Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.
The point of your Executive Summary is to get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of call center you are running and what the status is. For example, are you a new business, do you have a call center that you want to grow, or do you run call centers in more than one market?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows. For example, you could give a short summary of the telemarketing industry. Talk about what kind of call center you run. Detail your direct competitors. Tell us about your ideal customers. Give a brief overview of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team. And explain what your financial plan is.
In your business summary, you will explain what kind of call center you run.
You might, for example, run one of the following types of call centers:
- Inbound Call Center: This type of call center focuses on answering calls from new and existing customers.
- Outbound Call Center: This type of call center specializes in calling customers and consumers on behalf of a company. They are responsible for selling a product or service and expanding a company’s reach through their phone calls.
- Automated Call Centers: This type of call center has a computer-based system that is interactive and lets callers take on some of the responsibilities of directing their call.
In the Company Overview section of your business plan, you need to explain what kind of call center you will run and give some background on the business.
Answers should be given to questions like:
- When did you start your business, and why?
- What important steps have you taken so far? Milestones could be the number of customers served, the number of positive reviews, reaching X number of clients served, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you should give an overview of the telemarketing industry.
Even though this may seem pointless, it has more than one use.
First, learning about the industry gives you knowledge. It gives you a better idea of the market you are in.
Second, market research can help you make your strategy better, especially if it shows you market trends.
The third reason to do market research is to show your readers that you know a lot about your field. You do this by doing this market research and putting it into your plan.
In the industry analysis section, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the business make?
- Is the market going down or up?
- Who are your main rivals in the market?
- Who are the main market suppliers?
- What changes are happening in the field?
- How fast is the industry expected to grow in the next 5–10 years?
- How big is the market that matters? That is, how big is your call center’s potential market? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the population in your area.
In the customer analysis section, you need to explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
Customer segments include telemarketing companies, big businesses, charities, and help desks/customer support teams.
As you might expect, the type of call center you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Obviously, marketing campaigns for charities and help desks would be different.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on how they look and how they think. In terms of demographics, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the people you want to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain what your target customers want and need. The better you can understand and define these needs, the easier it will be to get customers and keep them coming back.
In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Call centers’ main rivals are other call centers.
Indirect competitors are other places where customers can buy things that aren’t direct competitors. This includes both customer service departments that are part of the company and online support websites. You should also talk about this competition.
When it comes to direct competition, you need to talk about the other call centers you are up against. Most likely, the closest call centers to you will be your direct competitors.
Give an overview of each of these competitors’ businesses and list their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you’ve worked at one of your competitors’ companies, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key facts about them, such as:
- What kind of clients do they work with?
- What kind of call center is it?
- How much do they charge (high, low, etc.)?
- What can they do well?
- What do they do wrong?
For the last two questions, try to answer them from the customers’ point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. As an example:
- Will you offer shorter wait times for calls and more calls?
- Will you offer services in your call center that your competitors don’t?
- Will you treat your customers better?
- Will you price things better?
- Think about how you will do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your marketing plan for a call center agency should include the following:
Product: In the product section, you should describe again the type of call center company you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, give specifics about the products you’ll be selling. For example, do you offer services like call forwarding, market research, lead generation, and anything else besides a call center?
Price: Write down the prices you’ll be charging and how they compare to those of your competitors. In the product and price sections of your marketing plan, you mainly talk about the call center services you offer and how much they cost.
Place: This is where your call center business is located. Write down where you are and how that will affect your success. For example, is your call center in a busy retail area, a business area, a stand-alone office, etc.? Talk about why your location could be the best for your customers.
Promotions: The section on promotions is the last part of your call center marketing plan. Here, you’ll write down how you’ll get people to your location (s). Here are some ways you could promote your business:
- Putting ads in newspapers and magazines in your area
- Trying to contact websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
In the earlier parts of your plan, you wrote about your goals. In your operations plan, you write about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.
Everyday short-term processes include everything that goes into running your call center, such as answering incoming calls, making outgoing calls, finding solutions to customer problems, keeping track of statistics about call length and volume, and growing your client’s reach.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could be the dates when you think you’ll get your Xth client or when you hope to make $X. It could also be when you want to open a new call center in a different city.
To show that your call center can do well, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
Ideally, you and/or other members of your team have managed call centers before. If so, talk about your experience and skills. But also highlight any experience you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you might want to put together an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board would help your business in the same way that a mentor would. They would help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have run a call center or a sales or customer service team well.
Your 5-year financial plan should include a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then an annual breakdown after that. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all part of your financial statements.
A more common name for an income statement is a Profit and Loss statement, or P&L. It shows your income and then takes away your expenses to show if you made a profit.
You need to make assumptions in order to make your income statement. For example, will you only take on one new client at a time, or will you take on more than one? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% every year? As you might expect, the financial forecasts for your business will be greatly affected by the assumptions you choose. Do as much research as you can to try to make sure your assumptions are true.
Balance sheets show both your assets and your debts. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to boil them down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 to set up your call center, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it is an asset that you can use to make money for years to come. Likewise, if a bank gives you a check for $50,000, you don’t have to pay it back right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of money.
When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a call center:
- Cost of software for computers.
- Cost of supplies and equipment
- Payroll or wages given to employees Business insurance
- Taxes and licenses:
- Legal expenses