Tag Archive: transcription

English (UK) words that are commonly misspelt:






A lot









































Its / it’s















Occur / occurred









Principal / principle



















To / too / two


Their / they’re / there







You’re / your

If you have any to add do please share with me.

What and When to Outsource – 7 Top Tips to help you decide what and when to outsource.


Outsourcing – making your business more productive and profitable

Outsourcing necessary but time consuming business administration chores can make your business more productive, profitable and motivating.

Many small businesses complain they are ‘drowning in paperwork’ from all the invoicing, chasing accounts, paying employees, dealing with HMRC, promoting and marketing of their company. Added to this is the problem of fielding the many incoming telephone calls are often cited as the main chores that really sap the time, energy and motivation of business owners.

Outsourcing can be a valuable and strategic tool for making your business more productive and profitable – if you know when and how to take advantage of it. The key factors that need to be considered  are WHICH business functions are suitable to be outsourced and WHEN is the best time to ‘farm out’ this work for someone else to do.

Stop and consider what your ‘core’ business is? Are the tasks helping you to grow your core business?

What is your main skill set? Are the tasks taking you away from what you do best?

Here are 7 Top Tips to help you make your decision about WHAT and WHEN to outsource:

  1. Outsource tasks that are not central to generating profits, competitive success or help you to grow your business.
  2. Outsource routine but necessary jobs that regularly ‘sap’ your valuable time and energy.
  3. Outsource tasks that reoccur regularly – like basic administration.
  4. Outsource tasks that are less expensive to have someone externally to do than to do yourself – or by a member of your own staff.
  5. Outsource activities that CAN be done cheaper in-house, but that drain the resources of you or your team and get in the way of achieving something EVEN MORE valuable to your business.
  6. Outsource when the task requires a skill that is so specialised that it’s just impractical to have a regular employee do it badly and take more time than a professional – i.e. designing and building a website, transcription, or writing marketing copy and image manipulation.
  7. Consider outsourcing when the activity that needs doing is one that nobody wants to do or feels they can do it well.

And don’t just look at the cost of outsourcing – think about the time and money it will SAVE you – and how it will motivate you to focus on the core activities of your business!

Outsourcing is a viable option for everything from transcription and dictation, bookkeeping, telephone answering, databases and mailings, graphic design, marketing, event organisation and website design. The key advantage of outsourcing is that it enables you to invest your resources into more profitable activities that drives your business forward.

Related article – ‘Outsourcing: You can’t afford not to’ The Globe and Mail  http://tiny.ly/fqw8



Multitasking: Are you trying to be a One-Man Band

Multitasking: Are you trying to be a One-Man Band?

Multitasking: Are you trying to be a One-Man Band?

Have you ever stopped to consider why employers highly value employees who are very adept at multitasking? If you have ever seen a one-man band, then you may understand why.  For you see, one-man bands may present perfect examples of how people attempted to multitask in the workplace as far back as the thirteenth century.

Most likely, some forms of multitasking have been around from the beginning of human existence.  Nonetheless, as it is with numerous other basic human abilities, most people remain inept at multitasking, especially when in the workplace. Thus, there is a high value placed upon those who can adequately multitask. However, not only do the one-man bands exemplify antiquated efforts at multitasking in the work place, they also demonstrate why most modern day people are still inept at multitasking.

What it Takes to be a One-Man Band

In order to be a successful one-man band, a musician must be very adept at playing several instruments well and have a thorough knowledge of music.  To play any musical instrument well, an individual must be proficient at listening, maintaining a steady pace, diaphragm breathing, interpreting verbal and non-verbal messages, and have great eye-to hand coordination. The person must be detail-oriented, as well as be able to adapt to changes quickly.  The person must also be able to engage both sides of his or her brain simultaneously.

Moreover, the musician must be able to produce the precise sound at just the right moment, for the specific length, and in the correct order.  He or she may also have to turn pages of a music book while playing the instrument, as well as memorize numerous songs.  The person must also have a thorough knowledge of where to place his or her hands and the positioning of lips or other body parts while producing each sound.

