With the progression of globalisation, people are now more able than ever to travel across the world. For this reason there is a significant demand for cheap international communications options. Although instant messaging services and Internet telecommunications services such as Skype have made global communication essentially free, carrying a laptop or finding an Internet cafe is not always a viable option. This leaves the market wide-open for those who wish to start a calling card business.
Develop a business plan that identifies your connection suppliers and outlines your technical set-up. Your plan should contain a comprehensive budget and profit/loss sheet. It should also be able to illustrate your target market so you can best decide which strategy to employ to penetrate that market.
Obtain funding from banks, investments firms or angel investors. Your business plan will go a long way in proving to investors that you have researched your business and that it will provide them with a return on their investment.
Choose a system that will power the telecommunications aspect of your calling card business. Ready-made software solutions such as CardSaver are available for purchase. Alternatively, outsource a freelance programmer or programming team to develop a custom software solution for your business. The money you choose to invest in your software will depend on the intended scope of your business.
Arrange server hosting with a professional hosting company. Your home Internet connection will not be robust enough to handle the demands of a telecommunications business. The number of servers you need to purchase will depend on your business's customer call volume. The more calls that take place at the same time, the more servers you need to keep the service operational.
Purchase airtime from a long-distance telecommunications carrier and divide your airtime up among your calling cards. The mechanics of the business involve buying airtime in bulk from your long-distance carrier and then selling fractions of that airtime for more money. Usually, the more minutes you buy at once, the more money you can save, provided you are able to sell the airtime before it expires.
Contact a printing agency to print your calling cards. They should be able to provide samples of their work to ensure you will be satisfied with the quality. It is important that the silver strip on the back of the calling cards can be easily removed with a coin without damaging the PIN number that it covers.
Contact retailers who can sell your calling cards for you, as most tourists won't want to spend time searching for your business directly. The most calling card throughput will be seen in high-tourism areas, such as souvenir shops and hotels.