Do you want to start a telemarketing company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a telemarketing business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample telemarketing company business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample telemarketing company marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for telemarketing companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a telemarketing business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Table of Content
- Why Start a Telemarketing Company?
- What is Telemarketing?
- Starting a Telemarketing Company – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Starting a Telemarketing Company – Legal Matters
- Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Telemarketing Company?
- Starting a Telemarketing Company – Technical and Manpower Details
- Starting a Telemarketing Company – The Marketing Plan
Why Start a Telemarketing Company?
One of the surest ways of becoming financially stable and rich is to start your own business. No doubt it can be pretty tough to start a business from the scratch and see the business grow into a conglomerate, but you just have to do it if you want the reward it brings.
The advent of the internet and perhaps the growth of technology cum the ICT industry have made it possible for entrepreneurs to start several businesses in any part of the world and still make millions of dollars annually. One of the businesses you can start by leveraging on the growth of technology cum the ICT industry is telemarketing business. One good thing about telemarketing is that you are not going to be restricted to only clients from your country; you can also get juicy outsourcing deals from abroad.
What is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing is all about marketing goods or services via the telephone -basically outbound calls to a target market. The startup capital for a telemarketing business is considered to be on the high side because of the amount required to setup a standard call centre and the money required to run and manage the call centre. Beyond every reasonable doubt, call centre equipment can be expensive but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a viable and profitable business especially if you know how to secure good outsourcing deals.
Telemarketing business is one of many businesses that in recent time is not location bound; a telemarketing company can be located in China or India and work for clients in the United Kingdom or the United States of America. So, if you have done the required feasibility studies and market research, then you might want to venture into this business.
Starting a Telemarketing Company – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
Telemarketing is operated from a call center and a call center is a centralized office facility that is used for the purpose of receiving or transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone; it could be inbound call center, outbound call center or both.
An inbound call centre basically handles incoming calls from clients while and outbound call center is all about making calls to clients and potential clients for the purpose of marketing their products or services or to pass information to people via telephone. Basically, the services of outbound call centers revolve around telemarketing, solicitation of charitable or political donations, debt collection and market research et al.
It is on record that the earliest call centers were created during the 1960s, and were known as “Private Automated Business Exchanges” (PABX). So also the earliest example of a modern call centre was in the UK at the Birmingham Press and Mail. They had a GEC PABX 4 ACD, installed in 1965. It is important to state that the coining of the term “call center” is more recent, with the first published use of the term in 1983.
Players in the Telemarketing and Call Center industry provide customer care services and telemarketing services on a contract or fee basis. Telemarketers use telephone or email to promote clients’ products or services, take orders, solicit contributions or provide information on behalf of clients. Customer care services provide phone-based services and assistance to customers of clients. Industry operators do not own the products or provide the services they represent.
From the result of a research carried out in the United States, the Telemarketing and Call Centers industry is concentrated in the Southeast, West and Mid-Atlantic regions reasons being that these areas are the three most populated regions in the United States, providing a large and stable workforce. These regions also provide affordable real estate that can be used to establish call centers.
Some state and local governments even offer tax and job-creation incentives to attract investors interested in building a call center. The Southeast region has the highest concentration of industry establishments with 24.9 percent of US locations. Florida leads the region, housing 10.3% of domestic locations on its own. In this region, states such as North Carolina and Kentucky offer tax incentives to draw call center businesses to the state.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 25,911 registered independent call center businesses responsible for employing about 484,364 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $21bn annually. The industry is projected that grow at 1.9 percent annually. In the United States of America, the companies with the largest market share in the industry are Convergys and West Corporations.
The Telemarketing and Call Center industry is indeed witnessing a steady growth over the years especially in countries such as the United States, China, India, Philippines and even in the United Kingdom. Some players in this industry prefer to build their call centers in places where they can maximize profits; countries like India, China and The Philippines readily comes to mind.
