How to Start a Call Center

Three Parts:Setting Up a Call Center BusinessMarketing Your BusinessExpanding Your Call Center Business

Starting a call center business can be an effective way to earn income while operating your own business. It is possible to run a call center from your home, but you can also rent an office space. Working from home can be a simpler way to manage a call center because it can be expanded into a full-staffed office later.

Part 1
Setting Up a Call Center Business

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    Determine the type of call center you want to start. Do you want to do inbound calls, outbound calls, telemarketing, or web-enabled? The type of call center you operate is based upon the type of businesses you approach for contracts and the type of work you want to do.
    • Inbound calls might involve taking orders from customers, answering questions or providing tech support.
    • Outbound calls will entail selling a product or service or setting up appointments. You could also take surveys.
    • Telemarketing is advertising a product or service by describing key features or telling potential customers about special discounts.
    • A web-enabled service assists clients when they press a "talk" or "call" button on a website and the call comes through the computer. Customers may want more information before placing an order or need "help desk" types of services.[1]
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    Check local and state requirements. Start by contacting your state's Office of Finance and Taxation. File all necessary paperwork for starting a business and pay applicable fees to ensure you are in compliance with all regulations. Check your town's zoning restrictions by contacting the local zoning department if you are starting your business from your home.
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    Write out a business plan.[2] This may vary according to what type of call center you are starting. The business plan will include projected sales over specific periods of time, marketing activities and investments, expenses, cost of equipment, and employee salaries and benefits. See Wikihow's Write a Business Plan for more details. This plan will serve as a good reference as your business grows.
    • The business plan needs to be thorough and detailed, as it will also help you determine what you need financially. Preparing a business plan shows you are serious about the endeavor, and it can help you secure capital with agencies such as the Small Business Administration or with private investors.[3]
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    Invest in the necessary equipment. These items may include computers, office supplies, headsets, phones, telephone lines and a high-speed Internet connection. You will need to purchase call center software, which can be expensive, so make sure you research all your options.
    • Unless your client provides it, purchase software that will enable you to easily manage incoming and outgoing calls, track data and keep a call log. Check out Virtual Call Center by Five9, inContact Call Center by inContact and Aspect Zipwire by Aspect.[4]
    • You may also want invest in a separate telephone line that is dedicated solely to the call center business. Multiple lines may be required with expansion.

Part 2
Marketing Your Business

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    Contact businesses and other call centers that outsource their work to look for clients. Each company will have different requirements and different pay scales. Choose one or more companies based on what you think you can handle and the money you want to make. Start by contacting the inside sales department of large local companies that sell a variety of products or services, or do an online search for "call centers."
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    Research online for call center companies looking for at-home help. Do a search online for work-from-home customer service, telephone sales, survey takers, or tech support. Companies that hire this type of service include Arise, LiveOps and Working Solutions.
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    Advertise and network. Take out small print ads in local business journals and set up a business page on Facebook. A website describing your services will add to your professional reputation. Join local professional organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Call Center Network Group (CCNG), or the Association of Customer Contact Professionals (ACCP).

Part 3
Expanding Your Call Center Business

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    Hire additional employees. Advertise in your local paper as well as on Craig's List. Check with other call centers to find out what salaries are being paid. Look for people with call center experience who have excellent conversation skills and decision-making abilities.[5]
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    Locate to a larger building. You will not want to work out of your house once you have enough business to hire additional employees. Lease space in a building that does not have a lot of noise, has flexible floor space to expand with your company, and has reliable Internet and phone connections.[6]
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    Consider focusing on niche markets. You may want to specialize in operating a call center for doctors' offices, software corporations, or telecommunications providers. Then you can target these markets in your advertising and offer discounts for referrals.


  • Many companies allow call center professionals to work from home, so you can start your business as an independent contractor for other businesses until you can set up your own business.


  • This is a high stress job. People don't always behave the same way on the telephone that they do in person, as the anonymity afforded through telephone can cause people to be rude or abusive to call center operators.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Telephone
  • Office supplies
  • Headset
  • Call center software
  • Set up Kit

Article Info

Categories: Customer Relations