Start a Home-Based Stenography Business

Create your own home-based stenography business using these helpful tips.

| November/December 1971

Start a Painless, Part-Time and Profitable Stenography Business from Home

If you type, if you own or can rent a typewriter (preferably electric), if you have a private telephone line and live within or on the edge of a metropolitan area . . . there's a way of beating the 9-to-5 that I highly recommend from personal experience.

I fell into this great arrangement by accident when I happened to be at a party where three or four salesmen (traveling type) were exchanging gripes. It seemed that in the area of secretarial services these men really had problems. Their hours were long and irregular, and when they got into a town in the evening it was usually after the public stenographers had closed for the day. This forced the men to delay their departure until after the stenos opened the next morning.

The salesmen had some pitiful stories to tell about sitting until 11 o'clock waiting for a letter to get typed . . . meanwhile missing an important appointment. One and all, they complained that they didn't have enough correspondence to justify hiring a personal secretary . . . but that all other arrangements were terribly inconvenient.

It seemed to me, listening to these sad tales of woe, that I could solve the problem. So I made the salesmen an offer: If each would supply me with stationery bearing his business letterhead, he could call me whenever he got into town (unless it was some ungodly hour like three in the morning) and dictate his correspondence over the phone. He could then go on about his business without delay while I typed, signed and mailed the letters. I would also mail a carbon of each letter to the salesman and keep a carbon in my files. I would supply typewriter ribbons, carbon paper and other incidentals and send the salesman one bill for my services and the postage actually used on his correspondence.

I was initially disappointed when only one roan took me up on the offer . . . but, when I soon found myself with more work than I could handle, I was grateful that the others had been dubious.

The obvious reason a businessman is afraid to try such an arrangement is because he's terrified that you might be incompetent, that you'll foul up his contacts, mail out price quotations that will bankrupt him, send his letters to the wrong people and do all the other awful things that have probably been done to him at least once in the past. Therefore, you have to suggest—as I did—that he begin by trusting you. with only the very simplest and most innocuous correspondence.

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