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How to start Film to Transcription Services business guide to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Transcribe taped or digitally recorded memos, notes, and manuscripts to a
computer file or printout.
• Perform basic spell-checking and editing on files.
The Need
Many professionals, including lawyers, doctors, researchers, corporate executives,
and authors, prefer to dictate notes, letters, and drafts of articles, speeches,
and books. Corporate and government committees often seek transcripts of meetings.
Academic institutions may want a transcript of a speech.
It often makes economic sense to hire a professional transcription service for
temporary or project-based work.
Challenges
You need a good set of ears, a fast pair of hands, and the ability to work with
clients in technical, academic, governmental, and other specialties. For instance,
transcription for a doctor would include medical words and phrases; lawyers use
legal and court terms and special forms of citation for cases and law.
The good news is that a number of tools are available to help you perform
work in specialty fields. You can purchase medical, legal, or technical dictionaries,
and electronic add-ons can expand spell-checkers in word processors to
cover specialized terms.
You will need to have equipment capable of working with different types of
media, including microcassettes, full-size cassettes, and digital memory. Most
word processing software, including industry leader Microsoft Word, is able to
accept or output files to or from most other programs.
Most businesses use PC equipment; a relatively small number of companies
use Apple Macintosh hardware. In most cases, both types of machines are capable
of reading data files from each other. One way to transfer your files without
having to worry about converting from one type of media to another is to send
them electronically over the Internet.
Know the Territory
Begin by becoming an expert on the use of a computer word processor, electronic
fact-checking and spell-checking software, and the Internet. You’ll also need to
become completely comfortable with the use of a transcriber, a specialized
machine that allows you to control the playback of a tape or memory with a foot
pedal; a good machine includes settings that allow you to speed up or slow down
playback, adjust the amount of backspacing, and change the tone of the audio to
make it clearer.
Some professionals add speech-recognition software to their bag of tricks.
This sort of program is capable of recognizing speech and converting it to text on
a computer; the conversion is not perfect and requires a human to edit the files.
Your next assignment is to get to know the market. You’ll have the greatest
success in an area that includes businesses, colleges, and professionals.
How to Get Started
Make yourself and your availability known to the business and professional community
in your area. Contact local chambers of commerce and associations and
ask for leads; consider placing ads in their publications. Do the same at area colleges;
post notices in student centers, faculty lounges, and place ads in college
newspapers offering your services to professors and students.
Speak with the town or city manager and ask about needs for transcription of
governmental meetings.
Send letters to corporations, legal firms, and physicians in your area.
Ask friends and relatives whether they know of area authors or researchers
who might need transcription services.
Up-front Expenses
You will need a professional-quality transcription machine; the most common
format uses microcassettes, but you may need to buy several machines to handle
tapes or digital memory that use other types of media. Machines range in price
from about $200 to $400.
You will also need a current personal computer that runs a major word
processor such as Microsoft Word, plus a professional-quality printer. If you plan
to accept digital files over the Internet or send your completed transcripts that
way, you will need access to the Internet.
Other expenses include advertising and promotion.
How Much to Charge
Charge by the hour for services at the prevailing professional rate in your area,
which might range from about $15 to $40 per hour. Add a surcharge for rush jobs
or work that must be performed over the weekend.
You can also add charges for floppy disks or CD-ROMs you provide to the
client, plus a reasonable charge for each printed page of the final product.
If you are required to travel to an office, add a mileage charge. Add the cost
of postage or courier service if used to deliver the work.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: In dealing with your client’s property, seek to limit your liability
for damage or loss to the actual replacement value of items in your possession.
You should protect yourself against damage claims for sentimental value or loss
of use.

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