How to Start an Answering Service Business
If you are looking to start up your own answering service, then you could be on to a good thing! There are many small businesses and sole traders that work on very tight budgets and cannot afford to employ a full time receptionist.
We at www.theanswercentre.co.uk know all too well that small business owners, and especially sole traders, need to get their customer phone calls as quickly as possible to avoid losing their business. This is why our service is so good for small business owners who don't want to miss a call while they busy with clients or in a business meeting with potential new partners or suppliers.
Because there are millions of small businesses operating in the UK, this creates a good opportunity for you to start up an answering service. As long as you have a professional outlook and a pleasant telephone manner, you can start up your own answering service from home and start off by helping a few clients manage their business calls.
Start at home or hire an office?
If you were looking at bringing in an extra income while working from home, you could run this business from a home office or spare bedroom to begin with. Starting up doesn't require a lot of investment, but it does require having a reliable telephone and internet connection to ensure no calls are dropped.
You could decide to keep your new call answering business separate from your home by renting a small office somewhere in town. If you want to start a little bigger, then renting a decent sized office and hiring in staff to help you manage multiple clients is also an option. This could be a workable option if you are working around your family and the needs of your children. You could work the phones while your children at are school, then you could employ staff that like working evenings, or hire students that are looking for work around their studies.
Register your business
It makes sense to register your business with HMRC so that you look more professional to potential clients. This will also ensure that you pay the correct amount of tax via the self-assessment system.
Pricing and marketing
Research what other call answering providers charge for their services and set a realistic, cost-effective rate that will attract new customers. You may want to have a cheaper rate during regular working hours, but have a higher rate for any evening or weekend calls you take for those clients who work all hours and may need emergency calls covered, such as a plumber offering emergency call outs.
You can start of small and local by picking up new customers that attend local business networking meetings. Most often the people that attend these meetings are sole traders or small operators that will be glad of your help.