How to Start an Answering Service

a smiling woman wearing a headset.

Main Sections In This Post
Steps To Starting An Answering Service
Points to Consider
Knowledge Is Power
Featured Video


Overview: Starting an answering service requires careful planning and consideration. This guide will provide numerous examples, an overview of what to expect, and important issues to consider.

Additionally, we will offer valuable resources and information to assist you during the startup phase and as your business becomes operational.

Introduction: We have a wealth of information to share, so it may be beneficial to bookmark this page for future reference. If you find this post helpful, please share it with others!

Let’s get started with the steps.


Steps to Starting an Answering Service

1. Gaining An Overview

a.) Is Starting a Business the Right Step for You?

Running your own answering service can be an exciting prospect. You can be your own boss, make important decisions, and potentially earn a good income. However, it’s essential to ensure that starting an answering service is the right choice for you and that you have the right reasons for pursuing this path.

I recommend reading my article below to help you make an informed decision. It will highlight key points to consider and guide you toward making the right choice before taking further steps.

Look at the article below for valuable insights and ensure that starting an answering service aligns with your goals and aspirations.

See Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

b.) A Quick Overview of Owning an Answering Service

Running an answering service can be both rewarding and challenging. As an owner or operator, you’ll have various responsibilities to handle daily.

These may include answering phone calls, taking messages, providing customer support, and managing schedules.

However, it’s important to be aware of the challenges that come with this role. Meeting high call volumes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency, and maintaining exceptional customer service can be demanding.

Additionally, managing staffing levels, training employees, and handling unexpected emergencies can pose further challenges.

While running an answering service can offer opportunities for success, it requires dedication, strong organizational skills, and the ability to handle the pressure of a fast-paced environment.

Types of Answering Service Setups and Business Models

Virtual Answering Service:

In this setup, calls are answered remotely by a team of virtual receptionists. The business model typically offers various call-handling services on a subscription or pay-per-use basis.

On-Site Answering Service:

This setup involves having an in-house team of receptionists who handle calls on location. The business model may include charging clients based on the number of calls answered or offering customized packages.

Specialized Answering Service:

These setups cater to specific industries or niches, such as medical, legal, or real estate. The business model focuses on providing industry-specific expertise and may charge higher rates for specialized services.

Automated Answering Service:

This setup relies on automated systems, such as interactive voice response (IVR) technology, to handle incoming calls. The business model may involve charging clients based on the number of minutes used or offering subscription plans for different levels of automation.

Hybrid Answering Service:

This setup combines elements of virtual and on-site answering services. It may involve a mix of remote receptionists and an in-house team to provide a flexible and scalable service. The business model can vary, including subscription-based fees and per-call charges.

Each answering service setup and business model has its own advantages and considerations.

The choice depends on factors such as your target market, desired level of personalization, scalability requirements, and available resources.



  • Potential for a steady income stream through recurring clients and service contracts.
  • Flexibility in setting your own working hours and managing the business.
  • Opportunity to provide valuable customer support and enhance client satisfaction.
  • Possibility of scaling the business by adding more clients and expanding services.
  • Ability to leverage technology and automation to improve efficiency and call handling.


  • High demand for availability, including working evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Dealing with challenging or irate callers can be emotionally taxing.
  • Maintaining a reliable and efficient call center infrastructure can be costly.
  • Staffing and managing a team of receptionists may require additional time and resources.
  • Constantly staying updated with industry trends and technology advancements can be challenging.

It’s important to consider these pros and cons carefully to determine if running an answering service aligns with your goals.

2. Research

Answering Service Research

Gaining Insights for Starting an Answering Service

Gathering valuable information to guide your decision-making process before starting an answering service is crucial.

Quality information is essential as it helps you make informed choices and determine if this business venture suits you. A great way to obtain reliable insights is by connecting with industry professionals with firsthand experience.

Engaging with these knowledgeable individuals can provide priceless guidance based on their years of expertise. I’ve written an article with practical ideas to help you find and approach the right people.

I highly recommend reading the article linked below before launching your answering service to understand what you’re getting into. It will equip you with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions and set you up for success.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details.

Target Audience

Understanding Your Target Market for an Answering Service:

To effectively run an answering service, it is crucial to understand your target market—the people most likely to benefit from and be interested in your services.

By gaining insights into your target market, you can tailor your offerings to meet their specific needs and preferences, leading to improved advertising and sales outcomes.

Potential Interested Parties in an Answering Service:

Small and medium-sized businesses seeking professional call handling and customer support.

Medical professionals, such as doctors or dentists, who require reliable phone assistance for appointment scheduling and patient inquiries.