For an individual to be a successful one-person band, he or she must be able to do all the aforementioned things for each and every instrument that the individual opts to use for the “band”.  For example, if the person chose to use a guitar, drum, and harmonica, then the individual would have to know how to produce the proper notes on all three instruments.  He or she would have to transpose the music into a key that was compatible for all three instruments, and would have to know which instrument to use to play each of the harmonized parts.  The musician would simultaneously have to be able to keep beating the drum at exactly the right pace while strumming chords on the guitar and playing the melody on the harmonica.  Some of the songs or instruments may require the musician to read music in both, bass and treble clef simultaneously. If the individual is not extremely adept at multitasking or playing each instrument, then he or she only succeeds in creating raucous noises.  He or she fails to produce any pleasant, recognizable music, thus driving away the audience.

What it takes to be Successful at Multitasking

Just as it takes a certain set of skills to be a successful one-man band, it takes certain skills to be good at multitasking in general.  The person must be able to divide his or her attention while performing several actions simultaneously.  Therefore, the person must be able to use both sides of the brain simultaneously.  The person must be proficient in time management, stress management, crisis management, communication skills, and very detailed-oriented.  Like the musician, the individual must be able to perform actions instinctively and via memorization while using conscious thoughts and various body parts to perform other actions. He or she must be good at problem-solving, as well as be very decisive.  The person must be able to see the entire situation while dealing with each smaller detail in a proper, timely manner.

Multitasking vs. Rapid Task Switching

As one can see, it takes a very special type of person to truly multitask.  In most instances, humans simply rapidly switch between several tasks, making it seem as if they are doing all the tasks simultaneously.  Even most computers do not truly multitask, despite having the term “multitasking” be coined by computer science literature.  Some psychologists think that multitasking is humanly impossible while others think that doing so would harm the brain in some ways.  Yet, there are a few jobs that do require the human to actually multitask and not just rapidly task switch.  Transcriptionists, receptionists, surgeons, musicians and chefs all must be efficient at multitasking to some degree in order to be successful. Law enforcement officers, combat soldiers, parents, teachers and childcare providers must also multitask to some degree.

Research has proven that actual multitasking can save a person money and time, if done to an adequate degree.  On the other hand, according to Wikipedia (Human Multitasking) rapid task switching has been proven to end up costing the person more time and money due to the lack of focusing on any task sufficiently. Most people make mistakes when they cannot focus their full attention on what they are doing.  So the experts at Forbes (Multitasking: Good or Bad?) recommend that people should multitask whenever possible, but avoid rapid task switching by having more than one person performing the tasks that must be done simultaneously.

So if you are trying to imitate a one-man band and do everything yourself, you may want to consider outsourcing some of the administrative tasks to a virtual office or personal assistant.  If you watch the one-man bands closely, you will see most of them are merely rapidly switching between the various instruments and seldom play the instruments simultaneously.  Listening closely to that one-man band is sufficient evidence as to why it does not pay to be chinky when it comes to delegating tasks to other people.


Do I Dare Not Work While on Holiday?

Do I Dare Not Work While on Holiday?

Do I Dare NOT to Work While on Holiday? The folly of working while on holiday.

I recently read a BBC News article that was originally written in 2010.  According to the article Would More Holidays Be Good for Americans, the majority of Americans only get nine or less days of paid holiday per year.  And apparently, most Americans work right through their paid holidays for various reasons.  Reading this article made me glad that I lived in the UK where paid holidays are guaranteed by statutory law.  Then I came across this Citizens Advice Bureau article, “Thousands of workers denied legal right to paid holiday, says CAB report,” which was written in 2011.  The article made me realise that nearly 88,000 UK citizens work all year long without taking the paid holidays that they are entitled to.  Most of the reasons given by the UK citizens match those given by the Americans.  So it made me wonder just how many UK citizens currently ask themselves, “Do I dare not work while on holiday?”.

