Setting up a business phone number is not much different than setting up a traditional landline for personal use. These days, of course, some people might decide that they want to set up a mobile business phone number, or multiple numbers so that people have options for ways to access the company. In any case, knowing how to register your business information, including your phone number, will ensure that your company gets the visibility that it deserves.
More importantly, it will make sure that people can get in touch with your business. Nothing is worse than having people call to get a voicemail that’s never been set up or accidentally call your personal phone because they can’t find your business number. Follow these steps and you’ll be fielding business calls in no time at all.
The first thing on your agenda is to make sure that you’re shopping for business phone services. Whether you are investing in a traditional landline, VoIP, or even just mobile phones for business, you need to have business-level service. Not only will this ensure that you get accurate and fair pricing, but it will guarantee that the quality of the service is up to par for commercial use.
It's not that residential or private phone providers are bad. They’re just not built for business. When you choose a dedicated business phone company or plan, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that the service will stand up to the demands of your business.
The goal here is to avoid any confusion as to the fact that this is a business and that it has a phone number for business purposes. You shouldn’t get a business phone plan and register it in your name only. You can register it in the business’s name with you as the main contact/CEO/what have you, but you shouldn’t try to just register with your personal information.
That doesn’t only complicate things, but it makes it hard to prove tax liabilities and potential deductions when no one can tell whether your phone is being used for business or pleasure. It’s best to keep everything separate in business, including communication tools and solutions.
Part of starting and owning a business is registering that business with the state. When you file that registration, a phone number will be required. Make sure that you provide the full phone number, as well as any other numbers you have—mobile, fax, etc.—so that people know how to contact your business and so that the state has everything on file. Once your business is registered, your phone number will start to appear in other directory listings, too. You may have to go back in and manually change some listings, but that isn’t always the case.
Part of your success with being discovered online (and locally) is to have a standard business listing that you use throughout the Internet. It should include your name, address, and phone number, and is sometimes called the NAP or citation. This needs to be one single, standardized format that is consistent in every listing so that Google trusts you as a reputable business.
This may require some legwork, depending on how much marketing and branding you’ve done thus far. However, it will be worth it to get the much-needed reputation points to rank highly for local SEO with your new business.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a business phone if you’re just getting started. You can work with options like Google Voice and Callcentric, which offer a variety of VoIP solutions with no real costs unless you choose to upgrade features, invest in headsets and other equipment, and so forth.
Some of the platforms that you find today will even let you make conference calls, send faxes, text, and send video messages. Take the time to explore all the options so that you get the right solution for your business, whether it’s a free solution or a paid platform. There’s a lot out there to choose from and it’s anything but your grandfather’s business phone.
The good news is that today’s business phone is much more dynamic than business phones of decades past. In addition to mobile options and free VoIP servers online, you can also give people an automated menu experience that includes interactive voice response (IVR) to get their calls to the right place and save you answering and transferring calls endlessly.
Business phones also come with multiple line options, allowing you to get as many lines as you need whether you’re using physical or virtual handsets. As a business customer, you are privy to many more features than what you’d find on a personal phone line. You may even be able to combine a local number and a toll-free number in one service to give your callers even more versatility.
A business phone with proper voicemail isn’t enough these days. The first thing on your list should be a 24/7 answering service that will ensure you never miss a single lead or opportunity. When you choose to work with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, that comes standard, along with assistance for lead intake, appointment scheduling, live website chat, and so much more.
If you’re still in the strategy and planning stages, ask how we can also assist with outreach campaigns and outbound sales support. Plus, we’ll tie it all together with a plan to manage all the details, no matter what you need.