Legal firms seek a dependable answering service to handle client calls and provide efficient message relay.

Service-based industries, like HVAC or plumbing companies, requiring 24/7 call coverage and dispatch services.

E-commerce businesses aim to enhance customer experience by offering round-the-clock phone support.

Understanding your customers and catering to their unique requirements can boost your advertising efforts and sales performance. For more in-depth information, refer to my article, How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Looking at Financials:

Startup Costs, Revenues, and Profits for an Answering Service:

Startup Costs:

Estimating startup costs accurately is crucial for your answering service’s smooth launch and operation.

It’s essential to list all the necessary items and services, gather pricing information, and update the list as new considerations arise.

Factors such as the size of your operation, hiring employees versus working alone, and your chosen location will impact your startup costs.

Deciding whether to purchase new or used equipment will also affect your expenses.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on Estimating Startup Costs.

Sales and Profit:

Your sales and profits will depend on various factors:

  • The popularity and demand for your answering service.
  • Effective marketing strategies to raise awareness among the right target audience.
  • Generating enough sales to cover expenses and have sufficient profit.

Aiming for sales that exceed monthly expenses and leave room for your living costs is crucial.

In summary, your answering service’s success relies on achieving sufficient sales with a profit margin surpassing your monthly expenses.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue

It’s important to conduct further research using the provided lists as a starting point to gain a deeper understanding of the specific ideas and expectations associated with running an answering service.

Sample Lists

Sample Estimated Costs for a New Answering Service in the USA:

Office Space Rental: $1,500

Phone System and Equipment: $3,000

Computer Hardware and Software: $2,500

Furniture and Fixtures: $1,000

Initial Marketing and Advertising: $2,000

Licenses and Permits: $500

Insurance (General Liability, Professional Liability): $1,200

Initial Staff Training: $1,500

Website Development and Maintenance: $1,000

Miscellaneous Expenses (Stationery, Office Supplies): $500

Grand Total: $14,200

Sample Estimated Monthly Expenses for an Answering Service in the USA:

Staff Salaries and Benefits: $8,000

Rent and Utilities: $1,500

Phone and Internet Services: $500

Maintenance and Repairs: $200

Marketing and Advertising: $1,000

Software and Subscription Services: $500

Insurance (General Liability, Professional Liability): $300

Administrative and Office Expenses: $300

Grand Total: $12,300

Sample Revenue and Profit Projection for an Answering Service in the USA:

Average Monthly Revenue: $15,000

Monthly Expenses (as per previous section): $12,300

Gross Profit: $2,700

Note: The revenue and profit projection will vary based on the number of clients, pricing structure, call volume, and operational efficiency. This is a simplified sample projection for illustrative purposes only.

It’s important to conduct thorough market research and tailor these estimates based on your specific business model, location, and target market to obtain a more accurate projection.

4. Choosing The Right Business Location

Selecting the right location for your answering service can significantly impact its success.

Avoid areas with no demand for your services, as this can lead to failure even before you launch your business.

Opening in an area saturated with competition can make it challenging to generate sales.

Ideally, you want a location with sufficient demand and a reasonable level of competition.

Affordability is another crucial consideration. While operating in a highly populated area can provide more exposure, ensure that the increased expenses won’t outweigh your profitability.

Similarly, operating from a low-cost area may seem tempting, but assess whether there will be enough demand to sustain your business.

Choosing the right location is a vital factor in achieving success. Conduct thorough research to ensure you’re making the right choice for your answering service.

For more about business locations, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Choose a Business Name

Choosing the Right Business Name for Your Answering Service:

When selecting a name for your answering service, choosing something catchy, appropriate, and easy to remember is important.

Remember that the name you choose will likely stay with your company for a long time, so take the time to find one that fits your business and that you’ll be satisfied with both now and in the future.

Additionally, having a matching domain name for your online presence is crucial. Ensure that another business does not already register the name you desire.

Business Name Ideas for an Answering Service:





















Remember, this list is meant to spark your creativity and help you develop an original business name not already used by another company and is available for registration.

For this important step, see How to Choose a Business Name.

6. Register Your Company

The Importance of Registering Your Answering Service:

Registering your answering service is crucial to establishing your business legally and ensuring compliance with local regulations.

It provides various benefits, including:

Legitimacy: Registering your business gives it a legitimate and professional image, instilling confidence in potential clients and partners.

Legal Protection: Registering your answering service as a legal entity, such as an LLC or corporation, helps protect your personal assets in case of legal issues or debts.

Tax Compliance: Registering allows you to obtain a tax identification number to file taxes correctly and meet your financial obligations.

Considerations for Registering an Answering Service:

Business Structure: Determine the most suitable business structure for your answering service, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Consider factors like liability protection and ease of management.

