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So, there you are! Thinking to make a booming career out of transcription services or even setting up a moneymaking transcription business. You might have heard people making a handsome yet stable income with transcription services, or that you have already worked for a few transcription giants, eventually to find it interesting enough to start your own venture.
But now, you have a lot of questions – where to begin from, what skills are required, what the initial cost would be and whether you can start on a budget! You might be even concerned about software and tools that you would need to smoothly run your business. What challenges you would face along your journey can be just another random question that might be bothering you.
Well, fret not as we bring here answers to all such obvious questions that would probably guide you through your journey of establishing a successful transcription business. Presuming that you have just heard about transcription services on the grapevine, let’s begin by exploring what exactly it is.
Transcription Service: An overview
At some point in time, we all have had converted audio or video recordings of sorts into text documents; maybe because we wanted to quote from a speech or interview. For such tasks, you usually need to prep voice memos and then, pen everything down in a comprehensible and readable form. What ever may be the case, the process can be pretty taxing and take up a whole lot of your time. Here, translation services come to your aid!
A transcription service is primarily a type of business, which involves processing speech – either pre-recorded or live – to text. Generally, such services are offered to legal firms, healthcare service organizations and government agencies. The most common type of transcription encompasses converting a source of spoken language into text, usually in the form of a downloadable/printable computer file.
Typical examples of transcriptions are a court hearing and physician’s recorded consultation. While some transcription businesses send their transcription workers to conferences, seminars, etc. to convert speech content into text, there are some that accept recorded audio/video files that are converted and delivered back to clients.
Types of Transcription Services:
Technically, it is in fact less about transcribing the whole content and more of extracting the essence of the source content. Every phrase, word or noise aren’t required to be captured, but the converted text should convey the same meaning as expected while being crisp, readable and comprehensible.
Here, transcribers should very well know about the file, so that he can clear the clutter by removing confusing sentences and background noise while keeping the content meaningful and intact.
Transcription Services Business: All You Need to Know
A transcription business can offer services to a wide range of sectors, such as medicine, law and business. In the beginning, you can do it in your spare time or consider it as a part-time job. If everything goes well, you can later undertake it as a full-time profession.
The Right Candidate
Transcription services business is an ideal choice for those, who want to work at their own pace and as per their own schedule – in simpler terms, people who want to be their own boss. However, some legal transcription work might require you follow strict schedules. As a job, it is also a great option for professionals, who have a great typing speed, and are computer friendly and tech savvy.
A major advantage of transcription business is availability of a wide spectrum of clients. Having said that, the target market majorly depends on your area of specialization. Usually, large corporate houses and businesses turn out to be stable clients in the long run. Needless to say, your wok quality and consistency are also important to ensure a steady volume of assignments from clients.
How a Transcription Business Generates Income?
As a transcription service provider, you can charge clients for the job you do for them. The payment arrangement could vary depending on how you negotiate with your client. It could be on the basis of the time you take to complete the project or the length of the source file you transcribe.
Growth Prospects of a Translation Business
This might vary too. Specializing in some areas, such as medical transcription, can guarantee a much stable income along with job security. However, in general, a lot depends on your marketing skills, work quality, consistency, and typing speed, i.e., faster you work, more you earn.
Later on, with growing volume of assignments and client base, you can definitely consider collaborating with other transcriptionists and even hiring a few, eventually to create a transcription company.
Skills Required to Run a Transcription Service Business
Cost of Establishing a Transcription Business
Th initial cost totally depends on the level of your setup. At the basic level, i.e., when you are starting from home, you will need just a computer with an active internet connection. However, if you really want to establish yourself as a successful transcriber, you will require some more tools and software to ease up your work and scale up your productivity.
At this point, you should bear in mind that everything you are doing to set up your business is aimed at getting your very first client. So, you would need to market yourself as a transcription professional and for that, you have to bear some extra cost.
Creating a professional website is indisputably a great idea. You can further consider calling and mailing your potential clients, or even visiting them personally and dropping a business card on their table.
Besides, on the basis of your field of specialization, you may be required to fork out some more bucks. For instance, if you want to become a medical transcription professional, you should have an associate degree in this field along with a registration certificate, both of which can cost you around a few thousand dollars. However, a general transcriber doesn’t require to undergo such professional formalities.
Now when you have got a general picture of all possible costs, let’s find whether you can start a transcription services business with minimal investments.
Is It Possible to Start a Transcription Business on a Budget?
To be true, sky is the limit when it comes to investing in businesses and transcription services is no different. In this case, an investment could be made either to establish a basic home-based set up or to boost your productivity by adding some advanced tools and software to the existing one.
At a later stage, when transcription professionals find it difficult to manage large volumes of work single-handedly, they do consider investing generously in giving their business the shape of a brick and mortar organization, wherein they hire talents too to ensure smooth workflow.
However, as mentioned above, you just need some equipment and applications to run your transcription business from home as a beginner. Keep reading to know more about such tools.
