Starting a business comes with a ton of unexpected costs and services. For that reason, it’s important to save money when you can. Getting and setting up a free business phone number can be a smart way to present your business as a new, legitimate company because you’ll always need a point of contact in the form of a phone number or an email. Finding a free business phone number is accessible to businesses of all sizes. Here are a few of the top free phone number providers on the market today.
Free Phone Number Services
When you’re searching for a free business phone number, it’s important to anticipate the volume of calls you’re expecting.
This is probably one of the more popular free business phone services because there are millions of Gmail users worldwide. Google Voice allows you to text and call for free on Android, iOS, and any computer via a web app. Google Voice also does basic transcriptions of voice mails. Google Voice only offers free local area code numbers, as opposed to toll-free numbers, but the services are good enough to get started. If you’d like to get your own Google Voice number, you can check out our guide on the subject.
TextFree is an application available on the iOS and Google Play app stores. Since it’s an app, it can be used through phones, tablets or computers. You can choose a U.S. phone number that can call and text with users who don’t have the app.
After downloading their software and using a telephone adapter, you can use this voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) service from any computer you want and get started. Phone calls are free to other Callcentric users, but there is a small charge for calling traditional phone numbers. This might be a better idea for businesses that don’t need a phone number to take daily customer service calls.
Video calls have become a necessity for many startups and small businesses, so this service offers them in addition to phone calls. Since it’s an app and uses the internet for calls, you can also make international calls with up to 200 participants for free. Available on Google Play and iOS, you can use LINE on your phone or computer and keep them synced together.
Although this service only works with iOS devices, it offers a solid set of telephony features along with basic texting and calling. In addition to your free phone number, Dingtone lets you make conference calls and send faxes at no cost. Getting more business features will make your burgeoning business look even more professional.
Types of Business Phone Numbers
A toll-free number that begins with 1-800 has the association of an established business for most customers. It’s a familiar formation to so many customers because of decades of TV commercials, phone books and advertisements in general. Although it’s harder to find a free 1-800 number these days, many other toll-free prefixes are still available (like 888, 887 and so on).
How To Get a Toll-free Number
You can sign up for a toll-free number for your business through your regular phone provider. Additionally, you can forward it to an existing line and stay on top of any calls that come into your business through a former number.
If you’re serving customers and clients in the United States, having a toll-free number is the best way to ensure a professional presence. In addition to being a recognizable business number, any customer from around the country can call without a fee. The cost for your business is usually about $10 per month.
However, international callers might face higher costs for calling. If you’re looking to expand globally, figuring out a different plan for your business phone number to be more internationally inclusive will be important.
A vanity phone number is not necessarily about how it looks, but it can function well for marketing integration for your business and makes your phone number easier to memorize than the average string of ten numbers. A vanity phone number for a cleaning service might enable them to have a series of numbers that spell “CLEAN UP” instead of just random numbers.
How To Get a Vanity Phone Number
You might be able to find a vanity phone number with a local area code through your regular phone provider, depending on what they have available. You can try to get a toll-free vanity phone number that starts with 1-800, 1-888 or another toll-free prefix.
The issue with vanity phone numbers is that the most obvious ones are already taken (like 1-800-FLOWERS). However, the ones that you can come up with that are still available are probably more memorable than the obvious ones. If you can find one that works with your company, it could be a major boon to your business to have an odd or eye-catching vanity phone number.
Since vanity phone numbers are more specific, they tend to cost around $10-$50 per month.
A local phone number has an area code that is specific to an area of the U.S. For example, area code 212 is associated with Manhattan in New York, while 323 is Los Angeles, California. These phone numbers tend to look trustworthy to local customers because it looks like it’s coming from a neighbor or a nearby business.
Where To Get a Local Phone Number
Any company, even a sole proprietorship, can get a singular business phone number through any phone company or cable provider. A small company that gets a business phone number with a local area code can easily establish itself as a reliable neighborhood business.
In addition to looking at your local phone company’s business phone number options, Google Voice offers free set up of business phone numbers for individuals. A Google Voice number with the basic ability to take calls and get messages is free. Local phone numbers can cost anywhere from $0 (single-user) to $30 per month for businesses.
Why Get a Free Business Phone Number?
Even if you’re planning to build a higher-volume business in the future, starting with cost-saving measures can keep your initial fees lower and allow growth to be easier. And it can be helpful to have a dedicated number for business use so that your important work calls do not get mixed in with numbers from friends and family on your personal line.
Even a sole proprietorship should have a separate phone number for customers or clients to call so they can get answers if they prefer phone calls. It’s important to save costs because so many businesses need to have multiple points of contact, with websites becoming all the more important. Choosing how to spend money and making sure it’s invested well in the beginning will set you up for success in the future.
Most of these services offer add-ons and paid services when you need to level up. Starting with a free business phone number can help you assess where and how customers prefer to communicate, and where to invest time and money.
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