How to Start a Home Typing Business

Learn the ins and outs of making money with a home typing business.

| July/August 1972

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    A home typing business is easy to start, and requires little in the way of equipment.
    Photo by Charlene Sonia

  • 016-046-01

If you can type, are willing to meet some standards, can work under the pressure of a deadline and live in or near a university or college town you can start a home business—full or part time—doing typing for students. If you turn out clean, crisp copy at some speed, the business can be a good one too: once your reputation is established you can earn up to $500 a month.

You'll find a demand for your services because college students are required to turn in large numbers of papers, there's a general feeling that professors prefer those papers to be typed . . . and many students cannot type, cannot type well or just don't have time to do the job. In addition to simple term papers, graduate students must often prepare a thesis as a degree requirement. This thesis must be typewritten and meet certain standards so that it can be microfilmed, xeroxed or printed by offset. Most grad students either cannot type well enough to meet the standards for a thesis; or do not leave themselves the time to do their own typing.

The Machine

Obviously, you'll need a typewriter if you expect to establish yourself in this business . . . and lucky is the person employed as a secretary by a boss who'll let her work evenings on the office IBM. If you work out such an arrangement, though, it's only fair that you conduct your moonlighting efforts with your own ribbons and paper. Keep the supply receipts, too . . . just in case someone decides to make an issue of your activities.

If you're not already employed by an understanding boss or do not otherwise have access to an office electric, you'll have to rent or purchase a machine. This will increase your overhead but will also give you more time to work and a more flexible schedule. The pros outweigh the cons, so call the nearest IBM office and arrange to rent or purchase an office electric.

Why IBM? Because, in my limited experience, there isn't a better typewriter made. The quality of its copy is high and the machine is sturdy. You can gallop up to 120 wpm on an IBM and it won't boggle, skip or jam. (If you type for long, you'll hit 90 to 120 wpm on familiar word groups and phrases and there's nothing more exasperating than a dinky little machine that jams up and makes mistakes for you when you can already make enough by yourself.)

Brand X typewriters drive me wild. They hop across the desk and spin when I hit the return. At the end of every ten lines, I have to seize such a useless device and put it back in front of me. An IBM on a rubber typewriter mat, on the other hand, will stay in front of you and TYPE.

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