No matter the type of business you have, it is crucial to have a business phone number. It is one of the primary ways that potential customers and current clients will contact you. It is also among the first things that someone will see if they search for your company online. Moreover, you will use your number for marketing campaigns.
Because of the importance of this number, all business owners should know how to get a business phone number. There are several different methods that you can use, including getting a new phone system or using a call-forwarding system. To make it easier for you, we broke down the step-by-step process of how to get a second phone number for business use.
What Are Business Phone Numbers?
Before you can even think about getting a business phone number, you need to understand what it is and the possible options.
As expected, a business phone number refers to a number that you use for business. One important distinction is that this is a different number from your personal cell phone number. You can also use your personal number for your business, but that can become complicated and is not typically the best idea.
When you look at business phone numbers, you will have two main options: a virtual number and a phone or a physical system like a desk phone.
With a physical system, you would set up an additional phone line or cell phone line just like you would your personal one, but you register it in the name of your business.
Virtual systems let you use your current smartphone for two separate numbers for phone calls and messages, your personal number and a business number. These typically rely on VoIP and are cloud-based. You can essentially send SMS from another number using your phone or use your phone to call from another number.
How to Get a Business Phone Number
With that background in mind, follow these simple steps of how to get a business phone number.
Step 1 – Decide What Type of Business Phone You Want
The very first thing you need to do in the process of getting a business phone number is to decide whether you want to get an additional phone.
Ask yourself whether you want to get a separate smartphone and number for your business or if you would rather get a virtual number that you can add to your current smartphone. You even have the option of choosing to get a landline from your local telecom.
In this modern age, most people opt to learn how to get a second phone number for business and use their current smartphone. This is the cheapest option as you don’t need any hardware. You will have to make sure that you always pay attention to which number you use to keep your business and personal numbers separate.
Step 2 – Choose Your Number Preferences
Next, you will have to think about how to choose a phone number. You won’t be able to choose the actual number until a later step, but you have some decisions to make. There are three main options:
- A local number
- A toll-free number
- A vanity number (in either of the above categories)
As you think about how to choose a phone number, consider the scope of your business. If you are small and have mostly local clients, a local number will help customers think of you as local. If you have a national reach, consider a toll-free number. You may also want a toll-free number as a way to make your business more professional.
The decision of whether to get a vanity number is completely personal. It has the benefit of making your number much easier for customers to remember, but it will also cost more.
Step 3 – Select a Provider
After you know what you want, it is time to look for a provider. If you choose to get another cell phone, you can visit your local network stores, such as AT&T or T-Mobile, and set one up. They will walk you through the process.
The following steps will focus on how to get a virtual business phone number that lets you send SMS from another number on your smartphone.
Next, you will have to choose which provider you want to use. There are dozens of options available. You will want to choose based on the pricing and services available.
Consider whether you want the following features:
- Automatic call recording
- Call forwarding
- Internet faxing
Some of the big names to consider include:
- Google Voice
- Ooma Office Phone
- RingCentral MVP
- Skype for Business
- Vonage for Business
Some of the above are free methods, such as Google Voice. Just remember that you get what you pay for. Choosing a free service will give you fewer features than paying for one. There may also be hidden costs to pay attention to.
For example, you may have to pay for the services in the following image:
Step 4 – Sign Up
Once you have chosen which company to use and what services and type of number you want, the process of getting a business phone number is straightforward.
Start by visiting the website of your chosen provider. They should have a very obvious button asking you to sign up for their services. Enter the necessary information, choose a number, enter your payment details, and you are set.
In most cases, this entire process will take a matter of minutes.
Step 5 – Start Listing and Using Your Number
After you finish setting up the phone number, you should test that it works by calling it and having it call another number. Once you confirm it works, start listing it on your website, social media pages, and online directories. Start giving it out to customers as well. You are all set!
If your chosen service comes with additional features that require set-up, such as call forwarding, make sure to set those up before listing the number.
Why Your Business Needs a Phone Number
You already took the time to learn how to get a business phone number, so you hopefully realize the importance of having one. If you need reassurance that this is the right decision, consider the following pros and cons of business phone numbers.
Remember that the only real alternative to having a business phone number is to use your personal number. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to make or receive calls at all.
- It is easier to separate your personal and business life
- Keep your personal number private
- Can ignore unknown numbers on your personal number
- You don’t have to answer your personal number professionally
- You get additional features
- Can change your personal number without consequences
- Employees can also answer calls to the number
- You can use text marketing
- An extra expense
- You have to keep track of which number you use while using your smartphone
Do I Need to Buy a Whole New Business Phone System?
No, you don’t necessarily need to buy a whole new business phone system. Many services let you create a business phone number then forward it to your cell phone.
How Do I Add a Business Phone Number to My Cell Phone?
The process of how to add a business phone number to your cell phone is incredibly simple. Just choose a service to use and follow their onboarding process. Then you will have to choose a plan, select a number, and set up various features.
When you add a business phone number to your cell phone, all voicemails, texts, contacts, and messages will be separated from those related to your personal number.
What Is a Vanity Number?
A vanity number is when you choose digits that are memorable or special. For example, if your company name was “ABCDEFG,” you could get 1-800-ABC-DEFG as your number. Or you could spell out a word related to your business.
What Does a Business Phone Number Look Like to a Customer?
A business phone number looks just like any other phone number.
The important distinction is the impression that it gives customers. If you have a separate business phone number, customers will see your company as being more professional. Moreover, it reflects positively on your company. If you choose a vanity number, the number will also be much easier for customers to remember.
The process of how to get a business phone number is incredibly straightforward but will make a big difference for your company. It will help you separate your personal and business life and improve your professionalism. You can use the business phone number to send SMS from another number or make calls. Most services also have extra features, like call forwarding and auto-recording.