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Starting Your Own Home-Based Answering Service Business
One of the most lucrative and easiest home–based businesses is the telephone answering service! Learn how to start and profit from an answering service business.


Getting Started
Types of Home-Based Answering Services
How to Obtain Clients
Your Home Office
10 Easy Steps to Organizing Your Business
The Art of Networking
Marketing Your Business
Additional Tips for Success
Start-up Costs and How to Fund Them
Getting Help from the SBA
Financial and Legal Considerations



One of the most lucrative and easiest home–based businesses is the telephone answering service! It is relatively inexpensive to set up and can allow you to earn thousands of dollars each year without having to leave the comfort of your home. A one-office operation can generate gross revenues of as much as $150,000 upwards in a year, depending on the number of telephones or switchboards in operation and the number of calls taken. 

The integral role played by the telephone as a business communication tool accounts for the growing importance of answering service businesses. All businesses, whether a physician's private practice, a small construction company, or a conglomerate, rely on the telephone as one of the fastest and most reliable communication tool in their businesses. 

This business can, therefore, have a wide range of potential customers. Anyone with a telephone and a busy schedule can become your client, although small businesses are emerging to be a very good target market. 

An in-home telephone answering service can be a real lifesaver to a small business.  Many small businesses have neither the time nor the means to take incoming calls during business hours when they are out on jobs -- yet those calls represent the very lifeblood of their business! They cannot afford an office; much less a secretary, but they certainly need those phone calls. Unless they can find a reliable and affordable answering service, they will probably have to do without (or ask people to call them only after 7 PM) or use an answering machine (which has a whole set of disadvantages).  

The best prospects for an answering service are those businesses and professionals that are "on call" 24 hours a day, such as doctors, repair service business owners like electricians and plumbers, among others. 

Ironically, technological advancement is what pushes this exciting opportunity. Fancy, complex phone–answering systems have left customers talking to computer generated voices, leaving messages on “voice mail” and pressing numerous telephone numbers to work their way through to conversing with an actual human being. 

While these systems “free” people up from the phones in a business, they frequently frustrate clients and potential customers. There is no guarantee that a client will leave an important message on the answering machine, and this could be a missed business opportunity. A lot of people simply do not like to talk to a machine. Unable to easily reach a human voice, many individuals simply go elsewhere for the services they need. There is also the possibility of a mechanical breakdown. More importantly, however, the answering machine cannot rely messages, sound interested in the caller's problem, or estimate when the call can be returned or when the service might be performed. 

Fortunately, employers are recognizing this problem and solving it by contracting people to answer the phones when they cannot do it themselves. That personal touch you can offer can mean the difference in obtaining or keeping a client. As a professional answering service business, you can take messages, deliver specific messages to callers, provide basic information, clarify the intent of calls and even arrange meetings with customers. 

This article will illustrate how you can set up this type of home­–based answering service business. It is your chance to talk— and earn money doing it! 

Recommended Books:

How to Start and Manage an Answering Service Business

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