Basic Transcription Tools and Applications:
|Dell Inspiron All-in-One 23.8" FHD Anti-Glare Touchscreen Desktop||750 USD|
|Acer Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT AIO Desktop, 23.8" Full HD laptop with Microsoft Office 365 Home||700 USD|
|HP 23.8" FHD Touchscreen IPS-WLED Backlit Micro Edge Display AIO Desktop Computer||600 USD|
|Olympus Transcription Foot Pedal Bundle||120 USD|
|Philips Transcription Foot Control||72 USD|
|Infinity USB Digital Foot Control with Computer plug (IN-USB2)||49 USD|
|ECS OHUSB WordSlinger Deluxe Overhead USB Transcription Headset||50 USD|
|Spectra USB PC Stereo Transcription Headset with Extra 5 Pair Antimicrobial Ear Cushions||50 USD|
|Philips 2236 Stereo Headphones for Transcription||24 USD|
In case you are using a laptop/notebook computer, you can also go for a good pair of speakers.
|WorkPro Quantum 9000 Series Ergonomic Mid-Back Mesh/Mesh Chair||400 USD|
|Ergonomic High Swivel Executive Chair with Adjustable Height||400 USD|
|Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel Task Chair||105 USD|
The list above represents things when you just need to kick off your transcription business as an individual. However, to boost your daily productivity and efficiency as well as to make your work easier and accurate, you might be required to upgrade with some of the best available applications and software for transcription on the market.
So, when you are all set, you will need some projects or assignments to start making earnings. Keep reading to know how to get work and continue getting more of it.
Finding Business or Work
Broadly, there are two ways to get transcription work or projects – either you join a reputed online platform for freelance work or directly approach a potential client. While the former is just perfect if you are expecting a regular income, the latter is for those who are thinking of making it big in future.
Needless to say, you have to put in some extra effort and money if you want to take your home-based business to the next level. Let’s discuss both the approaches.
In the beginning, you don’t need to go for a pricey one, but you can buy a branded one with a descent configuration, costing you less than 800 USD. You may consider the following:
The best way to get this instrument is purchasing it from an online retailer. The price is usually around 100 USD. Here are our recommendations:
An ergonomic chair gives you lower back support, promotes rights posture, prevents muscle fatigue, and ensure proper blood flow. A wrong seat may hurt your back and ups the risk of cardiovascular ailments. We recommend you the following:
For your convenience, you can also consider installing text expander application, such as FastFox as this will help you instantly type frequently used words and phrases.
However, chances are there that you might be mislead or swindled by some sites while searching for such opportunities on the internet. Therefore, to keep you at a fair distance from such deceptive sites, we have handpicked a couple of popular yet reliable freelance platforms, with which you can easily kickstart your home-based transcription work.
Thus, creating a professional website is inevitably crucial. You can start with WordPress, wherein you get the advantage of using professional themes from ThemeForest and adding chat and ecommerce plugins.
Nevertheless, you have other options too, such as SquareSpace, Weebly and Wix.
In today’s age of internet, it is utterly important to take complete advantage of your online presence to sell yourself as whichever profession you are into; be it a transcriber or anything else. So, try growing your network to grow your business by leaps and bounds.
Even novices can apply here until and unless they have a typing speed of 70 words per minute.
You will be required to take a test by downloading an audio file to transcribe. Once you clear it, you will be directed to the next phase.
Next, you can start looking for work. The clients here pay you on the basis of audio hour time and type of project.
Common Advantages and Challenges of a Transcription Business
Establishing a translation services company can be an all-new business venture or a mere expansion of your home-based transcription work. Interestingly, advancements in telecommunications and adoption of new technologies has remarkably revolutionized this sector.
As a result, most transcription companies today work on a unique business model, which gives them the freedom to offer services to remotely located clients by making use of the skills of home-based transcribers.
While such a model can be advantageous in many ways, it may pose several operational and technical challenges too.
Usually, employee benefits and perks do not exist since most home-based transcribers work as an independent contractors or freelancers.
Technical faults may disrupt your business operations for a short duration or bring it to a halt for an extended period of time.
Given the virtual nature of the work and low initial cost, transcription services business is a great option if you want to become your own boss. In the beginning, you can start on a budget by creating a small home-based setup using some basic tools and software.
As you move forward, you can upgrade to boost productivity and smooth your workflow. At a more advanced stage, wherein you have managed to establish a huge client base and you are unable to handle your assignments all by yourself, you can *consider transforming your home-based setup into a company.
Nonetheless, there are some online freelance platforms that give you the opportunity to work on your own terms. You can create a decent yet regular income by registering to these websites.
However, if you have some great plans for future and want to start your own transcription venture, you would need to approach your prospective clients directly and market yourself as a seasoned transcription expert, especially in the online space.
Establishing your own transcription business might bring several challenges to you, but these come with every business out there. And, you know that nothing come easy in life!
Well, how soon you would be able to transform your dreams into reality will completely depend on your dedication, quality of your work, and last but not the least, marketing and client-service skills.
Happy transcribing and all the best for your future endeavors!