Name Availability: Conduct a thorough search to ensure your desired business name is available and not already used by another company. Checking with the Secretary of State or similar authority is advisable.

Permits and Licenses: Depending on your location and the services you offer, you may need to obtain specific permits and licenses to operate legally. Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Permits and Licenses to Consider for an Answering Service:

Business License: Obtain a general business license from your local municipality.

Professional License: Check if your state requires a specific professional license for offering answering services in certain industries, such as healthcare or legal.

Call Center License: Some jurisdictions may have specific requirements or licenses for operating a call center.

Privacy and Data Protection Compliance: Familiarize yourself with data protection laws, such as HIPAA or GDPR, if you handle sensitive client information.

Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN): Apply for an EIN from the IRS if you plan to hire employees.

Local Permits: Research and obtain any additional local permits or certificates required by your city or county.

Remember to consult with local authorities or a business attorney to ensure you have the necessary permits and licenses to operate your answering service within the legal framework.

See, How to Register your Business for more.

7. Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate identity (ID) is a design that represents your answering service and creates a strong first impression. It is crucial because you want to leave a positive and professional impact on your customers.

A consistent and professional design across various components of your corporate ID is essential for impressing new and existing clients. These components may include:

Logo: Your unique logo serves as the visual representation of your answering service and helps customers recognize and remember your brand.

Business Cards: Professionally designed business cards provide contact information and create a lasting impression when networking or meeting clients.

Website: A well-designed and user-friendly website showcases your services, builds credibility, and serves as a central hub for information.

Stationery: Consistent design elements on letterheads, envelopes, and other stationary items reinforce your brand identity in written communication.

Business Sign: A visually appealing and clear business sign outside your office or storefront helps customers easily locate and recognize your presence.

Promotional Items: Branded items like pens, notepads, or keychains with your logo can serve as useful giveaways and increase brand visibility.

Maintaining a cohesive corporate ID across these components enhances your professionalism, builds trust, and reinforces your brand in customers’ minds.

Consider investing in professional design services to create a memorable and visually appealing corporate ID that reflects the values and image of your answering service.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a vital document that serves multiple purposes for your answering service. It helps you secure funding and attract potential investors. It also acts as a roadmap to guide you through the startup phase and the ongoing operation of your business.

Writing a business plan requires time and effort because you’re creating a vision of what your answering service will be like once it’s up and running. It involves carefully expressing the details and considering various aspects of your business.

The effort put into creating a business plan is worthwhile because it clarifies what you need to get started and offers a clear vision of how to operate your answering service effectively.

When creating your business plan, remember that you have different options available. You can start from scratch, hire a professional, use a template, or utilize business planning software.

Regardless of your chosen approach, actively participating is crucial, especially if you decide to work with a professional. This ensures that your business plan stands out and effectively communicates the unique nature of your answering service.

Remember that your business plan can evolve and be optimized as you gain experience. Regularly reviewing and making necessary adjustments to the document is advisable to align with changes in your business or operations.

Sample Business Plan for An Answering Service

I. Executive Summary

Company Name: AnsweredRight

Mission Statement: AnsweredRight aims to offer reliable, efficient, and cost-effective answering services to businesses of all sizes, helping them stay connected to their customers 24/7, increase customer satisfaction and enhance their professional image.

II. Company Description

AnsweredRight is an answering service providing businesses with professional call answering, call forwarding, appointment scheduling, and customer support services. We strive to enable businesses to focus on their core competencies while we handle their communication needs effectively and professionally.

III. Market Analysis

Industry Overview

The answering service industry is a growing market, especially due to the trend of outsourcing non-core tasks. With the rise of digital commerce and the increasing need for around-the-clock customer service, the demand for answering services is on the rise.

Target Market

Our target market includes small to medium-sized businesses across various industries, such as medical, legal, e-commerce, IT services, etc., who lack the resources or need to offer 24/7 customer service.

Competitor Analysis

Our key competitors are companies providing similar services. We differentiate ourselves through personalized service, leveraging advanced technology, and competitive pricing.

IV. Organization and Management

AnsweredRight is led by an experienced team with telecommunications, customer service, and business operations backgrounds. The organizational structure includes a CEO, Operations Manager, HR Manager, Sales & Marketing Manager, and a team of professional telecommunication operators.

V. Services

We offer:

  1. 24/7 Call Answering Services
  2. Customer Support Services
  3. Message Taking & Delivery
  4. Call Forwarding
  5. Appointment Scheduling
  6. Emergency Dispatching

VI. Marketing and Sales Strategy

Marketing Strategy

We will leverage online marketing channels such as SEO, content marketing, and social media advertising. We will also participate in local business networking events and trade shows.

