This article includes a number of valuable recommendations on starting an answering and referral service.
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Creating a First-Rate Answering & Referral Service Business Plan
Business plans play a central role in the strategic formation of a startup answering and referral service.
A solid business plan should include verifiable industry data. If your business plan is based on unrealistic assumptions and best case scenarios, you will have done your answering and referral service a major disservice.
Instead, commit to creating the most precise business plan possible. For more information about answering and referral service business plans, take a look at what the experts say about business plan writing.
Before you open an answering and referral service in your town, it's a good idea to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of answering and referral services near you.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you are seriously contemplating launching an answering and referral service, it's essential that you learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an answering and referral service outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Want the scoop on finding somebody who runs an answering and referral service who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Guidelines for an Answering & Referral Service Acquisition
There are a lot of reasons why it may be preferable to acquire an answering and referral service instead of starting a new business venture.
An acquisition isn't necessarily a bed of roses. You'll need to thoroughly evaluate the factors involved with buying a business. First and foremost, it's important to make sure the business is the right fit for your personal and professional goals.
If the business is right for you, the assistance of a business broker will help all of the rest of the pieces of the process fall in place and you will be well on your way to owning a proven answering and referral service.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Franchising lets you take advantage of franchisor expertise and name recognition.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open an answering and referral service, you would be wise to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an answering and referral service, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to answering and referral services, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.