Reasons given for Working

Fear of losing their employment is the most common reason given for working while on holiday or for not taking a paid holiday.  This is the most common one because it is the one given by most Americans in all positions and the majority of low-income, low-skilled U.K. employees. Many employees were afraid to demand the allotted time off due to the management’s policies of firing anyone who made waves.  Others simply were afraid they would be replaced by the individuals who were filling in for them.  Still others were not even aware they were entitled to time off.

Having too heavy a workload or fear of being unable to catch up with the workload upon return from a holiday was the next most common reason given. This reason was mostly given by small business owners, as well as by employees who worked for short-staffed companies and government agencies.  The third primary reason was the individual did not want someone else to do his or her job due to fear the other person would mess everything up and cause extra work for the individual or cause the company to lose money.  This reason was mostly given by individuals employed in a management position or business owners.  The last common reason was that the individual did not enjoy having that much down time.  This would indicate the individual was a workaholic.  Or perhaps, the individual merely did not enjoy being alone or around his or her family and friends for extended periods.

THE PERILS of Working While on Holiday

Having a creative mind, I started envisioning an entire company where everyone insisted on working while on holiday.  I tried to imagine what it would be like if all the different types of fears existed among a large corporation’s employees. This is what I envisioned:

My story starts with Mr. George Peabody, the owner of a large chain of retail stores that caters to the elite upper class.  M. Peabody, having been sent off to a boarding school at an early age by a workaholic father, eventually married a well-to-do socialite at the age of twenty.  He had mostly married for the sake of moving up the social ladder and tapping into the young socialite’s inheritance.  By the age of 45, George had turned into a replica of his workaholic father.  He spent many hours working away at the office due to not wanting to deal with all the unpleasant family issues.  And he found excuses to bring his work along with him on the family’s month-long holiday.

Chain Reaction

Although Mr. Peabody was a workaholic, he did not expect his employees to give up their holidays or to work on them.  He even arranged to outsource some of the computer department’s work so the employees could take a longer holiday.  However, George was not much of a communicator and he failed to inform his employees what his intentions were.

So while Mr. Peabody was aboard the cruise liner touring the Caribbean Sea, his senior managers were left to implement the plan for outsourcing the computer department’s work.  Thinking that Mr. Peabody intended to permanently replace the tech support and customer service teams, the senior managers started letting a few of the non-essential, inept staff members go in order to finance the outsourcing project.  And to get the project done in a timely manner before the rest of the staff went on holiday, the senior managers either cancelled their own scheduled holiday travel or took their work on holiday with them.  Each senior manager was afraid to let someone else do the work, in case the other person messed up the project.  They were also afraid to not follow the owner’s example and emulate his work ethics, since each had been selected for their positions based on their productivity.

Since the senior management did not inform the lower management what the plans for implementing the new outsourcing project was, some of the lower management also started cancelling holiday plans and letting inept employees go.  They too started taking work projects home with them.  And when the company ran into complications due to the cultural differences, they turned to the employees for help in training the outsourcer’s staff.

The employees, who had no idea of what was happening, thought they were going to be replaced by the outsourcer’s staff.  They were too afraid of losing their jobs if they went on holiday or did not take their work projects along with them.  The employees became very demoralised and less productive.  Many sought employment elsewhere, figuring they were going to lose their jobs anyway.  This forced the remaining staff to work harder, frequently leading to employee absenteeism due to ill health caused by the additional stress.

Poor Mr. Peabody

In the meantime, Mr. Peabody was having his own set of work challenges.  After spending a small fortune on internet connections and sea to shore calls to keep up with emails and set up important appointments, George lost his smart phone.  The expensive phone, with all his important contacts’ information, took a dive overboard when George’s grandchildren accidentally tripped him.  The children had grown restless while waiting for George to take them swimming and had started rough-housing too close to George’s legs.  This would not have been too much of a disaster if the loss of the smart phone had not been preceded by the loss of his laptop.  A street urchin in the first port of call decided he needed the laptop more than Mr. Peabody did.   Then the ship was delayed and George was unable to arrive at the set appointments on time.  However, George had no way of contacting anyone to cancel the important appointments, since by then, the ship was too far out to sea to make a ship to shore call to his secretary.

