What was the business called and what did it do?
The call answering side of my Virtually Sorted business – Calls Sorted.
How long did you run it for?
From 2004 when I set up until 2010.
What do you think went wrong?
The margins on call answering aren’t great because it’s such a competitive market. So there’s a limit on what the market will pay for the service. Our pricing assumed that clients would be using the call answering alongside our other services, but there wasn’t any crossover. Each interruption from a phone call was taking time away from our other more profitable clients, I didn’t have time to do both sets of clients well.
What did you learn from it?
I ended up giving the Calls Sorted business to one of the VAs who ran it – it had a market value but she had invested so much into making it run smoothly, I felt it was only fair to reward that. As it is her only focus, she does very well and the clients haven’t noticed any changes whatsoever. From my point of view, there’s no phones ringing and I’m not sorting out petty squabbles about shifts. We still refer clients to one another and Calls Sorted still deals with all my phone calls. Win:win!
You can read about the successful side of the business, Virtually Sorted here