism on all the levels.
Stock images or Pixabay are ideal when building your website. They can also be used for flyers, business cards and promotional projects. Your design tools can include live streaming video, interactive communication, state of the art graphics and a format that is visibly appealing. Design tools like Canva can be used, not only for your website, but also for any communication materials you plan on using in your business.
Administrative tools are also beneficial. They help you stay organized and allow you to focus on your projects instead of trying to manage everything as you go. Digital calendars are an excellent way to stay on top of your tasks for the day. Reminder texts are used to give you a heads up when deadlines or meetings are coming up. Document programs such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs are excellent for creating your content and performing your many different tasks.
Your financial tools will be what keeps your business on track. Quicken is probably one of the best, most easy to use financial systems around. Online ledgers and financial programs will help you keep your income and expenditures in balance and allow you to keep track of how your business is performing. Budget plans and financial spreadsheets are a must to keep your figures organized and easy to read.
A home based transcription business is a great way to make a living. Having the right tools and resources at your disposal will help you stay on track and allow you to enjoy the time you spend working as well as the days you don’t. With all of the free business tools you can find online, starting your transcription business will be easy and you will be able to keep things organized and on track with minimal efforts. Business resources are available and they don’t have to drain your budget.
Find what works for you and use it to its fullest advantage. When you are committed to making a new business venture work, all you have to do is look for opportunities. They are out there. Find the tools that offer the most help and put them to work to help you build your home based transcription business.
I really hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions about starting your own transcription business, please ask away in the comments section below!
If you know anyone who is thinking of starting a business, please share this with them.
Mahesh is a spokesperson of Transcription Certification Institute, a Buffalo, NY-based educational institution that provides in-depth online certification and training courses for general transcription.