Sales Strategy

Our sales strategy will revolve around demonstrating the value of our services through free trials and offering scalable plans to suit businesses of varying sizes.

VII. Financial Projections

We expect steady growth in the first three years. Our revenue will primarily come from monthly subscription fees from our clients. As we grow our client base and add more services, we project an increase in revenue and profitability.

Year 1:

Revenue: $350,000 Expenses: $250,000 Net Income: $100,000

Year 2:

Revenue: $500,000 Expenses: $325,000 Net Income: $175,000

Year 3:

Revenue: $700,000 Expenses: $420,000 Net Income: $280,000

VIII. Funding Request

We are seeking $200,000 in funding to cover initial setup costs, technology investment, marketing, and operational expenses. In exchange, we offer an equity stake in the business.

IX. Exit Strategy

In case of a successful run, we plan to scale the business across the country, potentially going public or selling to a larger player in the industry.

X. Conclusion

AnsweredRight is poised to capitalize on the growing demand for professional answering services.

With our business model, operational strategy, and market understanding, we believe we can provide superior value to our clients while generating significant returns for our investors.

For information on creating your business plan, see,  How to Write a Business Plan.

9. Set up Your Banking

When selecting a bank for your answering service, consider opting for a nearby bank that specializes in serving business owners.

Opening a dedicated business account offers several advantages. It allows you to separate your business expenses from personal spending, making it easier to track your business finances and provide evidence during tax audits.

Building a professional relationship with your banker is beneficial. They can provide assistance and advice if you require funding for your answering service, and they can expedite loan processes.

Additionally, applying for a merchant account is advisable, which enables you to accept credit and debit card payments from your clients. A positive relationship with your banker can streamline setting up a merchant account.

By choosing a bank that understands the needs of business owners, you can access the necessary financial services and support for your answering service.

Take the time to research and compare different banks, considering their proximity, business-friendly services, and reputation for excellent customer service.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at, What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

10. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Securing the necessary funds to start and operate your answering service is critical in turning your business idea into a reality.

Several funding options are available to consider:

Traditional Lenders:

Approach banks or credit unions that offer small business loans. They may require a solid business plan, collateral, and credit history.

Private Loans:

Explore borrowing from family, friends, or acquaintances who believe in your business venture. Clearly define loan terms and repayment plans to maintain transparency.


Seek potential investors interested in supporting your answering service in exchange for equity or a share of future profits. Be prepared to present a compelling business plan and growth potential.

Selling Assets:

Consider selling personal assets or unused business equipment to generate capital for your answering service.


Determine if you have valuable assets, such as property or equipment, to be offered as collateral to secure a loan.

When meeting with a loan officer, consider the following considerations:

Clearly articulate your business plan and financial projections.

Present your expertise and industry knowledge to instill confidence.

Be prepared to answer questions about your target market, competition, and growth strategies.

Sample list of documents needed to apply for a business loan for a NEW answering service:

Business plan

Personal and business tax returns

Financial statements (income statement, balance sheet)

Bank statements

Personal and business credit reports

Legal documents (licenses, permits, registrations)

Collateral documentation (property deeds, equipment titles)

Resume and references

Each funding option has its requirements and considerations, so thoroughly research and assess which option best aligns with your specific needs and circumstances.

See, Getting a Small Business Loan for more.

11. Software Setup

Software Considerations for Your Answering Service:

Researching and choosing the right software is crucial for the smooth operation of your answering service. Here are important points to consider:

Ease of Implementation:

Starting with a software program from scratch is easier than switching to a new system after your data is already in another program. Choose a software solution that aligns with your long-term needs to avoid disruptions in the future.

Demo and Reviews:

Look for software providers that offer demos or free trials. Take advantage of these to assess the user interface and functionality. Additionally, read reviews and explore forums to learn about other user’s experiences with the software.

Expense Tracking and Tax Preparation:

Research software options for efficiently tracking expenses and preparing financial documents for tax filing. Consult with your bookkeeper or accountant to ensure the software integrates well with your accounting practices and meets your needs.

You can make an informed decision when selecting the software for your answering service by conducting thorough research, exploring demos, and considering user reviews.

A reliable and user-friendly software system will streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and facilitate accurate financial management.

