You are starting a new phase of your life by launching a work-from-home freelance business. CONGRATULATIONS! You have taken a step that many people talk about but never do.
But what now? Starting a business is a big undertaking with a lot of moving parts, and unfortunately, many people dive into the deep end of the pool without first addressing a few important baseline concepts.
If the foundation is weak, the structure will fail. So let's take a step back and talk about four of the most common mistakes people make when starting a freelance business working from home.
Just because your business exists, doesn't mean that people suddenly know you are there. Likewise, just because you create a website, doesn't mean that your site will magically appear in people's search results. And no one can buy something that they don't know exists.
It's important to have a presence. It can be a Facebook page, a website, or even a “portfolio” with a description of your business/services and a price list that you can attach to emails. You need some type of resource that you can send to people, but you must proactively share this information through networking and marketing. This means putting yourself out there, even when it's out of your comfort zone.
Starting a freelance business takes hustle. You need to be scrappy and willing to work. That doesn't mean doing work for free or taking terrible jobs! But it does mean that you might work multiple jobs as an independent contractor while simultaneously building your business. It means you may work during hours you don't really prefer (like nights or weekends). It means you might accept more work than you'd like to (and work late hours to complete it) in order to obtain a valuable testimonial.
When you run your own freelance transcription business, you are the account manager, marketing team, transcriptionist, proofreader, and bookkeeper in addition to your home-life obligations. It's important to understand from day one that starting your work-from-home business is a balancing act that requires commitment and a willingness to dig deep.
We've all seen the advertisements: “Make 6 figures while working from home with zero experience!” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Likewise, don't compare your day 1 to someone else's day 500. Starting a business is a tough process and takes time. Working from home has its challenges, and it takes time to get into a groove. So what makes you think doing both at the same time will be easy?
Being a transcriptionist working from home is a rewarding and practical career! Successful transcriptionists reap the rewards of freedom found by working from home and performing challenging and engaging work. But you won't be a millionaire, and it certainly won't happen overnight.
I see this every single day. So many people treat their work-from-home job like a hobby and they try to “fit it in” around other obligations. It's absolutely fine if you want to simply make a bit of extra money on the side to cover the cost of the occasional coffee date or new outfit.
But if you are going to launch a business, treat it like one! Establish set working hours, use contracts with clients, accept payments online, use proper record keeping, network and market your business, and file taxes appropriately. If you don't treat your business like one, you won't attract good clients who take you seriously.
This doesn't mean you can't have fun, of course! But treating your work too casually doesn't reflect well on you and will actively prevent your success. When you behave like a pro, you are already well on your way to a successful freelance career working from home.
What separates a ho-hum transcriptionist from an excellent one? Is there even a demand for transcription? Who hires transcriptionists?
Can anyone be a transcriptionist?
Get the answers to all these questions and more by enrolling in my free introductory course, Transcription Foundations.
For our legal transcription mini-course, click here.