A business phone number service can significantly impact your daily operations. A small business phone number or line may appear simple, but it can do many things to help you speed things up on your procedures, make tasks more accessible, and create a good rapport with your customers.
Business phone lines and systems vary according to type, pricing, and function. It may appear not easy at first glance, but it's pretty simple and can cost as little as nothing if you don't need the extra features. In this article, we'll show you how to set up a business phone line, including how you can create a business phone number for free.
Without further ado, let's dive in and see how you can set up a business phone system and how it can help your business prosper.
First, let's discuss what is a business phone
Before we learn how to set up a business phone number, we must know what it's all about. Understanding the definition of business phone and number and its importance will help you with decision-making, especially with what type of number to use and what services are relevant to your business operations.
What is a Business Phone?
A business phone is a word you use to describe a telephone for conducting business and its necessary operations. Business phones can be in mobile or desktop form, which isn't limited to cellular phones and landlines. This versatility makes it a convenient form of communication for businesses that always need to be accessible and on the go.
Business phone systems come in many forms - mobile is the most common and convenient option. Typically, these are the different kinds of business phone systems you can find on the market:
Mobile devices are preferred for business phones because of their portability and flexibility. They can be easily carried around and turned over to employees. Many office workers are assigned company phones that allow them to collaborate, respond to work calls, and communicate with clients and other stakeholders. There are also some businesses that, to reduce costs, let employees use their phones for business purposes. Of course, with this method, companies need to ensure that they make preparations for network security. Later, we'll show you how to get a business phone number on your cell phone.
Retailer-Sourced Small Business Phone Systems
Some retailers carry affordable business phone systems containing basic features. These phone systems can cost between $100 to $300, outside service fees and installation. This option may appeal to you if you're a small business looking for simple features to incorporate into your phone system. However, you may also miss out on valuable services offered by alternative options like call forwarding, call recording, and conferencing.
Hosted Phone Systems
A phone system provider provides hosted phone systems and can charge a flat rate of $20-$50 monthly. In this setup, both the physical devices and the services that come with them are supplied by your system provider. While you have to live with the costs throughout the lifetime of the business phone line, you are also enjoying more advanced features that can give you an edge in your business.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a phone number that lets you communicate with suppliers and customers using an internet connection instead of a conventional phone line. They can be on-premises or over the cloud, offering more flexible features than traditional systems. It is preferred by many because it can be integrated with online platforms that are generally more accessible to the public. In the coming topics, we will also discuss setting up a small business VoIP phone system so you'll know how to start.
Perks of Having a Business Phone
You may think setting up a business phone will only be an additional cost to the company, but once you experience it, you'll find out that the benefits far outweigh the costs. That is especially the case when your small business expands and you take on more tasks related to your operations. These are some of the reasons why a business phone could be used to our advantage:
Separate Personal and Business Communication
As your company expands, you will notice that keeping business contacts on your phone can prove troublesome. You could receive an influx of calls from work, making you unable to focus on personal events or promptly communicate with family and friends. There's also a big chance you'll keep receiving SMS and calls outside work hours.
Having a business phone and number eliminates this issue. Not only can you set a clear line between personal and work life, but you can also ensure that your business is accessible to customers even when you're away, in the form of automated messages or team phone sharing.
Take advantage of every social event or work opportunity again when you use a business phone and restore the work-life balance everyone aspires for.
Build and Maintain Rapport
Doesn't it irritate you when you try to call a store or service and no one answers? They could at least tell you they're unavailable instead of remaining unresponsive. That leaves you with a negative impression of that company and makes you think they're unprofessional.
You could be doing the same thing to your customers. A business phone lets you delegate calls to other employees or set up an automated response for callers reaching out outside work hours. This way, you can maintain rapport with your customers and suppliers.
Automated messages can also reach a large customer base, informing them of news, events, and promotions. This proactive approach can create a good impression and be an excellent marketing tool for your customers.
Create A More Efficient Work Structure
Many business phone systems carry useful tools that reduce the need for daily tasks and free up time for more important duties. For example, automated messages lessen the need to compose messages and replies manually. Call forwarding reduces the need to transfer calls manually, and voicemail lets customers know you're unavailable even without an actual person physically present to pick up the call.
These simple tasks can build up and give you more time and human resources to focus on other essential aspects of your operations.
What Can You Do with a Business Phone Number
Business phone number features can differ according to the type, service provider, and pricing. These are the standard services you can enjoy when you use a business phone number:
- Separate calls and SMS from your number
- Long-distance calls at lower rates
- Automated SMS
- Voicemail responses
- Scheduled messages
- Call forwarding
- Call recording
Some types of business phones carry more advanced features than the rest, and it's up to you to decide whether the cost is worth it. The critical aspect is to consider if these services will apply to and apply to your business.
Different Ways to Set Up a Business Phone
Depending on the type of business phone and number you'll be using, the installation and setup method can also vary. These are the steps to set up a business phone number service in your company.
