Ready to get a toll free 1-800 Number for your business, but don’t know where to buy one or how difficult it’ll be to set it up? In this article, I’m going to go over the top 3 places to get an 800 number for your business, show you my top recommended provider for small businesses, and walk you through step by step of setting up your new VOIP business line in less than 10 minutes. BY the end of this article, you’ll be able to make outgoing calls and receive calls on your new toll free business line, route them through your cell phone if you don’t have an office phone setup yet, and even have a custom greeting, automated answering, and even custom extensions with classy hold music if you choose.
This guide and these services are perfect for the small business owner that wants to add a toll free 800 number to an existing local line, and for startups looking to get up and running with a corporate number TODAY! If you have a deal pending and don’t want to look unprofessional by making outgoing calls from your cell phone, this is the perfect solution for that too… See how we can easily make outgoing calls from our cell phone by routing the call through our business line with the built in phone app.
Where To Buy A Toll Free 800 Number? (No Contract)
One of the things I looks for on my business line checklist, is having a no contract line and the ability to port that number to any service provider I want. That way, if for some reason I need to upgrade to a more advanced VOIP or PBX provider in the future, I can do so and am not locked into some crazy contract like the local phone companies try to con me into.
That said, my favorite place to get numbers for most small businesses is Grasshopper. They offer affordable pricing, are super professional, and the service is reliable and quick/easy to setup. All services are month to month, no contracts which I love!
How To Get A 1-800 Number For Your Business
Getting an 800 number for your business is super simple, and only takes a few minutes with Grasshopper’s number availability search tool, and customer control panel. (quick setup wizard makes setting up your line setting a snap)
Step 1) Search Available Numbers
Use the available 800 number search tool below, and choose between 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 if you need alternate 800 prefixes:
Step 2) Register Your New Number
You can also choose to keep your existing line if you already have one, port a landline over to Grasshopper (takes additional time), or do a number search by state or area code. Premium vanity numbers are also available as well:
Step 3) Setup Your Call Routing Settings
You have several options at the click of your mouse that control how your new line will work. You can choose to forward calls to your cell for the time being, you can upload automated custom greetings to act as an automated attendant if you’d like, and you can easily add extensions for any department or employee you’d like. Most small businesses don’t even need all of these features, but it’s nice to know they’re there in case you do!
Record your main message…
Add extensions if you want them…
Once you have selected a phone number, set up a custom message, and assigned extensions, you are ready to receive calls, voicemails, and faxes. You can manage your phone calls and voicemails online or directly from your phone. Setting up your virtual system has never been easier. No more waiting for a tech to come and install your systems!
You can easily change all settings with a couple clicks:
- Custom business greetings
- Custom hold music
- Automated answering
- Call forwarding
- Voicemail to text or email
- Fax to email
- Cell Phone / Smartphone Integration (download the app here)
That’s It! You’re ready to test your line and start receiving calls…
How A Toll Free 800 Number Can Help Your Business
In the book E-Marketing: What Went Wrong And How To Fix It, TARP found that “86% of consumers believe 800 numbers on packages connote quality products.” That’s a staggering percentage, and seems to carry over to every aspect of a service business as well. At the core, customers feel like they’re better supported, you’re easier to connect with, and 800 numbers give that “big business feel” of a Fortune 500 even if it’s still a small mom and pop.
In another classic business marketing book, Zero-Budget Marketing, there are several principles that small businesses can take away from what their standard was for telemarketing firms. After all, if it works for the big guys, it’ll definitely work for the little guys right?
When discussing the prerequisites for inbound telemarketing, one of the major points was making sure you have an adequate phone system, and in addition to that, they found adding a toll-free number increased inbound inquiries. The same applies to all small businesses… Having the phone answered, or at least having an automated greeting or auto attendant functionality with department extensions, can make the customer feel like they’re not being ignored and boost sales.
Alternative Business Phone Service Solutions
How To Get An 800 Number For Your Cell Phone
You can easily get an 800 number for your cell phone by registering a new line through Grasshopper following the steps above, and then you have some options on how you can setup your virtual number to work with your cell.
First, you can forward your toll free 800 number to your cell phone, and it’ll receive calls just as if someone were calling your office. But you also have the option to setup a custom business greeting first, and then add custom extensions for departments, services, or specific employees. Once someone selects the extensions that leads to your cell phone, it automatically connects the call and it’ll ring through.
Next you can choose how your 800 number voicemail works as well, and can get the voicemails emailed to you if there’s no live answer. You can also accept faxes in the same way, and there’s no need to connect a fax machine or anything like that…. Everything will work with your smartphone.
