Why a business phone number is important

  • A business phone number provides a direct line to your company. It may also include features such as an interactive voice response (IVR) tree, which helps direct callers to guide themselves.
  • Business phone systems are as much branding devices as they are communication systems. They demonstrate legitimacy to customers and partners.
  • To find the business phone number for your company, follow the steps in the guide below.
  • This article is for small business owners who want to get a business phone number for their company.

A business phone number provides more than a direct line to your company. It also displays your local, national and international presence. Even if most of your customers are unlikely to call, the simple existence of a phone number presents the level of credibility customers desire. You can accomplish this easily with local phone numbers, toll-free (1-800) numbers and easy-to-remember vanity numbers. Some of these options are available for free, while the more expensive options usually cost less than $50 per month. Getting a phone number for your business doesn't have to be difficult – just follow the steps below.

How do you get a business phone number?

If you have a business address, it's easy to get a local number specified with the area code associated with your address. A quick call to your local phone company is one way to implement a single landline, and you may be able to get a bundle discount on your broadband Internet plan. If you already have a US-based mobile or landline phone number, you can sign up for a local number with Google Voice.

Editor's Note: Looking for the perfect business phone system? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

A more popular option is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or virtual phone numbers. Most available cloud-based business phone systems offer a choice of local, toll-free, and personal or vanity phone numbers with a vast suite of advanced features for communication and productivity. With VoIP, adding new numbers through phone system apps is easy.

TipTip: Subscribing to VoIP services is easy – the trick is finding the best. To make the decision easier, visit our Business Phone System Best Picks page.

Why do you need a business phone number

First and foremost, your company should always provide customers, customers and vendors a way to reach personnel by phone during regular business hours. For your new business, you might want to separate your personal calls from your business calls. This separation gives you a better work-life balance, and maintains your professionalism with customers, vendors, and accounts.

A business phone system offers a long list of advanced calling features – such as custom greetings, call forwarding and auto attendants to ensure that your callers get the information they need in the most efficient and courteous way. Is. Many of these phone systems offer native integration with popular productivity tools and top customer relationship management (CRM) software that each helps make the most of customer interaction.

Types of business phone numbers

There are usually three types of phone numbers for your company to choose from. In many cases, your business may require a local number, toll-free number, and vanity phone number. Regardless of the type of phone number you get, the associated cost is relatively low.

phone number type Description price estimate
local number Phone numbers with a local, three-digit area code associated with a specific geographic area $0-$10 per month
toll free number phone numbers that begin with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833; Can be dialed from anywhere without long distance charges $0-$10 per month
vanity phone number Personalized phone numbers that use the lettering system on the dialing keypad $10-$50 (sometimes more) per month

local phone number

Local phone numbers that begin with a three-digit area code are a great way for your business to establish a local presence in the community. While area codes can be spoofed these days, people who see a familiar area code on their caller ID are still more likely to answer an unknown phone number. For inbound calling purposes, local numbers provide a way for customers to contact a business without worrying about long distance charges.

A local business phone number is usually included with phone service plans for free, and it's easy to add additional lines for a small fee. If your company doesn't have a physical footprint in a specific geographic area, consider a local phone number via VoIP and a virtual phone system. Here are some benefits of getting a local number:

  • It establishes a presence in the community.
  • In many cases the cost is zero.
  • It's easy to get to with landlines and VoIP.

Here are some disadvantages of keeping it local:

  • Unfamiliar area codes are less likely to be answered.
  • Inbound callers may incur long distance charges.
  • Customers may consider your business inadequate.

toll free number

Toll-free numbers are phone numbers that begin with any of the following three-digit sequences: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833. A phone number using the toll-free prefix can be dialed from any landline free of charge to the caller. For customers outside the local area, toll-free numbers allow them to make calls without worrying about potential long-distance phone charges. However, mobile phone callers without an unlimited calling plan will still pay for the time of the call when using the toll-free number. Here are some advantages of being toll free:

  • Customers can reach you anywhere for free.
  • You can easily get one.
  • You establish credibility as an organization.

Here are some disadvantages of toll-free numbers:

  • Inbound international callers may incur additional charges.
  • Users potentially have limited talk minutes through your service provider.
  • You may receive a large number of unwanted calls.

vanity phone number

Vanity phone numbers allow you to use the standard three or four letters that can be used in place of phone numbers to help patrons remember your number. Some businesses have built their entire brand name around toll-free numbers, such as 1-800-FLOORS.

For seven-letter businesses like Best Buy, remembering a toll-free number like 1-888-Best-Buy makes the decision of using a vanity number easier. Unfortunately, several personalized options have already been claimed for seven-letter words. However, if you were able to find a unique domain for your business, chances are you would be able to secure a matching vanity phone number. These are some of the advantages of vanity numbers:

  • It's easy to remember.
  • It is an effective branding tool.
  • It increases your credibility.

Here are some disadvantages of a vanity line:

  • Many good ones have already been taken.
  • This is the most expensive option.
  • This is risky for international callers.

How to choose the best phone number for your business

When choosing a phone number for your business, you don't have to settle for just one choice between local, toll-free, and vanity numbers. Before deciding which type of number works best for your company, it's a good idea to choose VoIP or landline. Consider your existing equipment, Internet reliability, ability to scale, and monthly cost. Follow these steps to get a business number:

  1. Decide whether you are going to implement a landline or integrated VoIP phone system.
  2. Find the best phone system based on available features and cost for the number of lines you want to use.
  3. If you are operating a brick-and-mortar store, start with a local number to build your presence and reputation in the community.
  4. Add a toll-free number to your list of available contacts when you're ready to have a national presence and a good amount of inbound calls.
  5. Add a vanity phone number (if you can secure one) that works well with your company name, and you plan to use it for marketing purposes.

TipTip: Still not sure how to choose a business phone system? Read our guide for a detailed analysis of what to look for and how to find what's best for your business.

business phone number frequently asked questions

How do you get a free business phone number?

Google Voice is one of the easiest ways to get a completely free phone number that can be used for calls, text messages, and voicemail through your personal cell phone or computer. This option requires you to have an existing phone number – which means it cannot be used as your sole service provider.

Another route is a toll-free number that will be assigned based on rules established by the Federal Trade Commission — or FCC. All Toll-Free Phone Numbers Customers must choose from called a “Responsible Organization” or “RespOrgs” to reserve a number and manage the appropriate records. RespOrgs has access to a toll-free database used to manage over 42 million toll-free numbers.

When do you need a virtual business phone number?

Virtual phone numbers are ideal if you want to be accessible by phone anytime, anywhere while maintaining the confidentiality of your personal number. If your business doesn't have a permanent address, consider starting with a virtual phone number. Several service providers — including Grasshopper and Google Voice — offer plans with virtual numbers and pricey features starting at around $10 per month.

Will Vanity Numbers Help My Business?

Vanity phone numbers can be a good addition to branding and marketing efforts in voice, print and digital advertising. The potential impact of a vanity number depends on identifying the seven available letters that match your brand name, service category or provide a basic call to action, such as 1-800-GO-FEDEX.

According to phone and communications company Grasshopper, 90% of Americans have contacted a company using a toll-free number after seeing an ad—and 84% of them were able to remember the letters used in vanity phones. . Number.

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