Funds Needed for Setting Up a Call Center

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Call centers are critical to many different types of businesses. Public utilities, credit-card companies, banks and other businesses that have customers calling them will generally operate call centers. Call centers are large, open areas filled with customer-service agents taking calls from customers, assisting with billing, ordering and account issues.

Office Space

  • Call centers require large investments of capital. Cash for salaries, work station equipment, technology and communication equipment, and office space are required. Call centers are often located in low-rent areas, since customers rarely visit. The need for expansive floor space makes converted warehouses and large, open office buildings well suited for call centers. The average rent nationwide is is $11 per square foot, according to Office Space Rent (www.office--space.com/index.htm). The amount of space needed for a call center depends on the number of customer-service representatives. Customer-service agents are seated in cubicles. The average cubicle requires 6 square feet of floor space. The aisle between cubicles adds approximately 4 more square feet to the required space. That is an average of 10 square feet per representative. The rent per representative will be approximately $110 per month. A call center with 50 agents will require approximately 5000 square feet plus an additional 1500 square feet for administrative and management staff. The 6500-square foot-office space will cost about $71,000 per month or $852,000 per year.

Salary and Benefits

  • The average salary for a call center representative is $28,000 per year, according to Indeed.com. This data is current as of 2009. If your call center will require 50 representatives, the annual cost of agent salaries will be about $1.4 million. The average cost of health benefits per agent is $7,523 per year. A call center with 50 agents would cost about $377,000 per year. Call centers generally employ one manager for every 15 agents and one director. This would require three managers, one director and one administrative manager for a 50-agent office. The average salary of a call-center manager is $57,000, while a call-center director receives $75,000, according to Indeed.com. The management salary cost would be $303,000 per year with an additional $38,000 for manager health benefits. This brings the total annual salary cost to $1.75 million per year. The total annual cost of benefits would run about $414,000.

Equipment and Totals

  • Each representative and manager will require a cubicle, phone, computer work station and filing cabinet. The average cost to outfit each representative with all of the required equipment and furniture will be between $3,000 and $4,500, the average being $3,750. The cost to outfit 55 employees could total $206,250. The first year's cost to open and operate a 50-agent call center would be about $3,250,000. The equipment cost would be required up-front, and the company should have six months of the other expenses covered before opening. If you calculate an additional $5,000 per month for utilities and incidentals, the start-up requirement would be $1.6 million.

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