One good thing about starting a telemarketing company is that even if you decide to start it in the United States of America, your market will not be restricted to businesses in the U.S.; the world will be your target market. Many thanks to the internet that has made the world a global village. All you need to do is to strategically position your telemarketing call center brand on the internet and you will be amazed at the rate people and businesses will be interested in outsourcing their customer care or telemarketing related services to your organization.
Starting a Telemarketing Company – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who require the services of telemarketing call center companies is not restricted to corporate organizations who are into sale of products and services, but also individuals who are interested in promoting their image cum brand. For instance, you will notice that some celebrities and even politicians pump money into telemarketing call centers so as to enable them trend on the internet and in the heart of their target audience.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your telemarketing call center company, then you should make it all encompassing. It should include manufacturing companies, insurance companies, banks, corporate organizations, political parties cum politicians, government agencies, celebrities, sports lottery companies, schools, NGOs and even religious organizations (especially during fund raising campaigns) et al.
List of Niche ideas Within the Starting a Telemarketing Company – A Complete Guide That You Can Specialize in
It is important to state there are no niche areas in the telemarketing line of business simply because telemarketing is a niche idea in the telemarketing and call centers industry.
We are not ruling out the fact that a telemarketing company may decide to specialize in marketing products or services for specific industries. For example, a telemarketing company may choose to specialize in marketing the products and services of players in the health and medical industry or a sport lottery company.
The Level of Competition in the Telemarketing and Call Center Industry
The level of competition in the telemarketing and call center industry to some extent depends on the capacity of your telemarketing call center company and how well – equipped your call center is. If you can successfully create a unique niche for your telemarketing call center company, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
For instance, if you are the only telemarketing call center company that specializes in marketing the products and services for the health and medical industry or a sport lottery company in your location, you are sure of monopolizing that aspect of the business; your competitors can even sub – contract jobs to you to help them deliver.
It is a known fact that when it comes to a telemarketing call center company, distance is never a barrier when competing for clients. What most clients want is result, hence they are ready to hire telemarketing call center companies no matter the part of the world they operate from as long as they have good track record and can deliver excellent results.
But over and above, there are several telemarketing call centers scattered all around the United States and in the world. So, if you choose to start your own telemarketing call center business in the United States of America, you will definitely meet stiff competitions not just only amongst telemarketing call center companies in the United States, but also all over the globe. Besides, there are larger telemarketing call center companies that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for clients.
List of Well – Known Brands in the Telemarketing Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that accomplish better or are better regarded by the customers and general public than the others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading telemarketing call center companies in the United States of America and also in the globe;
- TeleContact Resource Services
- Sound Telecom
- GenSales Telemarketing Company
- 5 Star Telemarketing Company
- West Telemarketing Company
- OPK Telemarketing Company
- Telemarketing appointments.com
- Infinity Customer Care Solutions
- Kick Start Sales Force
- 121 Direct Marketing
- All West Call Center
- Tele – Direct
- Specialty Answering Service
- Xact Tele – solutions
- Answer Connect
- Call Experts
- Contact One
- CMS Call Center
The Telemarketing and Call Center industry is indeed observing steady growth over the years expecially in countries such as the United States, China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Philippines and even in the United Kingdom. Though some players in this industry would prefer to build their telemarketing call centers in places where they can maximize profits.
One good thing about starting a telemarketing call center company is that even if you decided to start it in the United States of America, your market will not be controlled by businesses in the U.S.; the world will be your target market. Many thanks to the internet that has made the world a global village. All you need to do is to strategically position your telemarketing call center brand on the internet and you will be amazed at the rate people and business would be interested in outsourcing their customer care or telemarketing related services to your organization.
The industry has experienced steady growth over the last five years as the US economy picked up traction. The trend is that domestic industry has largely been outsourcing operations to low-wage countries for a number of years, which has historically resulted in limited growth.
In line with healthy growth, telemarketing call centers have increasingly used technological advancements, including cloud-based systems, social media, voice recognition software and other broadband-enabled technology to become more efficient. As technology becomes less costly and more accessible for industry operators, numerous new entrants have been enticed into the industry.