Here are some software packages to consider:

PBX Systems:

  • Asterisk
  • FreePBX
  • 3CX
  • Avaya IP Office

Call Center Software:

  • Five9
  • Genesys Cloud
  • Zendesk Talk
  • Talkdesk
  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software:

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Zoho CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Pipedrive

Virtual Receptionist Software:

  • Ruby Receptionists
  • Moneypenny
  • Abby Connect
  • Nexa Receptionists

Accounting and Invoicing Software:

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • FreshBooks
  • Wave
  • Zoho Books

Team Collaboration and Communication Software:

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Workspace
  • Zoom
  • Trello

Appointment Scheduling Software:

  • Calendly
  • Acuity Scheduling
  • Setmore
  • Square Appointments

Remember to assess your specific needs and requirements when choosing software packages for your answering service.

It’s important to consider the software’s features, scalability, integration capabilities, and user-friendliness to ensure it aligns well with your business operations and goals.

Check out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages for an answering service.

12. Get The Right Business Insurance

When seeking insurance coverage for your answering service, there are several important concerns to remember.

These include:

Liability Coverage:

Ensure you have adequate general liability insurance to protect against potential accidents or injuries on your premises. This coverage should include protection for customers, employees, and anyone at your business location.

Professional Liability Insurance:

Consider obtaining professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, which provides coverage in case of claims related to mistakes, errors, or negligence in your service delivery.

Property Coverage:

Assess the need for property insurance to safeguard your business property, equipment, and any physical assets associated with your answering service.

Home-Based Business Insurance:

If you plan to operate or manage your answering service from your home, inform your home insurance agent about your business activities. This is important to avoid potential conflicts or nullifying your existing home insurance policy.

Cyber Liability Insurance:

Given the sensitive nature of client data handled by an answering service, consider cyber liability insurance to protect against data breaches, cyberattacks, or privacy-related claims.

Business Interruption Insurance:

Evaluate the need for business interruption insurance, which can cover lost income and ongoing expenses if your answering service experiences a significant disruption or cannot operate temporarily.

Consult with an Insurance Broker:

Work with a competent insurance broker who specializes in business insurance. They can guide you through the process, assess your needs, and ensure you have appropriate coverage for your answering service.

Remember to discuss your specific requirements with an insurance professional to address any unique concerns related to your answering service.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance. You can also browse the latest Google Search Results for answering service Business Insurance.

13. Physical Setup

Setting up the Workspace for Your Answering Service:

When setting up the workspace for your answering service, focus on creating an organized and efficient environment. Here are some key considerations:

Layout and Organization:

Design the workspace layout to maximize efficiency and ease of operation. Arrange desks, chairs, and equipment in a way that promotes productivity and collaboration among your team members.

Business Signage:

Install a visible and attractive business sign to help attract clients to your answering service. Additionally, display any necessary signs, such as entrance signs or waiting area directions, to provide clear guidance to visitors.

Office Equipment and Supplies:

Equip your office with the necessary tools and supplies for efficient operation.

This includes reliable phone systems, computers, headsets, and software for the answering service industry. Stock up on stationery, office supplies, and other resources needed for day-to-day operations.

Organization and Productivity:

Maintain an organized workspace by implementing filing systems, labeling, and storage solutions. This will help you stay focused, locate information quickly, and streamline your workflow.

By setting up an organized and well-equipped workspace for your answering service, you can enhance productivity and professionalism and provide a pleasant working environment for you and your team.

See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

14. Creating a Website

Having a website for your answering service offers several benefits:

Online Presence:

Establishes a professional online presence for your business.

Makes it easier for potential clients to find and contact you.

Credibility and Professionalism:

Enhances your credibility and showcases professionalism.

Builds trust with potential clients by having a professional online representation.

Information Hub:

Acts as a central hub for clients to access detailed information about your services.

Provides a platform to share your expertise, showcase testimonials, and highlight your unique offerings.

24/7 Accessibility:

Allows potential clients to access information about your answering service at any time, even outside of regular business hours.

Enables clients to gather information and make inquiries at their convenience.

Marketing and Promotion:

Provides a platform for marketing and promoting your answering service.

Helps you reach a wider audience, attract new clients, and stay ahead of the competition.

Customer Convenience:

Offers a convenient way for clients to learn about your services, pricing, and contact details.

Enables clients to submit inquiries, request quotes, or even sign up for your services directly through the website.

Competitive Edge:

Sets you apart from competitors who may not have a website.

Gives you a competitive advantage by showcasing your professionalism and accessibility.

A well-designed and informative website can establish a strong online presence, attract new clients, and provide a convenient and professional experience for your existing customers.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business.

15. Create an External Support Team

An external professional support team can be invaluable for your answering service. These individuals are not on your payroll but provide advice and services on a per-use, contract, or hourly basis. Here’s what you need to know:

Importance of an External Support Team:

An external support team comprises professionals offering specialized expertise in various areas. They can provide guidance, advice, and services that complement your answering service’s needs.

