Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Home-Based Business - Abstracting Service

Abstracting Service
  • Start-up cost: RM2,500- RM8,000
  • Potential earnings: RM20,000- RM40,000 per year
  • Typical fees: At least RM 5- RM15 per article (full abstract with index)
  • Advertising: Solicit database publishers, corporations, respond to newspaper ads for abstract work
  • Qualifications: Knowledge in the areas you are abstracting, ability to research a wide range of topics, ability to organize and consolidate data, good writing and communication skills, knowledge of database services and CD-ROM publishers
  • Equipment needed: Computer and modem, fax, printer, software, office furniture, business cards, letterhead, reference books, dictionaries.
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Keep an eye on on-line time if using these services
  • Lowdown: Abstracters read articles from various publications, summarize them, and store the data on a computer. Some abstracters also index the articles by key words or terms that help the computer locate them quickly. Often abstracters specialize in areas such as engineering, science, and other technical fields; some work in medical and legal fields. A keen interest in reading is very important to your success, as is the ability to retain what you read. Good writing skills and knowledge of the topics you are abstracting is essential, especially for condensing the material. This business could also fit well with an existing editorial services or technical writing business. If you don’t have actual paid experience as an abstracter, you can select articles of interest to certain potential clients, make up a portfolio of samples, and pitch your services to them. You might also talk with database publishers to discuss how you might help them, and vice versa.
  • Start-Up: In addition to basic computer equipment and a word-processing package, you don’t need much beyond office furniture and reference books. Your business can be launched for as little as RM2,500. Charge RM5-RM15 per article.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: Many larger corporations, in particular, rely on abstracting services to keep them updated about competitors and innovations in products and services relating to their businesses. This work allows considerable flexibility in your schedule and requires only a modest investment. Abstracting demands great concentration and careful organization, but also exposes you to a wealth of knowledge and contacts. You also will have the satisfaction of knowing that your work provides a valuable service to your clients.

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