What I would recommend though, is downloading the free smartphone app from Grasshopper, that way you can route outgoing calls through your business line, and customers won’t be able to tell you’re on your cell phone and also won’t reveal your cell phone’s caller id. (it’ll show the business caller id instead, which is much more professional) There are other providers that offer similar services, but the biggest thing here is you’re going to want to go with a provider that has their own app, otherwise you’ll be able to receive toll free calls, but not make outgoing calls from the same line… can be kind of unprofessional that way. With the grasshopper phone app, you can control what caller id shows to customers and clients very easily, and no one will know you’re using your cell phone. (much more professional, and keeps naggy customers from bothering you after hours)
Do I Still Need An Answering Service For My Small Business?
Grasshopper’s automated greeting system can direct calls however you’d like, and it’s very easy to set it up so you don’t have to pay for a live answer phone service unless you really need it. It’s still professional, and calls can get routed to the right people if you have (or will have in the near future) multiple employees.
I like the ability to have a particular extensions ring me on my cell, while another extensions can be routed to another employee. So for instance, let’s say you’re a small construction business, and you have yourself, an estimator, an office staff member, and a project manager. If someone presses 1 for scheduling, they’ll be directed to the office line. If they press 2 for estimates, they’ll be directed to your project managers cell phone. If they press 3 for whatever else you’d like to have on the menu, it’ll ring your cell phone if you choose.
With that kind of flexibility, it takes a lot of the need for a live answer service away, and isn’t an always necessary expense with an automated attendant capability in your phone system.
WARNING About Free 800 Numbers For Small Business
I wouldn’t trust my business to any carrier or provider offering a free toll free 800 number, and here’s why. If I put time effort and money into marketing my business, I want to make damn sure I own the line. If not, I’m putting a lot more at risk than just the number itself, it can also lead to lost sales and people thinking you’re out of business if they call after an honorable mention and the line is dead or it’s the we wrong company.
For example, sometimes you’ll be working on a project, and get an unknown mention in the newspaper or magazine. Anytime a publication feature your work, it can lead to an influx in inquiries, sales, and new customers. But not if you don’t control the number and let it drop a year later! You never know when opportunity is going to present itself…
VOIP 800 Number Service Providers Comparison
Here are the top VOIP business providers compared:
|Plan Details||Grasshopper||Virtual PBX.com||Ring Central||Phone.com||Callfire|
|Unlimited Minutes Option||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
|Toll Free Minutes||pay as you go or monthly packages||unlimited||1,000||100||2500|
|Local / Toll Free Numbers Included||1-3||1||1||1||none|
|30 Day Money Back Guarantee||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
|Call Recording Capability||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Call Log Reports||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Mobile / Cell / Smartphone Compatible||yes||yes||yes||yes||no|
Stop Paying Additional Payroll For Receptionists For Small Service Businesses
Automated business phone answering services, and auto attendant functionality like you see on Grasshopper’s VOIP service can replace expensive payroll positions of full time employees where they’re not critical. Sure, some service and sales businesses are absolutely critical to have a receptionist or live answer staff on call 24/7, so don’t skimp if your top line revenue is live com dependent. With unlimited call extensions in an easy to use call flow manager, your ability to mimic live personal and employees while still cutting expenses if now easier than ever. Sound like a Fortune 500 without the Fortune 500 expense! >> with Grasshopper VOIP
Best Toll Free Phone Number Service For Business Is
In my opinion, the best toll free number provider for 98% of businesses is Grasshopper. If you need things like specialized call track and call recording, Phone.com and Ring Central are tied for a close second. If you’re running a slightly larger office, and need a more complex PBX phone system with a fail-over parachute, Virtual PBX is the way to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Just Use Free Google Voice 800 Number Service?
I’ve used Google Voice before, both successfully and unsuccessfully. In my opinion, I’d say it depends on how much money you’re making with your business currently. Would you entrust a free service or a company like Google to provide you with a business line that can be transferred or released down the road? I wouldn’t.
Is 1 800 Phone Number Availability That Matches My Business Name Out Of The Question?
Well most small businesses have really long names, so most don’t qualify for an exact match vanity number right off the bat. But what is really common, and works really well to give you a unique and personalized number, is using the abbreviation of your business or an acronym of your primary service or problem your business solves. Use this vanity number search to see what combinations you can come up with.
3 Things You Need To Know Before Getting An 800 Number Service
How Much Does An 800 Number Service For My Business Cost On Average?