Building Professional Relationships:

You don’t need all the team members in place before starting your business. Building strong professional relationships takes time, so it’s an ongoing process. Invest in networking, attending industry events, and seeking referrals to connect with reliable professionals.

Key Team Members:

Your external support team may include:

  • Accountant: Helps with financial management, bookkeeping, and tax compliance.
  • Lawyer: Offers legal advice, helps with contracts and agreements, and ensures compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Financial Advisor: Guides financial planning, investments, and strategies to support business growth.
  • Marketing Specialist: Assists with developing marketing strategies, branding, and promotional campaigns.
  • Technical Advisors: Offer expertise in technology, software, and infrastructure to optimize your operations.
  • Consultants: Provide industry-specific advice and recommendations to improve your answering service.

A strong external support team means you can rely on their expertise when needed, benefiting from their specialized knowledge and experience.

As your answering service grows, these professionals can help navigate challenges and maximize opportunities for success. Continuously nurturing these relationships ensures ongoing support for your business.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

16. Hiring Employees

Operating an Answering Service and Job Positions to Consider:

Initially, running your answering service independently may be feasible without hiring employees. This approach helps minimize payroll expenses, especially in the early stages.

However, as your business grows, managing and operating it alone may become challenging. Hiring employees can significantly enhance productivity when you find the right individuals for the job.

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your answering service grows and becomes successful:

Call Operators: Handle incoming calls, provide customer support, and manage call routing.

Receptionists: Greet clients, schedule appointments, and assist with administrative tasks.

Sales Representatives: Generate leads, convert prospects into clients, and promote your answering service.

Quality Assurance Specialists: Ensure high service standards by monitoring call quality and providing feedback.

IT Support: Maintain and troubleshoot technical systems, software, and equipment.

Marketing Specialists: Develop marketing strategies, manage online presence, and attract new clients.

Administrative Assistants: Provide administrative support, manage paperwork, and assist with office tasks.

Human Resources: Handle employee recruitment, onboarding, training, and personnel management.

Accountants: Manage your answering service’s financial records, invoicing, and budgeting.

Legal Services: Consult with lawyers to ensure compliance with regulations, contracts, and legal matters.

Outsourced Services: Consider outsourcing tasks like bookkeeping, IT support, or marketing to specialized service providers.

As your answering service grows, evaluating the need for these job positions or outsourced services can help streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure the continued success of your business.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.


Points To Consider

Getting Customers Through The Door

For your answering service to thrive, it’s crucial to attract customers.

This can be more challenging when your operation is new and unfamiliar to people. However, as time goes on and you gain more marketing experience, it will become easier, especially if customers appreciate your services.

I recommend reading the following article to help you get customers through the door as a new business.

It provides valuable ideas and strategies to effectively attract customers and promote your answering service. By implementing these suggestions, you can increase awareness of your services and establish a solid customer base.

Remember, customer acquisition is a continuous effort, and with persistence and effective marketing, your answering service will have a greater chance of success.

See our article How To Get Customers Through the Door; you’ll find a few ideas you can use.

Marketing Ideas

Marketing your answering service is an ongoing process vital to generating revenue.

You don’t necessarily need to hire an expensive marketing agency. Instead, focus on creating awareness and seizing opportunities to promote your business. Here are some key points:

Continuous Marketing:

View marketing as a continuous effort rather than a one-time task. Consistently promote your answering service to maintain a steady flow of potential clients.

Effective Techniques:

Invest in effective marketing techniques that align with your target audience.

This can include online strategies like social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing and offline approaches such as networking and attending industry events.

 Budget-Friendly Options:

You can effectively market your answering service without breaking the bank.

Utilize free or low-cost methods, such as creating a professional website, utilizing social media platforms, leveraging word-of-mouth referrals, and distributing informative brochures or business cards.

Seizing Opportunities:

Capitalize on opportunities to promote your answering service whenever they arise.

This can be through community events, partnerships with complementary businesses, offering special promotions, or participating in relevant online forums or groups.

Effective marketing builds awareness and attracts potential clients to your answering service.

By consistently implementing targeted marketing techniques and taking advantage of opportunities, you can increase visibility, generate revenue, and achieve long-term success.

See our marketing section for articles that will provide ideas to bring awareness to your answering service.

Skill Set:

Assessing your skills and determining your ability to run an answering service is important.

If you lack a necessary skill, remember that you can either learn it or hire someone with that expertise.

Evaluating your skill set ensures you can successfully handle the various aspects of operating an answering service.

Essential Skills for an Answering Service Owner:

Strong Communication Skills:

Communicating effectively with clients, team members, and other stakeholders is crucial for an answering service.

