The Certified Broadcast Captioner certification allows you to take advantage of the growing number of opportunities becoming available to realtime practitioners. As one of the top national programs that certifies your ability in realtime captioning, attaining the CBC certification commands instant respect and the immediate attention of potential employers. For more information, please click here.
Resources for Starting and Maintaining Your Own Captioning Business
These are resources that might be used most often by captioners. For those who are already aware of these resources, please take the time to look into them and make sure you have the most current information.
General Small Business Resources
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
- IRS Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource
- Ready Business
- Small Business Administration
- Caption Central
This site offers captioning reference materials, news, and commentary.
- FCC Captioning Information
- NCRA Online Forums
- NCRA Professional Services Locator
- Captioning Web
This site offers various resources including links to offline and online captioning companies, encoder manufacturers, deaf and hard-of-hearing information, captioning resources and articles, as well as laws relating to captioning services. In addition, there are job listings for online as well as offline captioning jobs.
- Yahoo! Captioners Community
Write a Business Plan
A business plan will help you determine what your goal is in opening a new business, it describes your product or service and also discusses your competition, to name a few. This is an absolute must before attempting to take the next step in opening your business as it helps you solidify your purpose is and what your goals are.
Here are examples of business plans:
Small Business Administration Business Planning
Write a Marketing Plan
Once you have defined your goals for your business, you need to write a marketing plan that describes how you intend to let potential clients know about your products and services. A typical marketing plan has descriptions on an analysis of the competitive market and offers budget analysis for a marketing plan.
Here are examples of marketing plans:
BPlans.com Marketing Plan examples
Small Business Administration Marketing Plan Tips
The Write Market - Marketing Plan Outlines
Educate Yourself on Legal Aspects
Look up local tax laws, employment laws, human resources information, and hiring procedures.
Here is information on tax laws and financing your business:
IRS Business Information
Small Business Association Financing tips
Bank of America Small Business Resource Center
Hiring and Human Resources
SHRM - Society for Human Resource Management
NCRA Captioners Listserv
NCRA has just announced a new listserv for on-air captioners. The Yahoo! Group will continue to function as it has, but there will be yet another valuable resource for on-air broadcast captioners. These are the guidelines set up by NCRA:
NCRA's Captioning Community Listserv is designed solely for on-air captioners. You must be an on-air captioner to participate.
If you're interested in captioning or are not yet on air, please feel free to make use of NCRA's Captioning Section in the NCRA Online Forum, where several experienced captioners are ready to answer your questions and provide assistance and information.
To join the NCRA Captioning Community Listserv, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text "Subscribe to listserv" in the subject line.
Please note that participation on NCRA listservs is restricted to NCRA members. However, nonmembers may join for a period of six months to determine whether they'd like to continue to participate. At the close of the six-month period, in order to continue participating on the listserv, the nonmember must join NCRA. If you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity, please include your contact information (full name, address, phone number, etc.) in the e-mail sent to subscribe to the listserv.
If interested please, email NCRA at email@example.com, and feel free to pass this information on to your captioning friends.
This listserv is operated by many captioners that are affiliated with NCRA. It is similar to the NCRA Captioning Listserv and is a great way to network.
Captioning Style and Format Guidelines
The NCRA Captioning Community of Interest has issued a document with captioning style and format guidelines for U.S. television programming. The 62-page document provides guidance for independent realtime captioners on a multitude of style and formatting issues, including parentheticals, obscenities and other sensitive words, scripting, musical notes and lyrics, slang and poor grammar, and much more. The guidelines are meant to complement the guidelines that some captioning companies require their captioners to follow. The Community of Interest notes that when captioning companies have guidelines in place for their captioners, the captioning company guidelines take precedence. Download guidelines