Most plans start at around $15/mo through Grasshopper and Ring Central, and go up to about $50/mo for some of the smaller unlimited plans. The nice thing about all of these voip providers, is that all of them are no contract services.
Virtual PBX, Phone.com, and Evoice are all fairly close in price, but some have better features within the plans for some businesses.
Can I Get 800 Number For Cell Phone For My Business Line But Not Interfere With My Personal Line When I Get Faxes?
Yes if you use a VOIP provider with a smartphone app (and have a smartphone cell of course!), it will differentiate between the two incoming call types for you, and route as you specify. For instance, if you have it set to transcribe your faxes and email them to you, this will happen simultaneously under the hood while you’re cell phone is accepting forwarded calls.
You can choose to forward your office calls straight to your personal cell, and then use the Grasshopper smartphone app to make outgoing calls that match your business caller id.
How Do I An Extra 800 Number For My Small Business And Still Use My Local Landline?
If you have a local landline through your telephone company, and a traditional analog or digital phone, you have to decide up front how you want to receive the calls on your 800 line you add.
You have a couple options here, but one requires you to buy a phone adapter to support VOIP calls on your office phone if that’s how you want to receive them, and the other lets you forward any toll free calls from your 800 number to any cell phone free of charge.
What’s The Best Toll Free Number Service For A Small Business With Only 1-5 Employees?
Grasshopper is the market leader when it comes to the best features and service for the money. They call it the entrepreneurs phone system, since it works really well when you’re just getting your business going (1 person), and can expand easily with you when you start adding employees.
You won’t have to worry about transferring services that can handle increased volume, phones, or additional phone lines either. Smartphone and office phone integration is seamless, and you can have multiple employees on your unlimited extensions and transfers anywhere in the world.
What’s The Cheapest 800 Number Service For Startup Business With No Contract?
Cheap and best don’t go together, which one do you really want? I’d recommend Grasshopper, Ring Central, Phone.com, or Virtual PBX. Some have slightly different features than other as far as plan details are concerned, so check out one of those and see which suits you best.
Should I Get A 1-800 Number For My Business Through My Local Telephone Company, Or Is There A Better Solution?
Comparing your local provider to a VOIP provider is like comparing apples to oranges. The flexibility you get with a virtual toll free number provider is drastically more diverse than a hard line… But then again it’s not a landline. If you already have a local landline, and want to add a toll free 800 line, check out Grasshopper. They have flexible plans that integrate with cell phones, office phones, and are perfect for most small office setups for small business.
How Do I Get A 1800 Number For My Business With No Contract?
All of the companies I recommend on this page are no contract, unless you opt for add on services which are a minor fee for a certain term. All are easy to port your numbers over, manage your phone system online, and work with cell phones, office phones, etc…
I wouldn’t recommend any provider that forces you into a contract these days when there are so many good options that offer month to month.
Which 1-800 Number Service Providers Have Automated Answering And Cell Phone Call Forwarding??
Almost all of them listed on this page have both, but only those who have their own smartphone app will allow you to make outgoing calls routed through the business line. (so your business caller id shows up to customers instead of your cell phone caller id… way more professional!)
If you want virtual PBX like functions with complex auto attendant answering and call routing, Grasshopper, Ring Central, and Virtual PBX would be your best bet for that.
How Do I Create A Custom 800 Vanity Number For My Business?
I wrote an entire separate article that covers this in detail: How To Get Custom Business Vanity Phone Numbers
I Need A 1-800 Number For My Business, Which Provider Should I Go With For Conference Calling And Forwarding Customer Calls To My Assistant?
Grasshopper is great for adding unlimited extensions, call forwarding, and redirecting certain inquiries to specific employees on different external lines. Setup is a snap, and you can secure your new 800 number within a few minutes here.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Toll-Free Number For My Business?
How a toll-free number can help your business…
- Have that BIG BUSINESS feel even if you’re just starting out so customers take you seriously
- Boost response rates from ads and marketing
- Create a more memorable impression to customers, and appear much more professional
- Research shows a toll free number can improve your bottom line by increasing inbound calls
- Technical Assistance Research Programs study shows — “86% of consumers believe an 800 number connotes a quality product.”
- Customers are more likely to trust a business that has a 1-800 number
- “When our clients add an 800 number to their advertisements, they increase their response rates by 30%!” – Billboard Connection
- 1-866-DESIGNS – Research Firm Marketing Charts “Vanity numbers are even more memorable than URLS.”
- Virtual phone systems let you connect employees from anywhere around the globe, even if they work from home
How To Get A Custom Vanity Number For Your Business (local 1-800 & toll free)
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