Not long ago, setting up a business phone system for your small business was a tedious and complicated process that often required expensive IT specialists or consultants. Fortunately, a lot has changed, and now freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners can choose from a host of easy-to-configure virtual phone systems.
This simple, four-step guide will walk you through how to set up a new business phone number, start saving money, and get back to business in no time.
Step 1: Choose the Perfect System
Small business owners everywhere are turning to virtual phone systems to stay competitive. Virtual phone systems conserve your most precious resources—time and money—allowing you to reinvest every available dollar and minute into growing your company.
With a virtual phone system, everything you need is in the cloud, so you can set up your own service without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on professional installation. There’s no expensive hardware or software to purchase, no contracts to sign, and your capital investment is zero. You can add new numbers or extensions quickly as you grow, and best of all, a virtual system provides the power and polish of a traditional business phone system, at a fraction of the cost.
Step 2: Pick a Number
Once you’ve decided on a virtual phone system, you will need to select a phone number to start connecting with customers. There are several options to choose from:
- Local number—Give your business a local feel by setting up a local number in the area code(s) where you want to attract new business. Even if your business is in a different city or state, you can typically set up multiple local numbers for the communities you want to target.
- Toll-free number—Create a national presence and be available to customers anywhere. Toll-free numbers reinforce your brand by making your business look bigger and can be a cost-effective way to generate new business, both for you and your customers. Pairing your toll-free number with a local number can provide your business with greater reach to attract new customers.
- An existing number—If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably already have a business phone number that customers are used to calling. Most virtual phone system providers offer free number porting so you can keep your current number and avoid the risk of losing business.
Step 3: Download the App
Today’s virtual phone systems make it easy to add a second line to your existing cell phone, so you can use it as a complete business communications solution. Simply download and install the iOS or Android mobile app on your smart device, and get started making and receiving calls on your new or existing business phone number.
Typically, you’ll set up and manage everything online through a web portal, then use the mobile app for your day-to-day business communication needs. You can use the app to keep your work life and personal life separate, without the need for additional hardware. Best of all, you’ll never miss an important business call again just because you’re away from the office.
Step 4: Configure your System
Self-service setup is one of the great advantages of your new virtual phone system. Once you’ve created your account and selected your phone numbers, you’ll be ready to start using the essential features that will help you manage your business more efficiently. Power your business with professional features such as:
- Virtual voicemail—A reliable voicemail system is a must for any business. You can retrieve your messages via email, mobile phone, or web app, and evenly distribute voicemails among different team members to follow up.
- Auto attendant—An auto attendant is like a virtual receptionist that automatically greets callers and routes them to their destination efficiently and professionally with custom messages you create.
- Call forwarding—This feature allows one phone number to send its calls through to another phone number. Call forwarding is a simple, powerful tool that can be configured in many different ways to meet your needs.
- Call menus—Offer callers a menu of self-service options to automatically direct them to the right person or department: for example, “Press 1 for customer service,” or “Press 2 for sales.”
Features like these unify communications across locations and employees, help everyone work more productively, and create a consistent experience for customers—all of which helps you expand your business and your bottom line.
Next Steps: Grow Your Business
If you run a small or medium-sized company, a virtual phone system can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business. Combining robust features like extensions, voicemail, and call forwarding, these systems give you the professional look and feel that builds trust with potential customers. Cloud-based solutions also offer the flexibility, portability, and productivity you need to deliver top-notch service 24/7 from anywhere, while keeping your business and personal lives separate.
As your business grows, your phone system will grow with you. Virtual phone systems make it easy to add extensions for new team members, create custom groups for different departments, and acquire new phone numbers without breaking your budget—with Tresta, additional phone numbers cost as little as $1 a month.
Phone calls are still one of the most important lead types for many service businesses. The best virtual phone systems include powerful call analytics tools that can tell you how many calls are coming in, who is calling, why they are calling, and how long they stay on the phone. These insights will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and customer service, and enable you to make data-driven decisions about how to improve your business operations.
Get Started Now!
Running a small business can be complicated, but your phone system shouldn’t be. Virtual phone systems are easy to set up, configure, and use, freeing you to spend more time on what you do best.
Ready to discover a simpler kind of business phone system? Tresta is a new kind of phone and messaging platform that makes business communication easier and more affordable for everyone. Start a free 30-day trial today.