Starting Your Telemarketing Call Center Company from the Scratch versus Buying a Franchise
There is no strict regulation when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement.
If you are looking to start a telemarketing call center company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a telemarketing call center company to buy, if you do, it will be way too expensive. It is a business that is open to all and sundry as long as you have the financial capacity and the required expertise.
Besides beginning a telemarketing call Center Company from the scratch is not as difficult and stressful as starting some businesses which have the capacity to work for clients all across the United States of America and other countries of the world. With a telemarketing call center company, you should just build a standard and well – equipped call center and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your business.
Please bear in mind that most of the big and successful telemarketing call center companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Telemarketing Call Center Business
If you decide to start your own telemarketing call center company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established telemarketing call center companies, digital marketing companies, mail order companies and other businesses that are also into marketing products and services for their clients. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on a unique niche idea that can win massive subscriber base for you within record time.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are high cost of maintaining a telemarketing call center, unfriendly clients, and fluctuating services from network providers. So also, unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your telemarketing call center company. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
Starting a Telemarketing Company – Legal Matters
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
Generally, you have the options of either choosing a general partnership or limited liability company for a telemarketing call center company. Ordinarily, general partnership should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale telemarketing call center company especially if you are just starting out with moderate startup capital and you want to concentrate on a startup companies within your geographical location.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have corporate and individual clients from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing general partnership is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your telemarketing call center company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your telemarketing call center company, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Telemarketing Call Center Company
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own telemarketing call center company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Health Pro® Telemarketing Services Company, LLC
- Lottery Exchange® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- Call Direct® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- Flash Call® Telemarketing Services Company, LLC
- Get That Sale® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- Wilcox Call Crew® Telemarketing Services Company, LLC
- Jacinta Conwell® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- On Top® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- New Horizon® Telemarketing Services Company, Inc.
- Clarion Call Telemarketing Services Company
- West Coast® Telemarketing Services Company
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your telemarketing call center company.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own telemarketing call center business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark
If you are considering starting your own telemarketing call center company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Telemarketing Company?
Aside from the results you produce as a telemarketing call center company, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some telemarketing call center companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the telemarketing and all center company industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in the competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own telemarketing call center company;
- Person-to-Person Telemarketing Code of Practice (CoP) Certification
- Call Center Management Certification
- The RCCSP Call Center Manager Certification
- The Certified Call Center Manager (CCCM) certification
- Degree or Diploma in an Marketing related courses
Please do remember that the higher your qualifications and experience (expertise), the easier it is for you to make impact as the owner of a telemarketing call center company. In the real sense, you can successfully run a telemarketing call center company on a small scale in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the telemarketing and call center industry.
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Telemarketing Call Center Company
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized especially a business like telemarketing services company. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own telemarketing call center company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- VAT registration
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
Financing Your Telemarketing Call Center Company
Starting a telemarketing call center business is expensive especially if you choose to start on a large scale. Securing a standard call center facility and equipping and furnishing the telemarketing call center is part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital. So, if you choose to start a standard telemarketing call center outfit with a handful of full time workers, then you would need to go source for fund.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your telemarketing call center company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Sourcing for soft loans from your family members and your friends
Choosing a Suitable Location for your Starting a Telemarketing Company
Telemarketing call center business and most internet based type of businesses does not require that you see physically with your clients hence the location you chose does not necessarily need to be top – notch.
It is important to state that the fact that you can operate your telemarketing call center company from any part of the world does not mean that location has little influence on the success of a telemarketing call center company. If you have taken your time to study the telemarketing and call centers industry, you will realize that they are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in an ICT hub; a place with pretty strong internet network and of course a place with little external disturbances.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your telemarketing call center company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of organizations who are likely going to do business with you.
