Am I Ready To Start My Own Answering Service?

By Steve Michaels

If your resolution for the New Year involves career advancement, you’re not alone. A poll by, found that starting a business ranked second only to losing weight as the most popular resolution for 2007. Other resolutions on the list were being financially independent or starting the search for a new job or business.

“At least half or our waking hours are spent on the job and going to and from the job,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “It only stands to reason that improving this major component of one’s life can lead to greater overall happiness.”

But if you want to be more successful climbing the corporate ladder than you were with last year’s diet, you need some focus. With that in mind here is a list of resolutions worth considering for entrepreneurs and current employees.

Tips for Entrepreneurs

  • Take risks: “You have to be brave and courageous,” says Beth Schoenfeldt, co-owner of Ladies Who Launch, an Internet-based consulting business for women entrepreneurs. “Do something that scares you every day and then push yourself to do more. You can’t play it safe or you’ll get run over by everyone else.”

  • Assess the market: Know the competition. If you are looking at getting into the telephone answering service business then query TAS businesses that are in your area to see what they are offering and for how much. Are you a customer of an answering service and think to yourself, I can do a better job?

  • Take a look at your market: With the use of 800 numbers, T1’s and VoIP, the world in now your marketplace. Take advantage of the home based, virtual office in order to match or beat your competition. Hire competent, experienced staff that enjoys working from home. Besides the cost savings, you will be able to staff your operation when there is a workload… not when they are available.

  • Focus: Find a niche and serve it. Whatever segment of the industry you want to serve such as funeral homes, medical, apartment complexes or whatever, know it and do it well. Become the expert in what you do.

  • Serve: Service is thinking about others and working on their behalf to deliver something they want, need or value. Success isn’t about me, me, me.

Advice for Employees

  • Perform a career checkup. Lynn Brown of outplacement firm Right Management in Parsippany, NJ says the New Year is “an ideal time to take a realistic look at where you are now, where you expect to be going forward, and how satisfied you are with both.” Are you working for a boss, doing all the work while watching them earn all the profits? Investigate the options available and ask yourself where you want to be in 5 years…an employee or the business owner.

  • Ask “Should I go?” The Society for Human Resources Management found that nearly three-fourths of employees are looking for a new job. Yates, the workplace author and consultant suggests that those in the hunt spend at least a half-hour each week learning about the art of starting a new business. Check Google on the Internet with questions such as How to Start an Answering Service, for valuable information of how to earn your goal as an independent business owner. “Start recognizing yourself as a financial entity that has to survive in the work force for at least half a century,” says Yates.

  • Create a folder on your desktop at home called “Career Management” and take stock of your abilities including sales, operations and business management. If you can run a business for someone else, you can run your own. Realize that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can hire the talent in areas where you are weak.

  • Update skills. “Ask yourself, ‘Do I need to learn a new computer skill or management skill this year?’ says Kenny of Adecco. “Create a personal learning agenda.”

  • Balance work and personal life. “If you neglect your children this year, you lose that time and never get it back” says Michaels. New opportunities have emerged in the TAS field whereby you can have your cake and eat it too. With VoIP, the Virtual Office is now available and affordable in today’s marketplace thus you can stay at home and be there for your children when they arrive from school. “Every individual has to ask, ‘Am I doing what I need to do for my work and my family this day? This week? This month? This year?”

The telephone answering service industry is alive with opportunity. It is a business with recurring cash flow, an industry with players who are not always keeping up with the times and can be run out of your home utilizing a host of rented equipment making it very affordable for a new start-up.

Steve Michaels of TAS Marketing can be reached at 800-369-6126 or His web site on hosting is located at Parts of this article were taken from, “Workers can keep resolution to reach top of career ladder” by Theresa M. McAlevy from the Record.


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