Running my own business has been a source of stability for me during the times when my life has turned upside down. No matter what life has thrown at me – and there’s been quite a few pitches – The Transcription People (TTP) has kept ticking along to support me, my family and the women I employ.
I started working for myself from home 16 years ago after taking a redundancy package from Sydney’s corporate world. Initially, my work revolved around helping friends, family and small businesses with administrative tasks. When I noticed a significant portion of what I was doing was transcription, I decided to launch The Transcription People as a virtual agency, transcribing audio files from meetings, notes, court proceedings and much more into usable files.
Finding help to scale
As the business grew, I took on contractors – who worked from home like I did – to keep up with high demand, or times when I needed extra help. In the time I’ve been a business owner, I’ve had two children, had a double mastectomy and have divorced. The roles of a business owner, employer and mum are all different, but I’ve kept my focus on whatever is the most important task to push through the hard bits.
Throughout my personal ups and downs, The Transcription People has continued to evolve, and over my years in business I’ve realised my niche is providing high-quality transcription services for medium to large Australian and international organisations. In a time when anybody can buy a domain name and build a website, standing out is more important than ever and I think concentrating on a niche is the way to fast track this. If you really focus on what you do best in business, then everybody benefits: you, staff and your customers. To this end, I’ve recently expanded the TTP offering to include Blogspeak, a service where people record their thoughts on a topic and we create a professional blog post from the audio. It’s important to keep an eye on where your industry is developing, but to also stay true to your core business, so this new stream adds strength to our existing offering.
What I am: organised and a good time manager
I’ve managed this business from the spare bedroom, a home office, a traditional corporate office and even from hotel rooms around the world while I’ve been travelling. During all of this, I’ve realised that organisation and time management are everything and if you can make these two things work, you’re set. Turning around quality transcription services fast means I need a very clear idea about what needs to be done and when. Without this, I wouldn’t have the business I do.
What I need: good support
The other aspect that I’ve come to see as imperative for a successful business is support. Support comes in many forms: having the right people working with you in the business, and hiring consultants/contractors to pick up the slack in areas where you need extra help; finding the right mentors to push you when/where you need to be; getting out of the office (bedroom) to meet and socialise with other business contacts at networking events or online; and once you shut the door on the business, support from those who love you.
I’m proud to employ stay-at-home mums as transcriptionists, typists and proofreaders. We all want to create a secure place for our families and so many of us have been able to do that by working from home. My family was one of the reasons I started The Transcription People in the first place, and the business has continued to support us, but also shows my children what they can achieve if they back themselves and follow their ideas.
Written by Annalisa Brimo, founder of The Transcription People.
This article was originally published in “This Woman Can“.