As a home based business owner, you can slip into the way of trying to do everything, or most things, yourself, from answering the phone, to typing a letter, to updating your accounts, and even doing the cleaning. That may be inevitable when you’re starting out, but you have to be careful not to lose sight of the ‘main game’. All these chores can take you away from working on your business, creating products and services, marketing – the important things.

When it comes to typing emails, reports and letters, as a former executive used once upon a time to support in those areas, I sometimes recall how convenient it was when I could dictate a letter or report and have the draft come back fairly quickly for a final edit.

I know there are virtual assistants and I have colleagues who use them and swear by them. So far I haven’t gone down that path, which is not to say I won’t at some time in the future.

One of my coaches told me I should get some voice recognition software to speed up my output. I had thought of this more than once and often wondered what it would be like to have this software to facilitate the writing process. 

I was a bit put off previously by the hundreds of dollars quoted for this kind of software but the other week I was able to purchase a recent version of a good program on eBay, so the financial risk is not a consideration now.

I started out to write this post with the software but realised pretty quickly that I’m still in learning mode, and so is the software.  For example, ‘learning mode’ in the previous sentence became ‘learning may’. I’ve switched back to typing to get this done, but on the basis of the tutorial I’ve done I do believe I’ll be able to train the software to recognise my pronunciation, fairly quickly. Yes, it does Aussie English!

A quick Google search on ‘voice recognition software comparison’ brought up this comparision review at ConsumerSearch:  it appears that the main contenders in this field are still Dragon Naturally Speaking and IBM’s ViaVoce. And if you have Windows XP it comes with some voice recognition software that you can try out on at no extra cost.

As I’m a reasonably quick typist (semi touch typing) I’m not convinced that this is the way to go, but as I say, thanks to eBay my financial outlay has not been significant.

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