If you are looking for a work from home business opportunity, starting an answering service business might be the best option for you. There are several types of companies that need this service and virtual office services are the wave of the future. There are things you can do to get your business started right away, and you can make money for your family while you stay at home.
1. Take Care of the Practicalities
Before you begin any type of work-from-home business, you need to research the requirements for your city, county and state. Apply or register for any business licensing or permits you may need. Name your company and register the name, as well as the tax filing status before you begin.
Carve out a space at home where you will be providing your call center services. When answering calls for another business, it's important to have the privacy and quiet environment that is needed. Establish work hours so that your family knows when you cannot be disturbed.
2. Gather the Necessities
One of the most important details of an answering service business is having a phone line dedicated to answering business phone calls. It doesn't matter if the phone line is a cell phone or a land line, the sole purpose of that phone should be strictly professional.
Decide whether you are going to record the answered call messages on a pad or enter them online. You will need to develop a system for getting the messages to the business you are working or contracting with.
3. Decide On a Type of Business
You will need to research what type of business you want to provide services for. Medical answering services are always in demand, and the need for virtual office assistant is growing every day. You should have some idea of the type of business you want to do, and you should have some experience in the area.
Once you decide on a type of business, research the going rates so you know what to charge for your service. It's best to start on the low to average end of the scale, until you have some references to call upon.
4. Promote Yourself and Your Business
Update your resume and print some business cards. Once you have established yourself, you need to get out there and promote your services. Try to set up personal meetings with the businesses you want to work with. It's more likely that you will get hired when you meet in person rather than sending out your resume to random businesses.
The sooner you can get a website for yourself and your business the better. This is another avenue to make a presence. It's also a great way to list the services you provide and your client testimonies. Starting a business blog and newsletter will help you stay connected to current and prospective clientele.
Use the web in other ways too. Advertise your service on Craig's List. Open an account on LinkedIn and Face Book. These are all great avenues for generating new business.
Follow these tips, and get your answering business service successfully up and running!