If you’re looking for a start-up business opportunity with small upfront costs, you might want to consider staring an outsourced call center service. As long as you have a place to work undisturbed without loud noises in the background, you can work from your own home with a minimal investment in equipment. Even if you start out with non-commercial equipment, chances are you’ll quickly make enough money to upgrade to better products.
Identifying Niches and Markets
Some businesses require more customer support than others. For example, a busy doctor’s office receives numerous calls on a daily basis. Depending on your interests and background, you may be able to offer your services to businesses in a wide variety of industries. This includes everything from law firms, to schools, to accounting firms, and even computer software vendors. In many cases, all you may need to do is look in your local phone book and send a letter of interest to businesses in your area.
Before you actually start accepting customers, it’s very important to decide how much you will charge and to write out all of your policies. You’ll want to clearly state when and how you will bill the customer, as well as set up a framework for how calls will be handled. It’s also helpful to discuss this with a lawyer to make sure that the language and design of your policies and contracts won’t cause you problems later on.
Unfortunately, when you start your own business, you are not exempt from taxes and all of the overhead associated with running a business. Even if you aren’t going to run a call center on a full time basis, it’s might be best to incorporate and obtain an employer ID number. This will help shield your personal assets, as well as help you to structure your life in a more professional way. Of course, the best advice comes from a tax advisor experienced in call center operations – if you’re serious about running a business, it’s best to consult one before you get started.
In the beginning, you won’t need much in the way of equipment – and much of what you’ll need you can probably find in your home. That said, having a hands free headset and a reliable phone connection are absolute essentials for your business. If you can’t afford specialized call center software, see if you can create some sort of template with your word processing application to help you manage customer communications and follow-ups.
Running a call center service requires a bit more effort than simply answering the phone. You’ll need to take steps to ensure that your business operates within legal guidelines. And even if you can’t afford expensive equipment, give some thought to what you’ll need and improvise. If you’re successful in satisfying your customers, chances are you’ll make enough money to upgrade your equipment and hire more staff members as your business grows.