Transcription Service: Business Development Survival Kit – LS Transcripts Interview, Lindsay Smith,
With so few new businesses surviving the early years of the start-up period, this week’s blog investigates the area of business development. Lindsay Smith, LS Transcripts Business Owner, describes the contents of her business development survival kit.
What is your business development survival kit and what is its key component?
LS Transcripts business development survival kit was established on the same day that LS Transcripts was formed as a business idea. There are three components to the kit – all are key. There are many reasons why so few new businesses survive beyond the early years, and the context of my survival kit was really built around identifying components that can help the business to overcome these well-documented reasons for failure.
Market research is one component. A key reason for new business start-up failure is related to misinterpreting market conditions around the business idea. I have the skills and experience to deliver the transcription task. I learned, through researching, how the market operates and what risks impact its conditions. Undertaking the market research process at the very early stage (pre-start-up) provided me with an overview that helped me in my decision to start building my business. Now, it helps me to stay in business as I am equipped with timely information which helps me to adjust my business practice in a bid to survive changing conditions.
What are the other two key components of the survival kit?
Setting quality standards, and business information reporting are the other two key components.
Firstly, I will start with quality standards. The general day-to-day running of the business has to be crystal clear to the team. LS Transcripts set out standards of quality very early on (2013) to support this. The process undertaken by the business as a whole was divided into process sections and quality standards were set out for each individual mini-process. For example, quote request management, creating work packages for transcriptionists, managing invoicing, to name a few. These standards are continuously tested, reviewed, and updated to ensure that we are efficiently and effectively operating streamlined processes within LS Transcripts, while satisfying the needs of our clients. As part of our review process (2017/18), we are undertaking a client satisfaction survey and will provide updates in a later blog regarding the results.
Secondly, business information reporting. From 2013/2014, LS Transcripts collected relevant information about its processes and activities. It may be viewed as a very cumbersome task by many new business owners, but the data collected during that first year was worth its weight in gold because it formed a benchmark of performance. Data collection, analysis, and reporting is part of our development cycle. We identified opportunities for internal improvement and for growth over the coming three years (to April 2017) from the content of our benchmark report. For continuous improvement monitoring, we adopt the W. Edwards Deming approach, the Deming Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Adjust), and over the three years of the current development plan, we have doubled our capacity and processed almost double the amount of transcription minutes through the business (99.6%) from the benchmark year of 2014, until now (April 2017).
So, four years later, LS Transcripts business development survival toolkit contains its original three components - market researching, quality standards review, and business information reporting. These functions are firmly fixed into the day to day of running the business as part of LS Transcripts aim to remain competitive and grow in a changing world. After all, “The only thing that is constant is change” - Heraclitus.