How to Start a 1-900 Number Business. 1-900 number businesses are on the rise. This legitimate form of entrepreneurial business makes money by offering information over the phone at pay-per-minute or pay-per-call rates. You can start a 1-900 number business from your home with only a small investment.

Step 1.

Decide what product to offer. Whether you intend to start a psychic hot line, a video game help line or offer movie locations and critiques, you must have a clear informational product to sell that people want to purchase.

Step 2.

Identify your target market. It's essential for you to know who will require your services so you can market your business accordingly. Flyers in restaurants and hotel lobbies reach tourists much faster than ads in the local paper, for example.

Step 3.

Compare service providers for the most competitive pricing and best selection of features. Although it is possible to buy the necessary equipment yourself, the cost is prohibitive for a small start up. Service providers offer a turnkey option for your business.

Step 4.

Determine your method of delivery. Your customers will either hear a recorded message, speak to a representative, or a combination of the two. Decide whether you will offer pre-recorded copy or provide staff to handle the calls.

Step 5.

Line up your service materials. If you offer recorded information, you'll need to write the copy and choose your speaker. If you plan to have an interactive business with real people on the line, you'll need to write scripts and/or script prompts to keep the customer focused. (Particularly if you offer a pay-per-minute service, as opposed to pay-per-call.)

Step 6.

Hire and train staff (if applicable) and sign up with the service provider of your choice. You will work with the service provider until your business is ready to go live.

Step 7.

Advertise your new business as much as you can. A 1-900 number is only profitable when many people know about it and utilize the service.


The best 1-900 products are those that are immediately applicable and in a constant state of fluxuation-bringing back customers again and again. For example, current fishing reports fulfill an immediate need for vacationers who want to go fishing for the day, yet tomorrow the same fisherman will call for a revised report.


While 1-900 businesses have low start-up costs, the service providers generally don't include advertising in their fees. Be prepared for advertising to be one of your largest expenses. 1-900 number businesses have a very high failure rate. If you intend to start one, research your target market carefully, advertise extensively and prepare to cut your losses if profits fail to appear.