Many small businesses use personal cell phones to make work-related phone calls. Some may even use old landlines for their telephone needs. Although using the phone makes sense, and the change can be frightening, owning a company in the 21st century may need updating. How to get a business phone number?
Traditional way: get a separate line
If you decided to stop using your personal phone number in your company, the traditional way to get a new number was simply to get a separate line. This means contacting the telephone company, asking them to start a new line for your home (which usually includes an installation fee), and then paying monthly for the new line – you will pay 20-30 USD monthly at a low level for a residential line and in the range USD 60 + per month for business line. It is still an option, but the problem is that now your work phone number is associated with your home or office location and can only be answered if you are physically there. Even if you can get a cheap landline, this option is not convenient.
Choosing a business phone number
The first step is to choose the business phone number. It will require some thought because you will want to choose a good one. You must choose between a free or local number.
The free option is great for branding and makes it easy for customers to remember. Again, think about my previous example with 1-800-CUPCAKE. That would be a very fun and impressive number for a bakery!
The local number will not have it, but will use the local area code, and many customers in a small town may choose to buy from a local business number. You need to determine which one is best for you.
Online business information also works better for customers because it is much more detailed. Someone who wants to get away from it all can search for “spa nearby” and their zip code. With a paper phone book, they would have to wade through the pages of the letter to recognize the addresses of day spas in their immediate vicinity. Online listing is essential – and luckily it’s absolutely free.
Start by switching to Google My Business (formerly known as “Google Places”) and create your business listing. Your phone number, address and other information about your business will be placed on the Google My Business list. Because so many people use Google search, it is important for your small business to be listed this way.
Google may be the largest, but this is not the only place where you put your small business on the list. Several other places where you can get free basic information available online:
- A Yelp account for businesses
- Bing places
Cell phone or landline?
You also need to decide if you want to use your cellphone or landline for business calls. The cheapest option will be to use your current cell phone to make personal and business calls. You can download the application for making business calls from your phone.