Action Plan

Consider Alternatives:

There are two alternatives to starting a telephone answering service (TAS) from scratch. The first is buying an established answering service and the other is to outsource the phone answering portion to someone else. As small businesses go, running a TAS is labor-intensive and capital-intensive, so anything that can be done to reduce either aspect will minimize the risk of starting an answering service.

Buying an existing answering service provides you with a existing, viable client base to begin generating revenue immediately. Sometimes the purchase will entail only the clients, whereas other times you can buy the equipment and assume the existing staff.

Alternately, you can outsource the call answering portion to another answering service that specializes in this service. You will still do all the sales and marketing, customer service, and billing, but the other company will answer all the calls, deal with labor issues, and maintain the equipment. Outsourcing can be a short-term solution until you reach a critical mass of clients or could be a long-term strategy.

Of course you can do both: buy the client base from one answering service and then outsource the labor to another. If you pursue either or both of these scenarios, you will be able to skip some of the following steps!

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