As the last of our series of short blogs on websites, social media and new clients, we will be talking about things you need to have thought about BEFORE you get that magic call from a potential client who has been attracted by your website, or your posts on social media.
The top three things to have in place before you get your first clients are:
- Have you got your administration framework in place? Have you created a rates menu and set up your terms and charges letters? Do you have confidentiality agreements and subcontractor agreements in place with your transcribers? Do you have systems in place for tracking audio from receipt through to return of the transcript?
- What plans do you have in place to deal with a sudden surge in growth? Are there forums or other places you can reach out to for help with overflow work? Have you got a “test” file in place to ensure that anyone you take on is up to the task?
- Have you thought about what happens if a client doesn’t pay you? If you have subcontractors, you’ll need cushioning to ensure you can always pay them, and you will have to allow enough wiggle room in your margins to still make a profit after editing and taking all the risks.
And when that first potential client comes knocking, you really need to be honest about your capacity to provide them with the service they are seeking. Remembering that more work is likely to come from word of mouth, you want to “wow” anyone who uses your services. Never take on work that you know you aren’t experienced enough to tackle. It is far better to refer them to an associate who you know has the capacity to manage their workloads, and receive the kudos from both the client, and the associate, who will likely happily reciprocate in kind. So be sure you ask all the right questions so you understand at the outset what they need from you, and that you are providing rates in line with the work they will be sending you. You wouldn’t be the only transcriber to assume you are quoting on 2 speaker interviews, only to receive 4 and 5 speaker audio.
All this additional planning is the difference between running your own business and working as a subcontractor, and is precisely the reason most transcribers choose to subcontract rather than deal with the worry of finding clients, growing a business, finding new subcontractors, and chasing payments. However, if you are prepared to take the risk and put in the hard work and effort, growing your own business is hugely rewarding and satisfying.
If you are looking to take your skills and knowledge to the next level, whether that be as a subcontractor or as a small business owner, and you would like help with any or all of the bullet points above, then TranscribeRight’s Intermediate and Advanced courses are exactly what you need.