Step 1: Install a Business Phone Line on Your Cell Phone
Using an app or service, you can add a business phone line to your phone. How do you set up a small business VoIP on your Verizon phone or iPhone? Download an app that is compatible with your device, sign up, choose a number, and start enjoying the features of a business phone line. Here are some examples of business phone lines you can use:
- Google Voice
These applications are all simple to use. Some are free, with limited features like Google Voice and LINE. Others, like LimePhone, charge a small monthly fee in exchange for a wide breadth of services.
Step 2: Set Up Your Admin Dashboard
Once you've installed your new business phone system, you can set up your admin dashboard. That is crucial as it will determine who has access to communications and helps you delegate tasks and responsibilities. On the dashboard, you can:
- Look at the available phone system features
- Manage business lines
- Add or remove team members
- Establish administrators
This initial setup is necessary to create an order and determine the next steps you will take in setting up your business phone number.
Step 3: Specify Tasks and Configurations
After finishing the initial setup, you can move on to more specific aspects of the system. Setting up precise details and decisions in your phone system is crucial for more organized communication. These are some of the tasks that you should consider setting up:
Establish Business Hours
Deciding on your business hours is the first call of action if you still haven't need to do it. Customers should know when to reach you, and you should also be prepared to inform them via voicemail and automated responses.
Determine your schedules, such as active days, opening and closing hours, break times, and holidays. Align your program clearly with your needed services, such as call attendants, automated replies, and voicemail responses. You can also forward calls to another phone to respond to customers.
Set Up Extensions
Many business phone systems let you use extensions according to groups or features. For example, extensions like 1000 and 2000 categorize different office branches.
Create an easy-to-use system for your extensions. Assign specific categories to a particular number group and maintain consistency. Additionally, keeping a phone menu for your small business would make it easier for people to access you.
Prepare Voicemail, Custom Greetings, and Automated Messages
Automated replies are significant to businesses as they keep a line of communication with customers even when no one is in the office. Align your responses with your schedule to inform customers when you're out.
Determine Communication Flow
Call routing and forwarding is another common feature found in business phones. Organize a clear call flow so employees know their duties and that no communication aspect is missed. Examples of things you need to account for are:
- Setting up toll-free numbers
- Designating extensions
- When to activate automated responses
- How to reduce call transfers
Set Up Call Routing
Once you've established these factors, enable call routing to the correct channels. Review designations and set up call queuing/call holding if your service provider has it.
Once you've accomplished all these, you have finally finished setting up your business phone line. Of course, more tasks may be left to do if your service provider has a broader array of features. It may feel like a lot of work, but the convenience afterward is worth it.
Are you looking for a Free Trial on VoIP? Test the waters with LimePhone
If you're still undecided about getting a business phone, you can test things with a free trial first. Luckily, LimePhone offers a free demonstration with zero commitment and a whole range of features for you to try.
LimePhone is a virtual phone number designed for businesses that need advanced tools to help with their communication. LimePhone offers a wide breadth of services for low monthly rates at different packages, all of which provide the basic and essential functions you would need from a business phone line. It can be used on mobile devices, cell phones, softphones, computers, and landlines.
What Can You Do with LimePhone?
LimePhone lets you make and receive high-quality phone calls in and out of the country at less cost than a conventional phone number. Get unlimited inbound calls and messages and freely send SMS and MMS anytime, anywhere, with only an internet connection.
Access essential tools and features such as call recording, routing, voicemail, automated SMS, and SIP forwarding. Aside from that, LimePhone offers more advanced and team-oriented tools such as voicemail transcription, team analytics, shared SMS groups, and team member management.
Another modern approach you can take with LimePhone is that it lets you integrate your webpage or popular platforms like Facebook and Slack and connect them to your business phone line. This way, you can access a broader market and establish connections you've encountered online.
LimePhone can cost as little as $9.99 a month but gives back a large arsenal of tools to give you that competitive advantage over other businesses.
- Is a business phone system expensive?
- Business phone systems can differ in price depending on the type, services offered, and service provider. For example, you could pay as little as $50 to as much as $500 per unit. For VoIPs, you will usually be charged every month, which can cost as little as $9.99, but for every user. It would help if you also accounted for service and maintenance costs when a physical device is involved. There are free alternatives, but with only a basic set of features.
- Is it safe to use a business phone?
- Yes, business phones are safe, legal, and also private.
- What are the different kinds of business phones I can try?
- Business phones are split into three types - KSU (Key System Units), which is essential and easy to use but limited in function; PBX (Private Branch Exchange), which is suitable for larger businesses but can be costly in terms of maintenance and service fees; and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which is the newest type and uses an internet connection to function.
Having a business phone as part of your office can give you a clear edge over competitors. It lets you reach clients outside business hours, creates a work-life balance for everyone involved, and helps ease operations while maintaining customer rapport. While it may be an added cost and needs a primary setup, the work and investment reduce your workload and helps improve performance.
Setting up a business phone doesn't have to be costly or complicated. You are free to determine your priorities and needs before making a decision you are happy with. And, of course, if you want to give it a try first, LimePhone is there to help you out.