So, if you are looking for a location for your telemarketing call center company, ensure that it is a place that is located in an ICT hub; a place with pretty strong internet network and of course a place with minimal noise and external disturbances. Of course, you would not want to locate this type of business in the outskirts of town. Your clients should be able to drive down and locate your office with little or no difficulty.
Starting a Telemarketing Company – Technical and Manpower Details
The telemarketing call center business requires some form of technology that makes it easy for several calls to be received and made at the same time. A call center requires Private Automated Business Exchanges” (PABX) and customized software applications.
The phone box and headphones are programmed in such a way that it is easier to log outbound and inbound calls. So also, you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of the telemarketing call center company you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard telemarketing call center company, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your telemarketing call center company.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start your telemarketing call center with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer or President (you can occupy this role), an Admin and Human Resource Manager, Call Center Manager/Call Center Supervisor, Business Development Executive/marketing Executive, Telemarketers/Call Center Agents, Front Desk Officer, and Accountant.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 8 key staff members to effectively run a smallscale but standard telemarketing call center company. Please note that there are situations that will warrant you to hire specialists to handle key job functions such as general call center maintenance and ICT related challenges for you since you may not have the capacity to retain them as full – time staff under your payroll.
The Service Delivery Process of a Telemarketing Call Center Company
The service delivery process of a telemarketing call center company revolves around receiving calls and making outbound calls for the purpose for marketing a product or services. Basically, a telemarketing call center performs some or all of the following activities; providing telephone answering services, providing contract or fee-basis telemarketing services, providing wakeup call services, providing voice mailbox services, providing telephone solicitation services, providing message services, providing customer service via call centers, technical support services and debt collection services et al.
One good thing about telemarketing call center jobs is that the entire processes can be measured and monitored with accurate data and statistics. For example, the total number of calls received, the total number of calls made, the response received and the total time spent on calls within a given period of time, and over and above the sales made. With that, it is easier to track progress and make amendments if need be.
It is important to state that a telemarketing call center company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them increased sales and flexibility; the above stated business cum services process of a telemarketing call center company is not cast on stone.
Starting a Telemarketing Company – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies
As a telemarketing call center company, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before you can be awarded any telemarketing call center contract. So, if you have plans to start your own telemarketing call center, then you must be willing to spend money to build a standard call center and also to recruit competent and qualified workforce that can deliver top notch services at all times
People and organizations will hire your services to help them handle all their customer service, telemarketing and promotion campaign roles if they know that they are going to get value for their money.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your telemarketing call center company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to telemarketing call centers cum customer services and the organizations you have worked for. This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for telemarketing call center contracts.
Please note that in most cases, when you bid for telemarketing call center contracts from organizations, you will be called upon to defend your proposal, so you must be pretty good with presentations.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your telemarketing call center company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations and businesses in the United States (if you are just starting out, you may want to concentrate on startups and smaller businesses)
- Promptness in bidding for telemarketing and sales contracts
- Advertise your business in relevant business magazines, radio and TV stations (make yourself available for marketing and sales cum telemarketing call center related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radio)
- List your business on local directories
- Attend relevant telemarketing, marketing and sales cum call center expos, seminars and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
Strategies to Boost Your Telemarketing Company Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a telemarketing call center company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand that can handle top notch telemarketing and sales outsourcing jobs from all over the globe, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both the print and electronic media. As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brands, besides it is pretty much effective and far reaching.
Another strategy is to sponsor relevant community TV and radio programs, advertise your business in relevant magazines and newspapers and to also ensure that all your staff members wear your company’s branded shirt and your official staff bus is well – branded.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your telemarketing call center company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your telemarketing call center
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted business districts to market your services
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact manufacturing companies, insurance companies, banks, corporate organizations, political parties cum politicians, government agencies, celebrities, sport lottery companies, schools, NGOs and even religious organizations within and outside the city you are operating in, informing them about your business and the services you offer
- List your telemarketing call center company in local directories
- Advertise your telemarketing call center company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are well branded with your company logo et al.