How to Start a Telemarketing Business

bizfluent article image

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Starting a telemarketing business gives you the opportunity to earn money making sales calls on behalf of your clients. In order to launch with a bang, you'll need experience in the telemarketing industry and the right equipment to ensure you can provide clients with an efficient, cost-effective service.

Gain Call Center Experience

Develop your telemarketing skills by working as an agent or supervisor in a call center. Selling by telephone requires confidence, an understanding of customers’ needs and an ability to empathize with people.

Use your on the job experience to familiarize yourself with outbound sales techniques and best practice for handling incoming sales calls.

Build market knowledge if you plan to specialize in telemarketing services for specific sectors, such as financial services, industrial products or home improvements.

Set up Your Call System

Discuss your requirements with equipment and network providers to find available options.

Buy or lease equipment such as telephone lines and handsets from your provider and set up a database so you can track calls and campaign results.

Buy or lease a call center in a box, a self-contained server and software that provides a desktop interface and enables you to manage call processing and routing, and produce management reports.

Legitimize Your Business

Familiarize yourself with telemarketing regulations, together with federal and state laws that protect consumers’ privacy by establishing curfews for sales calls and do-not-call lists.

Understand the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The U.S. Small Business Administration can help you understand these laws.

Register your business by completing a state or local business license form to register your business so that it can operate legally. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a Business Licenses and Permits Search Tool to find out the requirements for licenses in your area.

Join an industry association such as the Professional Association for Customer Engagement to enhance your credentials and obtain advice on telemarketing regulations.

Identify Potential Clients

Decide whether you will offer your service to companies targeting consumers or selling business-to-business.

Identify strengths you have in specific market sectors. For example, if you previously worked in the wireless communications industry, you may have enough experience to seek out companies within that industry for your telemarketing business.

Approach companies that match the market profile of your business, outlining your credentials and experience. Describe the services you offer and explain why you think you can deliver excellent campaign results.

Approach larger call centers or call centers within companies to offer an outsourced service they can use when they need additional capacity or specific expertise.


  • Save capital by renting virtual call center facilities from service providers that host their systems in the cloud. This gives you the flexibility to increase capacity without buying new equipment as your business grows.