4 Reasons Transcription Businesses Fail (and Simple Ways to Fix Them)

transcription business transcription jobs transcription work from home Dec 03, 2020

Working as a successful transcriptionist is no easy feat. It takes work and commitment to be successful.

While it might not be easy to be a successful transcriptionist, it is simple!

Here are the top four reasons I see transcription businesses fail and (most importantly!) the simple ways you can fix the problem.

With just a bit of effort and these simple fixes, you can have the successful work-from-home business you've dreamed of.

Problem 1: You Lack Transcription Skills

How would you feel if a plumber came to your home to fix a leak, but you discovered that he had absolutely no training to do so? Exactly.

And while you don't need years of experience to be a successful transcriber, you DO need skills so you can interact with clients in a professional manner and deliver a high-quality transcript.

How to fix it:

Training and skills are non-negotiable when it comes to doing great work as a transcriptionist. With appropriate training, you'll learn:

  • What transcription is, who it helps, and why
  • The tools of the trade and where to find deals
  • How to use a style guide
  • Practice files, tips for further learning, and feedback
  • Business-development skills like setting rates and marketing, and finding work

The General Transcription: Theory and Practice training provides all of this and more. If you are serious about learning how to work as a transcriptionist, get appropriate training. The free e-course is the perfect place to get started.

Problem 2: You Aren't Flexible

A transcription career provides a lot of flexibility in terms of your schedule and the types of jobs you can work on.

But it's important to be flexible when interacting with clients as well. You want to make it as easy for clients to work with you as possible by removing as many barriers as you can. If you make it too difficult for clients to do business with you, they will find another transcriptionist to work with!

How to fix it:

Listen to your clients! Where possible, meet them where they are rather than forcing them to adjust to you.

This might mean:

  • accepting payments online in addition to personal checks
  • using Google Drive to transfer files in addition to Dropbox
  • providing a daily update to a certain client because you know they get anxious

The specifics will vary based on your clients and your business model.

You don't want to create unique systems for every client. But it makes sense to adjust in areas where it doesn't ultimately end up creating more work for you.

Problem 3: You Don't Follow Up with Transcription Clients

How many times have you had a bad experience with another business but not said anything?

On the flip side, how many times have you had great service and gotten exactly what you wanted, but not said anything because you were too busy or no one asked!

Client service is the cornerstone of any business. It means following up with transcription clients after the job is done to find out if there were any shortfalls, but also to find out if you met or exceeded their expectations.

How to fix it:

Set up a system to gather client feedback. You can create a simple Google form or even send an email. Feedback requests don't have to be fancy. Just check in from time to time.

Following up can be as simple as verifying that a client received the file or be as complex as evaluating your job request and delivery systems to make sure they are working for you and the client.

And don't forget that positive feedback can be used as testimonials on your website!

Problem 4: You Treat Your Transcription Business Like a Hobby

If your goal is to run a successful freelance business, but you are fitting it in around other obligations, you'll never achieve the success you want.

How to fix it:

This is one of the easiest fixes of them all. If you are going to run a business, treat it like one. Success doesn't always mean six figures and a large staff. You can have a successful business as just one person! But you still need protocols.

For example:

  • Set working hours
  • Create and use contracts with clients
  • Establish a style guide for each client
  • Accept payments online
  • Establish good recordkeeping
  • Network and market your business
  • File taxes appropriately


We want nothing more than for you to be successful at your work-from-home transcription career. And these tips are meant to help you take your transcription business to the next level.

If you haven't been finding success, these simple steps should help you get back on track.

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