Use an Answering Service to Right Size Your Business

The economy, markets, and commerce continually move in cycles. There are periods of expansion and times of contraction. To remain viable, businesses must navigate these ever-changing conditions. As a result, businesses grow and businesses shrink. Being at the helm of a growing business offers excitement and invigorates, while downsizing requires patience and fortitude. Between these two paths sits a middle ground of right sizing a business. While some consider the phrase right sizing as a euphemism for downsizing, it is not. In right sizing, the inputs to the business are neither increasing nor decreasing, yet the size of the business’s infrastructure does not match the scope of its activity. While the need to right size can imply adding staff or cutting staff, most often the goal is reducing the employee count. This often results when a company doesn’t switch fast enough from a growth mode to a maintenance mode. Or if it ramped up for expected growth that didn’t occur. Conversely the need to right size can occur if employee attrition has reduced the head count below sustainable levels. In either case, consider what a telephone answering service can do to help a business right size. Businesses that need to right size confront two possible scenarios: Reduce Payroll: Companies faced with an employee headcount that exceeds what sales can support need to reduce costs. Decreasing payroll is often the quickest way to do so. Sometimes three jobs (FTEs – full time equivalents) can be merged into two. Other times a position can simply be eliminated. A third consideration is to outsource specific tasks to companies that specialize in those services. Outsourcers can handle work in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. When it comes to telephone communications, telephone answering services should be your first outsourcing consideration. Supplement Existing Staff: Other times companies have a lean staff but which is pushed too hard to accomplish all of their assigned work. Part of right sizing could involve eliminating some tasks that no longer hold relevance, are trivial, or are nonessential. Yet task reduction only goes so far. Overworked employees need relief, but instead of hiring another worker to help out, hire a service instead. It can aid overworked employees in handling their workload. Again, when it comes to telephone communications, look first to a telephone answering service. An answering service can offer a much-needed buffer to overworked, harried staffers. Provide them with the support they need now before they burnout or quit, either of which will make the need to right size all the more critical. Solution: Answering services can answer calls, take messages, transfer callers, and give out information, along with a myriad of other activities. The answering service can help businesses better align their expenses with their income, an effort that translates directly to bottom line success. When it comes to right sizing, answering services are the right answer.   Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry – and who helps businesses and organizations find the perfect answering service. Contact Janet at or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan  is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.