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Fantastic Work-At-Home Information

Fantastic Transcripts is always interested in hearing from experienced transcriptionists, or people who may have a natural ability for transcription, but please keep in mind that the number of people who contact us far exceeds our ability to provide work.

We are particularly interested in hearing from folks who have a background in business, finance, high-tech, legal and medical. And we are interested in hearing from Spanish-speakers who can transcribe and translate Spanish

When you contact us, please tell us a little about yourself so we can get an idea of your background and interest. We will keep your e-mail address on file and contact you when there is an opportunity.

If you live in the Boston area, be sure to highlight that in your e-mail and we may have you come in for an interview. We do like to give preference to people we know and have met.

Feel free to contact us at: jobs@fantastictranscripts.com.

Please don't call our offices asking for work-at-home employment. We will only tell you to visit our Website or to send us an e-mail. If you have any questions, e-mail us and we will be happy to answer them.

Work At Home Advice

We hear from a lot of people looking for work-at-home opportunities and we thought we would share some advice.

Firstly, do not buy any books or pay money to subscribe to any work-at-home Websites. From what people have told us, the listings are either bogus or the companies listed are so besieged by people that any job they had was grabbed a long time ago.

Secondly, do not pay for any training or equipment in the hopes of getting work. We have heard of scams where companies make money selling transcription equipment or supplies and they never deliver on the work-at-home jobs they promise.

To be quite honest, there are very few legitimate work-at-home jobs that are advertised openly. Most people who work from home work for themselves, are in businesses they have created themselves, or have convinced employers to let them work from home after years of excellent work.

So be careful of any work-at-home offers.

Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business in the United States is pretty easy, but finding customers is the difficult part.

To start your own business, all you need to do is to go down to your local town hall or city hall and fill out a DBA (Doing Business As) form. There is usually a nominal $5-$50 charge for filing this form, but doing this allows you to legally operate under the business name you choose.

You will be given an official copy of the DBA form. With this copy, you can open a business bank account in the name of your company. Banks don't like to cash business checks through personal accounts because they charge more fees for business accounts, so they will usually be more than happy to help you open a business account for cashing checks in the business name.

Once that's done, you're officially a business, and you can do whatever you need to do to get your business up and running, such as printing up business cards, ordering phone service, and so forth.

A lot of people think they need to be incorporated or pay a lawyer a lot of money to set up some kind of business shelter, but this really isn't necessary for a mom-and-pop (husband-and-wife) or one-person business. There are DBAs that generate millions of dollars of income. If you're the sole proprietor or you're indistiguishable from your business, incorporating won't stop creditors from coming after you should your business fail.

Also keeping track of your taxes is easier as a DBA. Basically, you take your revenue, deduct your business deductions on Schedule C, and whatever's left over is income.

With a DBA, you're also allowed to mingle your money; for example, paying start-up expenses out of your own pocket without having what's called a "Chinese wall" between your money and company money. If you're incorporated, the only way to transfer money from you to the company is by having the corporation take out a formal loan. As you can see, things get complicated with incorporation and it should only be done if you have non-family partners or investors.

Another thing to think about is to keep your expenses low while you're trying to establish your business. We know of many people who went out and spent thousands of dollars buying desks, chairs, computers, software and so forth, where they could have worked at little or no cost at their kitchen table with index cards to establish their business.

Which brings us to the other half of the equation, where do you find your customers? The harsh reality of the answer is if you don't already have customers, or don't know who and where they are, you might not want to start your own business. It takes on average three-to-five years to start a business from scratch, and two-thirds of businesses fail within the first five years. One of the reasons they fail is that owners did not understand who and where their customers were.

Most successful businesses are started by people who have already worked in the field and know the business inside-out. Otherwise, it's a gamble. Maybe the business will take off, maybe it won't. Success will depend on timing, ability and luck. You might be in the right place at the right time, or you may not be.

One of the best ways to start is a business is to do it part time from your home. Get a DBA, open a bank account and use the tools you already have at hand, such as your PC and your phone, to get the business going. When you start getting some clients and some money starts coming in, then you can start thinking about giving up your day job and buying office furniture and equipment, installing business phone lines, and so on. But first, prove that your business can succeed as a business. Look at your results at three-month and six-month time periods. If things aren't working out then you haven't spent a great deal of money and you can move on to something else.

One way to learn whether there is a market for your business is to join your local chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, or Lion's Club and mingle with the members, asking them what kind of product or service is in short supply in your area. You might even find a business opportunity that you had not even considered, but there are people ready to sign up if someone simply offered it.

There are plenty of books and Websites devoted to starting your own business, so be sure to do some research before diving in. Good luck in starting your own work-at-home business.


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Bill Breen, Senior Editor, Fast Company Magazine

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