Are you a freelancer that struggles with giving out your personal phone number to clients?
Do you have a team that works for you and you wish you could track business calls?
Then you really should consider setting up a virtual number. Starting out in business it was just me. I really didn’t want to go out and set up a whole new business phone line, or buy another cell phone or plan just for the business. I was boot strapping this business so I had to keep costs down.
Thankfully there were options for me. These options came in the form of Virtual Phone Numbers. Starting out with the free service of Google Voice.
If you don’t want to give your personal cell phone number out to all of your business contacts, then just get a Google Voice number. Not only does it give you another number to use for your business, but it allows you to screen calls, answer while they are leaving a voice mail, and get your voice mails transcribed for free. The transcription isn’t perfect, but it works well enough to get the gist of the message.
Google voice is a great place to start, but it doesn’t have all the features a business owner might need. Once you are either ready to take your phone management to the next level or if you just need to, especially because you have employees, then you need what is called a Virtual PBX. A lot of businesses have PBX’s in their offices for their phone systems. It’s what allows the company to have extensions and mailboxes and more. Physical versions of these are very expensive and you need to know how to set them up. With a virtual PBX you can easily set up extensions, add and delete phone numbers, receive faxes, and more all to your cell phone.
Personally I use Ring Central mainly because the price is amazingly affordable, it gives me a free 800 number, dedicated fax number and unlimited extensions. I can even add more phone numbers to it for only $5 a month. The cool thing is, if I want I can have everything directed to my phone, or I can have one extension ring many phones. With the Android app(they also have an iPhone and Blackberry app) I can easily see incoming faxes, missed calls, check missed calls and make calls as if calling from my business line.
So I highly suggest getting started with a virtual number today to start upping your business game.
Leave a comment below with questions or ideas on how to use virtual phone numbers to make managing your business easier.