If you’ve just started a small business or plan to expand yours, one of the first topics you’ll think about is this — how do I get a business phone number?
Let’s break down how to get a phone number for your business in three simple steps:
- Choose a business phone number
- Purchase Your Business Phone Number
- Optimize your business calls with extensions
1) Choose a Business Phone Number
There are four different types of business phone numbers you can choose. Below we break it down by type and give you insight into what each one might end up costing you.
- Local business phone number
A local phone number refers to a phone number that starts with an area code for a designated location. Many businesses are choosing to purchase local area code phone numbers for when they are making cold calls in a particular area.
Think about it – how often do you answer a call from a phone number that you don’t know? But, you might be more likely to answer the call if it’s from a local phone number. That’s the benefit of choosing a local number for your business phone number.
The setup is fast, tied to a location via area code of your choice, and you can be up and running the very same day.
Typical cost: $0-10/month
- Toll-free business phone number
A toll-free number is an 800 number that is location-agnostic. The benefit of a toll-free number is that it can appear more professional to your consumer. You sign up via your phone provider, setup is fast, and you can even have it forwarded to an existing line.
Typical cost: $10/month
- Vanity business phone number
A vanity number takes a toll-free experience one step to the next level by providing a memorable string of words or numbers.
For instance, the 1-800-GOT-JUNK phone number is a critical element of the company’s brand.
The reality is that many desired vanity phone numbers have been claimed, but you may be in luck if you’re looking for something with your brand name.
Since Nextiva provides free porting, your best bet is to acquire the phone number then port it over to your business phone service.
Typical cost: $10-50/month
- Virtual business phone number
The last option available is a virtual number, but it’s not right for everyone. Rather than receiving reliable phone service, they primarily function exclusively as a call forwarding or voicemail service.
A virtual phone number is an option if you only want calls to forward to another number without the ability to place calls to another party.
For a business that wants to establish a local presence in a market but not make calls from it would use a virtual phone number with their VoIP phone service.
Typical cost: $0-10/month
2. Purchase your business phone number
Now that you now what type of business phone number you want, it’s time to make the purchase.
No matter what you choose, Nextiva has you covered.
Nextiva provides business phone numbers in every state in the U.S. You can use this to set up local phone numbers, even without offices in those locations. Nextiva also includes toll-free, local, and virtual phone numbers, too.
If you already have a business phone number, but want to move to a new VoIP provider, you do not have to change it! Through a process known as porting, you can authorize that it moves to your new VoIP provider without interruption. The FCC mandates that old phone providers cannot refuse to port numbers even if you have an outstanding balance.
3. Optimize Your Business Calls with Extensions
Now that you’ve set up your phone number, you can begin adding extensions.
Extensions work well for businesses that need to route calls to different staff members or different teams, like in a repair shop.
Instead of separate phone numbers, a business uses one central phone number for all its staff. Callers can then dial the extension of individual employees or departments from within the phone system. An example of this would be so a customer could contact the hairstylist of their choice to schedule an appointment.
Many providers make it easy to assign these extensions. You can also forward the extension to a personal number to handle VIP calls.
Companies use phone extensions to trim the costs of their phone bill and increase the appearance of a larger business, even if it has only two employees.
With a business phone number and extensions in place, your customers can easily reach who they want.
Additional Business Phone Features to Think About
The best part of using a business phone service is the number of features that come with it. Nextiva offers small business solutions to help you take customer conversations to the next level.
Here are the top phone features Nextiva customers enjoy using to grow their businesses.
Create your personalized greeting or ask Nextiva to set you up with a pre-recorded message. No need to hire additional voiceover talent—Nextiva has it.
Not in the office? No problem. Nextiva’s Call Forwarding makes it possible for you to receive your calls from the comfort of your home or right on your cell phone.
Let your customers choose who they want to speak to with the Auto Attendant feature. They press a button, and the business phone system instantly directs them to the right contact.
This feature is a killer way to level up your customer experience from the moment they call. Plus, you’ll get to know why someone is calling before you even answer.
Related: Nextiva Named Best Business Phone Service of 2020 by U.S. News
Scale Your Business with a VoIP Phone System
Behind every business phone number is the phone service that moves the needle for business owners.
If you need to increase your company’s appearance or could benefit from an array of new calling and collaboration features, you should invest in phone service to increase your capabilities.
Ready to talk to someone about your company phone service needs? Talk to a Nextiva expert to see how we can help you select the right tools to grow your business.