As small business owners are quickly learning, outsourcing their answering service needs to a home-based answering service provider can really make things easier for them, and save a lot of money.
Clients who call a business and reach an answering machine or voicemail are less likely to leave a message. People prefer to talk to a "live" person, and that's a fact!
This virtual service has relatively low overhead, and is easy to run. And depending upon your quality of service and professionalism, you can earn a very healthy income doing this from your home office.
You will need to decide what level of service you wish to offer, whether it will be part time, full time, 24 hours or only during normal business hours, whether you will open on weekends or during the week. It is vital that you decide what hours and days you will be working before you take on your first clients.
Next, you should decide how many clients you want to take on, because that will dictate your equipment needs.
Fewer than about 10 clients would allow you to install a separate phone and phone line from the phone company for each client, which is the most cost effective way to provide this service to this number of clients. You will need to check with your phone company and find out if any limits to the number of phone lines you can have installed in your home exist in your area.
If you are considering more clients, then you would need to have a switchboard to make it more cost effective for you. Again, check with your phone company about leasing a switchboard.
Providing excellent customer service and a friendly phone manner is critical to your business. You should have excellent grammar and diction.
You clients could consist of anything from sole proprietors to small and medium businesses. Anyone who has to leave their business location (if they even have one) to do their job has a need for someone to take business calls.