As a medical transcriptionist, I do get asked several times a month, how I got started in this business. So many people nowadays want to work from home, especially mothers with young children. That's the primary reason I started my home business ten years ago, so I could be there for my daughter. I didn't want someone else taking care of her after school instead of me.
It's really not hard to start a medical transcription business. The start-up costs are low compared to many other home-based businesses. You need a form of education, via home study courses or by attending your local community college. You do NOT need a degree in medical transcription to start a business either. In a short amount of time, usually nine months or less, you can be working from the comfort of your own home, just like me.
You will need some equipment, such as a computer, a printer, a transcriber, and some reference books. All of which can be purchased second hand if need be. The latest and greatest equipment is not necessary to get started.
Now, there are some special skills you will need, outside of the education, which include:
• Excellent grammar skills
• Good Listening Skills
• Basic computer skills with a word processing program
• Research Skills
• Ability to type - your speed will increase with experience
• Must be detail oriented
• Ability to work on your own
• Ability to maintain work deadlines and be a self-motivator
You will also need some computer programs such as a medical spellchecker and a word expander utility to cut down on the amount of actual typing you do. Some programs, such as Microsoft Word® include this type of utility. It is the best invention by far, in my opinion.
Basic bookkeeping is necessary, but not difficult. A good bookkeeper is great to have when it comes to taxes and advising you about saving money with tax deductions for your business.
Medical transcription is usually paid by the amount of work transcribed. Therefore, it is quite normal to charge your clients by the line. If you charge 13 cents per line and type 200 lines per hour, (this is a very comfortable speed to type) your hourly rate would end up being about $26.00.
Being self-employed does have some pitfalls. One must consider, as with any home based business, that once you become self-employed you are responsible for securing your own health insurance, and putting away money for retirement.
However, there are many positive things about being self-employed, as I'm sure you can imagine. For me, what I love the most, is the flexibility I have with my time. If I want to work late in the day I can, and if I want to work early in the morning, that's up to me. Running a home-based medical transcription business is a lot of fun.
Medical transcription is not for everyone, and it is important before venturing in to any business that you weigh up the pros and cons of it all and do what is best for your situation.
Michele Miller is a home-based business owner and author of an Ebook about starting a medical transcription business. www.medical-transcription-at-home.com