Does your business need a new phone number? It can be difficult to find where to get a number with a service that’s appropriate for your needs. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to get a new phone number, what to look for in a provider, and where you can get an affordable phone system.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners haven’t always been well served by the telecom industry. Luckily, there’s been a cloud-powered shift in small business communication that’s opened the door to cost-effective phone service with plenty of business features.
So, if it’s previously been difficult for you to discover how to get a new phone number that’s well-priced and accessible, rest assured that you have far more options now.
Why Now’s the Time to Get a New Business Phone Number
Business owners are used to bootstrapping and keeping operations fiscally tight. In the past, this has usually included avoiding excess telecom use.
Some entrepreneurs would run their entire business on their personal cell phones. Other business owners would use one standard line for their entire operation.
Staying lean is great. But only when necessary and not when it prevents you from ramping up productivity, improving your business, and reaping a high ROI.
Business numbers are very affordable and easily acquired. You can and should get as many as your company needs.
There are several situations where it’s better to get a new business phone number.
- Office or Location Expansion: if you’re opening more physical locations, you will need several numbers.
- Local Office Numbers: if you want to improve your local presence, getting new numbers for each area will help.
- Project a Larger Image: if you want to look larger, you can get non-local numbers to give a national or international appearance.
- Department or Team Access: you can give numbers to different departments or core teams for inter or intra-office communication.
- Increase Calling Capacity: if you have heavy inbound or outbound calling volumes, you can get alternate business numbers to reroute calls when lines are tied up.
Are you still using workarounds to compensate for not having the business phone numbers you need? That might have been a sharp business strategy in the past but is no longer necessary and will only limit your growth potential.
Related: What’s the Best Virtual Phone System for Small Business?
How to Get a New Phone Number
This is a fairly straightforward process as long as you know a few insider tips that can prevent you from choosing the wrong option.
Here’s how to get a new phone number that’s right for your business.
H3: Decide What Kind of Number You Want
You can get toll-free numbers, custom vanity numbers, regional numbers, international, or keep your own.
Toll-free numbers are used so that customers can call you from any area without having to pay charges or long-distance fines. These are appropriate when you want a non-localized business appearance.
Get a toll-free number if you have several locations, serve customers who are located across a broad region, sell digital products, or provide remote services.
Toll-free numbers can also be used by anyone who wants a larger, corporate appearance.
Vanity numbers spell out a word, name, or acronym on the keypad. They can also be easy-to-remember numbers, such as 800-555-4444. You can get local or toll-free custom vanity numbers.
A local number has a specific region’s area code. These are great for regional businesses or anyone who wants to develop a hyper-local presence.
International numbers are from around the globe. If you do business outside the US or serve global customers, you may want an international number to make things more convenient and cost-effective for them or to appear local.
If you already have a business number but want to get a new one or change your service, you’ll also need the ability to port your existing number over.
Assess Your Usage Needs
You should have a good understanding of your usage needs before you look for a new phone service. You don’t want to pay for more than you need or sign up with a provider who can’t accommodate you.
- Do you need unlimited minutes or will a few hundred per month be fine?
- How many people need to use this?
- Does every user need their own number?
- Will you be texting your customers and how often?
- Do you want the ability to route calls to different numbers?
If you have only a vague idea, make sure your new phone number service has a flexible monthly plan that lets you downgrade unnecessary service plans and can accommodate higher call usage without penalizing you.
Determine Your Preferred Device
How do you want to use this service? On your mobile phone, desktop/tablet, or would you like the feel of a traditional desk phone?
If mobile is the way, make sure there’s a full-service user-friendly app. Make sure the app caters to both iOS and Android even if you prefer one or the other, as this introduces more resilience into your business.
If you want a traditional desk phone, your business communication provider should be compatible with top-of-the-line phones.
Once you’ve considered this, it’s time to find a business phone provider.
Related: Look Who’s Calling: Phone Numbers Options for Your Business
What to Look for in a Business Phone Number Provider
You want to find a service provider who can deliver on your core needs and bring more to the table. Business communication services have improved thanks to cloud computing. So, there’s no reason to be stuck with a basic service when you’re looking for a new business phone service.
Your business number should come with the latest cloud-driven communication, collaboration, and customer outreach features. And ideally, it should also be open for integrations with other tools.
Here’s a list of features to look for:
- SMS text messaging capabilities for convenience and customer nurturing
- White-labeled video conferencing meetings with top-notch audio and video quality
- Voicemail to email with instant notifications so that all your messages go into one inbox
- Voicemail transcription option so you can read messages in your email or as texts
- Call forwarding to redirect calls to other lines like your home, alternate office, mobile, or vacation number
- Call handling rules so you can make smart forwarding arrangements for productivity
- Call logs to retain records on all your incoming, outgoing, and missed numbers
- Call analytics if you need insights on call performance and busy times
- HIPAA compliance if you handle sensitive personal information or contract for a company that does
- An open API and Zapier connection so you can automate your cloud communication workflows for greater productivity.
What to Watch Out for
Not all business phone service providers offer these features. Some will lure you in with the promise of a few unlimited essentials, then leave you locked into poor quality with a long contract. Others save only their best features or service for large enterprise customers.
Being a small business owner or entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less or spend excessively on telecom costs.
You can get top-notch service at reasonable prices when you have a dedicated small business provider that offers an enterprise-level solution with a quality guarantee and dedicated 24/7 customer service.
A small business provider understands that you still need financial flexibility and will let you decide if you want to go with a monthly plan or are fine making an annual service purchase.
You should have the ability to start with only what you need and grow with your business. You can get a high-quality calling and communications service at the right price and pricing model for you.
You can get this from Phone.com. Phone.com has millions of new business numbers waiting for you, along with all the latest business-oriented services like live receptionists, video conferencing, call analytics, voicemail to email, and CRM integration. Sign up now for a monthly or annual plan with a 30-day money back guarantee.