How Do I Start an Answering Service Business?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2018
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Starting an answering service business involves drafting a business plan, calculating the amount of capital needed, and working with a legal professional to write contracts and protect the business from legal action. Before starting an answering service business locally, it is crucial to determine if there are enough potential customers to build a successful business upon. In addition, the vast majority of businesses require some amount of money to begin, and answering service businesses are rarely an exception. A lawyer can give advice regarding how to categorize your business to protect it or yourself from lawsuits, in addition to handling legal paperwork.

Before buying extra phones and ordering new lines, a new business idea should be thoroughly explored. Write a business plan and determine if that plan is viable through research. For example, a successful answering service business needs enough clients to keep the company profitable, but this will not happen if your area has little to no demand for answering services. Sometimes it is difficult to make such judgements by yourself, however, in which case hiring a professional who can help may be beneficial.


After confirming the demand of your services, calculate how much capital is needed to start. Add together the cost of phones and their individual lines, creating office space, and your estimated marketing budget. A new business can do without a lot of convenient technology and luxury items until it is comfortably profitable, but there are usually hundreds of small things that must be purchased for an answering service business to run properly. If you do not have enough money to start the business, explore small business loans.

Next, you might consider the different methods of marketing your new answering service business. You may need to directly reach out to companies and offer them your services, which can be accomplished by calling, sending postal mail or sometimes using e-mail. Handing out fliers, putting advertisements in directories or on benches, and asking friends to spread the word are other methods of advertising a new business. Some methods of advertising will work better than others.

There are legal aspects to owning a business that must usually be handled by professionals. A legal professional will be needed to draft contracts, determine the best legal structure, and much more. It is not unusual for a new business with minimum legal difficulties to work exclusively with one lawyer. Even if you choose not to do regular business with a lawyer, it is generally recommended to consult with one for advice on a new startup.



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