Excellent Customer Service:

Providing exceptional customer service is vital for building and maintaining client relationships in the answering service industry.

Time Management:

Time management and prioritizing tasks are essential to meet clients’ needs and maintain smooth operations.

Problem-Solving Abilities:

Analyzing situations, thinking critically, and finding effective solutions are key when handling diverse client inquiries and resolving issues.

Attention to Detail:

Paying close attention to details ensures accuracy in message taking, call routing, and other important aspects of an answering service.

Technology Proficiency:

Using phone systems, call management software, and other technology tools is essential for smooth operation.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

Adapting to changing circumstances and handling different types of calls and client requirements is important in the dynamic field of answering services.

Organization and Multitasking:

Being organized and able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously helps maintain efficiency and deliver prompt responses to clients.

Professionalism and Poise:

Maintaining a professional demeanor, even during challenging or stressful situations, is crucial for representing the answering service effectively.

Sales and Marketing Skills:

Basic sales and marketing knowledge can be valuable in promoting your answering service and acquiring new clients.

Having a combination of these essential skills or the willingness to develop them will contribute to your success as an owner of an answering service.


A List of Equipment You May Need for an Answering Service:

Telephone Systems: Multiple phone lines and extensions to handle incoming and outgoing calls efficiently.

Headsets: Comfortable and reliable headsets for call operators to ensure clear communication.

Computers: Desktop or laptop computers for managing calls, accessing client information, and running necessary software.

Internet Connection: Reliable high-speed internet connection to ensure uninterrupted communication and access to online resources.

Call Management Software: Software specifically designed for call routing, message taking, and tracking call activity.

CRM Software: Customer Relationship Management software to manage client information, track interactions, and maintain a database of contacts.

Voicemail Systems: Voicemail setup to handle calls outside business hours or when operators are unavailable.

Fax Machines: Fax machines or online fax services for sending and receiving faxes as required.

Printers and Scanners: Printing and scanning equipment for document management and record-keeping purposes.

Office Furniture: Desks, chairs, and workstations for call operators and administrative staff.

File Storage and Organization: Filing cabinets or digital file storage solutions to securely organize and store client information.

Backup Power Supply: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or backup generator to ensure continuity of operations during power outages.

Networking Equipment: Routers, switches, and cabling to establish a local network connection within the office.

Security Systems: Security cameras, access control systems, and alarms protect the premises and ensure the safety of the equipment.

Office Supplies: Basic office supplies include pens, paper, notepads, folders, and stationery.

Remember, the specific equipment needed may vary depending on the scale and requirements of your answering service.

When acquiring the necessary equipment, assessing your needs and considering factors such as call volume, team size, and technological requirements are important.



This section will provide valuable resources to support your answering service while it operates.

These resources enhance your understanding of the industry and offer helpful tips for improving your business.

Utilizing these resources lets you stay informed about industry trends, gain valuable insights, and implement strategies to optimize your answering service operations.

Industry Trends and Statistics

Looking at industry trends and statistics for your answering service offers several benefits.

It helps you stay informed about market conditions, identify emerging opportunities, make business decisions, and stay competitive.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to an answering service.

Top Answering Service

Looking at established answering services can inspire you to identify gaps in the industry that you can address in your own business.

It also helps you recognize any areas you may have overlooked or improvements that can be made within your operations.

See the latest search results for the top answering servicees.

The Future of the Answering Service Industry

Researching the industry’s future is beneficial for someone looking to start an answering service.

It provides insights into emerging trends, potential growth opportunities, and market demands. Understanding the industry’s future enables you to make informed decisions and position your business for long-term success.

See the search results for the future of the answering service industry.


Researching industry prices when starting an answering service provides several benefits.

It helps you understand pricing trends, competitive rates, and market expectations. This knowledge allows you to set competitive prices, maximize profitability, and attract customers effectively in your new business venture.

See the latest Answering Service Prices.

Answering Services for Sale

Buying an existing answering service already in operation has advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know:

Benefits of Buying an Established Answering Service:

Immediate Revenue: You start earning income from the day you take over the business.

Skip the Startup Phase: By acquiring an established service, you bypass the challenges and uncertainties of starting from scratch.

Proven Business Model: You know that the business works and has the potential for success.

Financial Insights: You can access existing revenue, profit, and expense information.

Existing Customer Base: The business already has a customer base, providing a foundation for ongoing revenue.

Established Reputation: The business has built a reputation, which can help attract and retain customers.

Disadvantages of Buying an Existing Answering Service:

Higher Cost: Purchasing an established business usually comes with a higher price tag due to the goodwill associated with the customer base.

Potential Customer Loss: If you make significant changes to how the business operates, you risk losing customers.

