There’s a lot to set up when you’re launching your business. You need to set up a website, find an office space, acquire business licenses and necessary permits, and more. You’ll also want to set up a business phone number.
Fortunately, while everything else on that list takes a little bit of time and research, getting a business phone number for your organization is a relatively simple and straightforward process.
In this post, we’re going to talk about exactly what business phone numbers are, how they work, why they’re so beneficial, and how you can set up your business number for your brand.
What Is a Business Phone Number?
A business phone number is simply a phone line that’s dedicated to your business specifically. You aren’t handing out your personal cell phone number to clients so that they can get in touch; even if you’re a one-person business, you’ll have a separate line to handle all calls with clients, team members, vendors, and third-party contractors.
Your business phone number may come alongside an in-office phone system, but you can also purchase a virtual business phone number with services like Tresta, which allow you to access the number on a mobile device you already own (including for personal use).
The Benefits of Having a Dedicated Business Number
There are a number of reasons why you want to have a phone number that’s only used for business purposes.
The biggest advantage is that it gives you, the business owner, much-needed boundaries. The bigger your business gets, the more essential these boundaries become. You likely don’t want every customer to be calling your personal number for any question or concern they may have, especially if it isn’t scheduled ahead of time.
Scaling is also a reason why you’ll want to set up a business phone number right away. When you’re first starting out, it’s not a big deal to have people call your personal number.
Eventually, however, you’ll want them to reach your receptionist or general business number first. Virtual business phone numbers allow you to set up easy call forwarding, navigation menus, and extensions; personal lines do not.
And if you want to forward calls to another team member while you’re on vacation, that’s not exactly easy to do from a personal line; your coworker will answer the phone for the clients calling, for example, but they may also get a call from your mother, too.
Finally, business phone numbers are going to give your business a major boost in credibility. You might answer your personal line with something like “Lisa speaking,” not knowing who is calling.
You might answer a business line, on the other hand, with a greeting like “Home and Office Design, Lisa speaking, how can I help you today?” A dedicated business phone number makes you look more established and professional– even if you’re answering while you’re on a balcony overlooking a beach somewhere.
How Business Phone Numbers Work
You can set up your business phone number in multiple different ways, but the most common is to have a single phone number be the main business line.
Customers call, and they hear a greeting that thanks them for calling or their call is answered by a receptionist (either an in-office receptionist or one from an answering service). Their phone calls are then directed through call-forwarding technology to the right individual or the right general department like sales, customer service, or billing.
Business phone numbers also let callers enter extensions so that they’re able to reach a specific team member or department quickly. They can enter in the extension at any time, or let any receptionists know who they’re trying to reach.
There are multiple different options when you’re looking at business phone numbers. Most businesses either choose deskphone systems that require in-office, landline hardware to run or completely virtual business phone systems like Tresta, which can be accessed via a mobile app.
How to Get a Business Number for Your Organization
To get a business phone number for your organization, start by choosing a provider. You can read more about how to do this here, but you essentially want to look for the following:
- Scalability potential
- If their services are within your budget
- Advanced features like auto attendants, easy call forwarding, and analytics
- Strong customer service
- Customizable and flexible configuration options
- The ability for your team to work remotely if needed
- Ease of use with the system and interface itself
Setting Up Your Business Number
Services like Tresta allow you to choose a local number, a toll-free number, or even port in an existing number.
You should have a primary number for your business, which all customers will call when they see your business’s website, social media page, or listing in a directory.
Once you do this, you can set up either a live receptionist or an auto attendant that will walk them through different options. After you put each of your team members on the virtual business plan, too, giving them their own line, you can forward calls to the appropriate places with flexible call forwarding options.
You can, for example, have all “sales” calls be sent straight to your sales department, where the call rings to all of your reps so that you don’t miss high-intent leads. Calls to your billing department, on the other hand, will ring five times and then ask the customer to leave a voicemail. Meanwhile, your customer service calls can ring to your office during business hours and your answering service after hours.
Keep in mind that with virtual business lines like Tresta, your team members can answer multiple lines if needed. Customer service agent Sarah, for example, may get calls on her individual business line, but will also receive calls sent to the customer service department in general, where the first available agent is expected to answer.
A business phone number might seem like a relatively small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it can make a big impact on you, your team members, your clients, and your business overall. It makes it possible to organize your entire phone system and all incoming and outgoing calls while giving everyone involved improved boundaries for a better work/life balance.
And remember that business phone numbers can scale well, so choose a provider that will scale with your business over time, no matter where you go or how big you get.
Ready to set up your business phone number? Learn more about how Tresta works here!