A phone answering service is one of the most simple home based businesses to set up and run. There is an increasing demand for phone answering services from small businesses and professionals who are unable to answer the phone themselves during working hours. Customers have become seriously frustrated with having to deal with voice mails and automated answering systems when they just want to talk to an actual human being. There is growing evidence that a live phone operator is best for business and that many missed business opportunities arise from not having a person on the other end of the phone.
What does an answering service involve?
A basic answering service involves answering calls for the client and taking a clear message that is then communicated, usually via email, to the client. Some phone answering services include providing information on the client’s products and services including pricing, taking orders for the client and answering queries. The business needs for an answering service vary. Some businesses require the service during working hours, others need the phone answered after hours and over weekends and some only require the service for part of the day.
What do I need to start an answering service business?
The amount of equipment you need depends on how many clients you take on. A simple way to start is to install a separate phone line for each client which costs between $100 – $200 depending on where you are situated. When you want to expand your phone answering service you can research the viability of leasing a switchboard from your local phone company. You will also need a home computer with broadband connection for message sending. You will need to have a quiet work space where you will not be disturbed during the hours you have contracted to answer the phone.
How will I find clients for my answering service business?
You will need to go out and get clients but there are a wide range of businesses who would potentially use your answering service and a number of affordable ways to reach them. Your most likely target market are small business owners and sole proprietors who do not have the resources to take calls during business hours when they are out working. Another good source of clients are professionals who are busy with their own clients and unable to interrupt with phone calls. Local advertising and online advertising are both effective marketing tools.
How much money can I make with an answering service?
This depends on the number of clients you have and the hours you are prepared to work. It will also be determined by the area in which you are operating your phone answering service. Generally a client pays a set amount for a certain number of phone calls per month. Additional calls are charged at a set rate. You can also charge extra for additional services such as order taking, appointment scheduling and conducting surveys.
There is a growing demand for reliable and efficient phone answering services. Businesses increasingly outsource this function as customers grow tired of technological replacements for a real person on the other end of the phone. Customers do not like to talk to a machine and are likely to just move on to the next competitor when they cannot reach a human that can actually answer their questions or provide information for them. This can be a profitable home business income opportunity.
Find out more at Answering Service Business Help
Julia Derby has many years experience working in small and home business development. She has successfully started and developed a number of home businesses. Her free website My Home Business Ideas provides good ideas and practical advice for people who want to enjoy all the benefits of making money at home.