The Happy Ending

Due to finally giving in and letting himself enjoy his time with his family and at sea, Mr. Peabody returned from his holiday well rested.  He felt truly inspired and invigorated by his recent travels to new shores.  However, due to the lack of communication, misinterpretation of intentions, and George’s work ethics, he returned to a company that was on the brink of total ruin.  Fortunately, Mr. Peabody was able to salvage his corporation by calling a company meeting.  He informed everyone what his intentions had been.  He then hired a local outsourcing company to handle all of the work for each department as he sent that particular department’s staff on a very well earned holiday.  Mr. Peabody also made it a new policy that no work was to leave the office, especially while the employee was on holiday.

The LOST ART of Transcribing – should transcription be treated as a ‘lost’ art – how transcriptionists and transcribers were viewed throughout history.

The Lost Art of Transcription

Should transcription be treated as a ”lost” art?

Recently, a friend and I were discussing how people frequently fail to perceive transcribing as a lost writing art.  Perhaps this failure is due to the common misconception that just about anyone can easily perform the duties of a transcriber nowadays.  Or perhaps, this oversight is due to the fact that most people simply do not think of transcription as any type of art, let alone as lost art.  Even the most skilled transcriptionists tend to forget they are among a special class of artists.  So perhaps it is time for everyone to revise their perspectives of transcription, especially now that there is a high demand for skilled transcribers.

Is Writing an Art, Craft, or Neither?

One of the major reasons for all this confusion is that there are numerous ideologies as to what comprises art and what comprises craftwork.  Some people think of writing as a form of art while others consider writing to be a type of craft or trade.  Others may consider writing to be neither art nor craft, since it lies somewhere between the two. 

Transcribing frequently requires the transcriptionist to have the skills of an artist and the knowledge of a craftsperson.  And still others consider transcription as a form of writing that should not be considered as an art or as a craft.  This is due to its more common legal and medical applications as well as the use of transcription for commercial, religious and political purposes.

However, historians and archaeologists have clearly demonstrated that transcribing developed as a very valuable form of art thousands of years ago.  In its original form, transcribing was carried out by well-trained scribes that were held in high regard throughout various cultures and countries.  These scribes were considered artisans despite the fact that the majority of their work was carried out for commercial, religious, legal, medical and political reasons.

Technology’s Affect on Transcribing as an Art

Up until the eighteenth century, there was very little confusion as to what constituted art, craft and professional work.  All forms of writing were considered to be works of art until the invention of the printing press occurred.  After the invention of the printing press and other technologies, the accepted standards and definitions for arts, crafts and professional trades became more controversial.  Reading and writing became more common skills among the various populations, which then made  the skills and knowledge required of transcribers appear less specialized and valuable. 

The same problem arose in other areas of art as well, when new technology made it easier to produce and reproduce painted artwork. Some would argue that screen printing and computerized graphic artwork should not be considered to be true forms of art.  Yet, a great deal of artistic ability and a high level of skill are essential for anyone who wishes to be successful in these fields of employment.

Misconceptions about Transcription

Common misconceptions also contribute to the confusion as to whether transcription is an art, craft or neither.  These misconceptions are intentionally and unintentionally spread via numerous forms of media that is produced by government agencies, commercial entities, and educational institutions.  With current economic trends forcing businesses to downsize and unemployment rates to rise, various government agencies are encouraging citizens to become self-employed transcriptionists. The government’s perspective tends to treat transcribing any type of data as easy to do, if a person has basic typing or keyboarding skills and the right equipment.  Numerous educational institutions and private industries which profit by selling training materials and courses also project this ideology to the mass population.

Numerous entrepreneurs and employers are also under the impression that anyone with basic typing skills and modern equipment should be capable of performing transcription tasks.  Then there are all those commercial enterprises which earn their income by convincing people that they can perform these tasks simply by using the companies’ products.  For instance, allegedly anyone can write a novel or business letter simply by utilising a software program that has the computer type whatever the person says into the microphone.  Supposedly, the document will come out perfectly, with no errors, even on the first try.  However, this simply is not true.  It typically takes a person literally hundreds of hours training any computer with speech recognition capabilities to even begin to recognize the person’s speech patterns.  The documents are filled with numerous errors, and the spell-checker does not catch all of these errors.

