By an eHow Contributor
Many companies are investing in call centers, which are entities that employ a customer support group to handle the questions and concerns of the company’s clients and customers over the phone. Because both small and large companies are realizing the benefits of having call centers, starting a call center business of your own can be a very lucrative venture.
Study the call center industry. The Internet is a good starting point. The Small Business Administration provides a range of data from things to know before you start your business to the steps for executing an exit plan. Your local library is also a valuable resource. Consulting with current call center business owners may be useful as well.
Examine the four basic call center types: an in house call center is a group who caters to the customer service needs of that company alone,
outsource call centers provide client relation services for other companies, inbound call centers receive incoming communications from customers and outbound call centers attempt correspondence with clients via telephone. Learn the difference between the types and all that is required to establish each.
Determine the permits and licenses required in order to comply with state and federal regulations. Requirements for obtaining a business license may vary from state to state. Visit your state’s website or contact the appropriate government official to get this information. Not all businesses require federal licenses or permits, so check with the IRS.
Compare prices of equipment and services such as Internet and telephone. Go to websites that automatically compare the prices of the needed products and services.
Reevaluate the similarities and differences between the four basic call center types (in house, outsource, inbound and outbound) and decide which fit the needs of your company.
Define your company’s strategy and the methods you will apply to measure productivity, quality, customer and employee satisfaction. Contracting a third party company to provide services that monitor these aspects of your company may provide long term benefit.
Create a business plan. Outline your business’s goals, financial needs, logistics and staffing plan.
Choose a business mentor. SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business offers business advice to entrepreneurs. This advice can be obtained online, via individual face to face meetings or through low cost workshops.
Secure capital to begin your business. If you are unable to provide the funds from your own pocket, banks and government sponsored agencies are good resources. Before you begin your quest of acquiring funds, create your budget and refer to it when deciding on the adequate amount to request. You can also obtain the capital from sources a little closer to home by asking friends or family.
Select a location. You have heard the phrase “location, location, location.” This decision can make the difference between a top performing company and one that does not survive. If you plan to conduct business from your home, contact your city to inquire about city codes and whether or not they permit home based businesses. Also, if you live in a neighborhood governed by a Homeowner’s Association, find out if this business is allowed in your neighborhood. If you are looking to buy or rent a property to be used exclusively for your business, hire a realtor who specializes in commercial property. The knowledge that your realtor brings to the table can prevent you from making a bad investment.
Get clients! There are several proven methods to attract clients, but as a new business, the key is to find a method that will not break the bank.
networking is a system that can provide that for you. A good way to begin this process is to develop relationships with people in decision making positions. Many cities offer free or inexpensive networking events sponsored by local Chambers of Commerce.
Obtain the required licenses and permits. Many states are set up so that businesses may go through their website and apply online.
Purchase and install equipment. Secure Internet and telephone services. Look into technology contractors to assist with the set up of your equipment.
Hire and train staff. This step should not be taken lightly. Performing background checks on selected candidates is an advantageous way to aid in the choosing of high quality employees. If you would rather not perform this research yourself, consider hiring an employment agency.