Are you ready to transition from student to entrepreneur? While some move from court reporting school to working for the courts as employees, many others quickly move to being their own boss, building a court reporting business. They manage their own clients, projects, schedules, and for some, they’re partnered with a court reporting agency to find clients. The choice is up to you but we’d sure like you to be part of our Denver court reporting family!
If you’re branching out on your own, we recommend running it like a business.
Even before you have your first client, open a bank account that will be specifically used for your court reporting income and 3expenses like copies, postage, laptop, and steno machine. Then utilize a bookkeeper or bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. It may sound daunting now but your tax preparer will thank you at tax time when you can run a profit and loss (P&L) report, send mileage documentation, and not have the stress of organizing business expenses.
Don’t take our word for it. Seek the advice of a tax professional who can help you understand your own liability and business organization.
Protip: Keep receipts from business expenses in folders or envelopes by month. If your tax professional questions the expense, you can easily access the receipt for review.
When it comes to mileage tracking, we recommend using an app on your phone along with a manual tracking system like a notebook and pen in your car. The reason? You have to remember to turn on an app when you get in the car for a business meeting. If you keep it on all the time, it’s tracking personal and business mileage which defeats the purpose of having an app at all.
Protip: Utilize a calendar app that you can access via phone or laptop and track business-related appointments.
Not only does a calendar appointment keep you on track for meetings, you can refer back to it for mileage reporting should the app and/or notebook/pen tracker fail as a mileage tracking system. You can also easily tell friends and family when you’re available and keep a healthy work-life balance. It’s a win-win!
Protip: Backup all contact information to a cloud. If your phone is lost, broken, or replaced, you don’t have to re-create the list. You only need to download from the cloud to your new phone.
When it comes to your court reporting business, the more you can do to plan and organize, the better your business will be. Your agency and clients will appreciate your efforts and call you the next time they need an experienced court reporter.