Why Transcribing Should Be Considered an Art

The value of any form of art is determined by how common the skills and knowledge required of the person performing the work are among the general members of society.  For instance, most humans can draw or paint on a basic level, such as drawing stick figures on paper.  However, very few can create an intricate, realistic portrait utilising oil paints, paint brushes and canvas.  The same holds true for musicians.  Everyone can produce sounds in a variety of ways, but not everyone can produce sounds with a perfect pitch, flow, and rhythm.  Nor can very many people accurately compose, arrange or transpose music onto a sheet of paper for multiple instruments.

Just as painting, sculpting, and playing an instrument on a professional level requires a person to have a special set of skills, talent, knowledge and expertise, so does writing.  While most humans are now capable of basic reading and writing skills, they do not have the special set of skills, talent, expertise, and knowledge that are essential for performing transcription. 

Most of the general population do not have an excellent command of their native language or the English language, including accurate use of grammar, syntax, spelling and vocabulary.  Even fewer humans develop excellent listening skills or are able to distinguish the various distorted sound and voices on a recording.  Still fewer can type verbatim what they hear being said at the same time as they are listening to a variety of people talking simultaneously.

A transcriptionist must type while listening to a warped recording of people speaking with varying voice quality, accents, tones, inflections and speeds of talking.  Since very few people are capable of performing these tasks, transcribing, especially in the form of transcription, should be considered a valuable art form.  And since fewer people are putting out the effort to truly develop each of the essential skills and their knowledge of the various languages, transcribing is indeed rapidly becoming a lost art, despite the recent increase in the number of transcription services.

7 Simple Ways to Generate More Enquiries for your Business – These 7 powerful principles have transformed the fortunes of many local businesses.

Take a minute to read through each one and consider how they could benefit your business. They may seem obvious at first glance, but ask yourself… do you actually apply them on a regular basis?

BE PERSONAL… Stop hiding behind your logo… ‘people do business with people’! When showcasing your business, introduce the people behind your brand – it builds a huge amount of trust, brings your company to life and makes your potential customers feel at ease when making contact with you.

BE KNOWN… Most business opportunities come as a direct result of people knowing each other. Get yourself known personally by those who can refer business to you, build mutually-beneficial relationships and pro-actively generate ongoing ‘word of mouth’ opportunities.

BE FOUND… Make sure that when potential customers are searching for information relating to your specific services they end up with your business in front of them. These people are looking to do business with someone… make sure they find YOU.

BE INTERESTING… Potential customers like lots of useful and interesting information but only if it’s well written and simple to understand. Give your potential customers the information they want to know in a clear and easy to read format.

BE CREDIBLE… People are less trusting than ever. Make sure that potential customers perceive you to be an expert in your field and give lots of supporting evidence to back up your reliability and quality of service.

BE IN TOUCH… People’s circumstances change all the time. Have a system in place to keep in contact with your potential customers on a regular basis… you never know when they will need your services.

BE CONTACTABLE… It sounds obvious but… make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in touch with you.

Dave Sharpe

What are YOUR Business Challenges? – Have you considered what your business challenges are and how you are going to overcome them.

Focusing on doing what matters, what is important and what will get the biggest results.

To get the business to a stage where I can take some time out each week, and a holiday each year.

Expand the operation so I can take advantage of an already solid and profitable business model.

Working ON my business, rather than IN it.

Building better levels of service and more rewarding customer experiences.

Having a Hotline to a ‘team’ member who can help me stay focused, get things done and help me grow the business.

Helping my team, and me, get better use of our time and stop working reactively, putting out fires, and become more pro-active about building the company.

Developing and building a strong working team so I can, not just manage, but lead my company forward.

To help me find or re-find my passion and get my heart and mind focused on enjoying running and building my business.

Finding a business support company that is both efficient and effective to help me add the right, motivated people to my team.

Deliver superior levels of customer service, create raving fans, and repeat buyers time after time.

Contact us

Telephone: 01676 478140

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