The skills you need to start a typing/scribing business

To start up a home-based scribing/typing business, you’ll need to:

  • be experienced in working with sensitive and confidential information and have a very good understanding of how to keep your clients’ information secure and private
  • be proficient in the MS Office suite and audio transcription programs, and willing and able to quickly learn new software
  • have a typing speed of 80 to 100 words per minute and excellent accuracy; able to accurately scribe recordings of people speaking; i.e. have very good transcription skills
  • be very good at communicating (face to face, via telephone and via email/internet)
  • be excellent at writing, editing and proofreading, spelling, grammar and punctuation and have a very broad vocabulary
  • be willing and able to work long hours including weekends; capable of running your own business including client communications, marketing, quotations and invoicing, book-keeping.

It will also be helpful if you have some experience in small business management. Otherwise, you will have to learn how to manage your business ‘on the run’. This is what I did in 2002: fitted in a bit of training where I could, asked colleagues for advice and learned from my mistakes. I am sure that had I undertaken training in at least some aspects of small business management prior to starting up my business, I would have had an easier ride over those first few years of On Time Typing.

The more types of services you offer, potentially the more customers you will have and the more services you will be able to sell. If you are highly skilled in any of the below areas, your business will be be able to offer a broad range of scribing-related services. (Note: if you don’t have these skills yet, you might like to put them on your ‘to do’ list for skills that will come in handy, further down the track.)

  • scribing and producing minutes of meetings, reports
  • editing reports and other documents
  • proofreading reports and other documents
  • writing reports and other documents.

Helpful links

This article is based on my own experiences since starting On Time
Typing as a small (sole trader) online/onsite scribing business in 2002
which has evolved into an online transcription, scribing, writing, editing and proofreading business.

Keep posted for future articles about starting up and managing an online business

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