Inherited Reputation: When buying a business, you inherit its reputation, including any negative aspects.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully when considering buying an existing answering service.

Conduct thorough due diligence, assess the financials and customer base, and consider the potential for growth and your ability to make necessary changes to suit your business goals.

See Answering Service – Businesses for sale to browse the latest listings.

Answering Service Franchise Opportunities

Buying an answering service franchise has advantages and disadvantages, but it’s worth exploring as an alternative to starting from scratch. Here’s what you should know:

Pros of Buying an Answering Service Franchise:

Proven Business Model: You can follow the franchise’s corporate office’s established plan, giving you a blueprint for success.

Existing Reputation and Marketing: Benefit from the franchise’s existing reputation and marketing efforts, which can help attract customers.

Comprehensive Knowledge: Before diving in, you gain valuable insights into every aspect of the business.

Corporate Support: Enjoy support from the corporate office, providing guidance and assistance.

Cons of Buying an Answering Service Franchise:

Higher Cost: Purchasing a franchise can be expensive, typically involving initial fees and ongoing royalty payments.

Limited Autonomy: Making significant changes to the business requires approval from the corporate office, restricting your flexibility.

Approved Products and Services: You must adhere to the franchise’s guidelines and limitations regarding the products and services you offer.

Operating within the Agreement: Your business operations are bound by the terms outlined in the franchise agreement.

Ongoing Franchise Fees: Franchisees are typically required to pay ongoing fees to the franchisor.

Carefully evaluate the pros and cons of buying an answering service franchise to determine if it aligns with your goals and resources.

Thoroughly review the franchise agreement, understand the financial obligations, and assess the level of support and restrictions the franchisor imposes.

See Answering Service franchise opportunities to browse the latest listings.


Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

Gaining knowledge is a powerful tool when you apply it effectively! Luckily, a wealth of online information about the answering service industry is available.

You can access valuable resources to support your research, startup phase, and ongoing business operations by exploring the links provided in the following sections. These resources offer insights, tips, and guidance that can contribute to your success.

A Day in the Life

Gain Insights into the Life of an Answering Service Owner:

Discover valuable tips and insights from industry professionals on what to expect in a typical day as an answering service owner. This resource provides a comprehensive overview, helping you confidently prepare and navigate your business’s daily operations.

See the search results for a day in the life of answering service owners.

Answering Service Owner’s Interviews

Unlocking Valuable Insights through Interviews with Answering Service Business Owners:

Explore this section featuring interviews with experienced business owners in the answering service industry. These interviews offer vital information and perspectives, providing valuable insights and a deeper understanding of the industry.

Take the time to dive into this section to gain valuable knowledge and prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

See the search results for Interviews of answering service owners.


Staying Informed with Answering Service Publications:

Publications are a valuable resource to stay up-to-date with the latest information in the answering service industry. Explore these publications to gain insights, stay informed, and keep pace with the industry’s ever-evolving landscape.

See the search results for publications related to an answering service.


Participating in answering service forums allows one to join discussions on current industry topics. By actively participating in these forums, you can foster relationships wi

See the latest search results for the top answering service forums.


Enhance Your Skills and Stay Current with Answering Service Courses:

Enrolling in courses related to the answering service industry offers a valuable opportunity to learn and improve your skillset. These courses provide updated knowledge and insights, helping you stay current with industry trends and enhance your expertise.

See the latest courses related to running an answering service.


Stay Informed and Inspired with Answering Service Blogs:

Subscribing to answering service blogs is an excellent way to generate ideas and stay updated with the industry. By subscribing to multiple blogs, you can curate a valuable collection of sources that provide a continuous stream of relevant and informative content for your benefit.

Remember to prioritize the blogs that consistently deliver value and unsubscribe from those that no longer meet your needs. Embrace this resource to access a wealth of information you can utilize to enhance your understanding and make informed decisions in the answering service industry.

Look at the latest search results for answering service blogs to follow.


Tap into Valuable Insights with Answering Service Books:

Books serve as a valuable source of information to assist you in starting an answering service. Delve into these resources to gain valuable insights and guidance for your entrepreneurial journey.

The latest books about starting an answering service are listed on Amazon


Stay Informed with Answering Service News:

Keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the answering service industry by following news sources. Set up alerts to receive notifications whenever the media cover new developments. Stay in the know and stay ahead.

See what’s in the news related to an answering service?



Gain Valuable Tips and Insights through Answering Service Videos:

Explore videos about the answering service industry that provide tips and insights. Additionally, take advantage of related videos suggested by YouTube, as they often cover topics you may not have considered, expanding your knowledge and understanding.

See the links to YouTube Videos Below.