Action Plan

Determine Your Launch Date:

The launch date for your telephone answering service is when you plan to “go live” and begin answering calls. By then you will need your equipment installed, the phone lines in and working, your staff hired and trained, and most importantly, a group of clients ready to use your service. These will all be addressed in the following steps, but it is advisable to set a target date so that you have a goal to shoot for. Failure to set to stick to your launch date, will result in costly delays and loss of respect for clients who are waiting to use your service.

Start by asking your equipment vendor how long it will take them to deliver the equipment to you once you order it. Once it arrives, it will take a couple weeks to install and a few more for training. Obviously smaller, more basic systems take less time. Ask the same question of your phone company. The greater of the two time-frames is the soonest that you can set your launch date.

At this same time you will need to begin lining up clients, as well as hire and train staff. Assuming that the staff you hire needs to give two-weeks notice to their current employer, start hiring one month before your launch date (one week to interview and make your selections, two-week's notice, and one week to train. As far as sales and marketing, you can always do more, but if you start too soon before your launch date, prospective clients will get tired of waiting and make other arrangements. Allow at least four weeks for active marketing but no more then eight.

Mesh the particulars of these four elements together to make a time line and project your launch date. Just keep in mind that you can only do so much at one time, so don't over commit yourself.

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