When I first started my business, I didn’t have very many phone calls. In fact, I avoided calls like the plague and tried to never give out my phone number for any reason.
This is partially because I was working full-time and didn’t really have the time for phone calls, but also I just hate phone calls.
These days, I’ve been forced to get over that somewhat as I have weekly calls with several of my clients, plus calls with my coaching students too.
(But that doesn’t mean I like phone calls any more now than I did then! Ha!)
Since all of my clients know I’m a solopreneur, I haven’t felt the need to go out and get a different phone number or plan. But, this is something I’m considering doing anyway so I can create a better work-life balance.
If you want a separate phone number for your business, it may be worth it to have an 800 number rather than a local phone number.
- Best Ways to Get an 800 Number
- 6 Reasons to Get an 800 Number
- 5 Best Features of 800 Numbers
Best Ways to Get an 800 Number
Here are some of the best ways to get an 800 number as an entrepreneur.
1. Check with Your Current Phone Provider
If you’ve decided to get an 800 number, you should check with your current phone provider. It’s possible they’ll give you a good price on a plan to keep you doing business with them.
Republic Wireless has plans that start at just $15 for unlimited talk and text plus $5 per GB of data.
Another company to consider is Straight Talk. Straight Talk has low-cost plans starting at $35 for unlimited talk and text with 2 GB of data.
Bonus: You can save even more on Straight Talk if you’re a Rakuten member!
You may be able to get FREE phone service with Freedom Pop.
If you don’t anticipate too much use, you can get a free plan with 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500 MB of data.
But, if you do have to upgrade to a paid plan, they start off at only $13.99 per month. Plus, you may be able to save with Rakuten!
GoDaddy offers a toll-free number service called SmartLine. This can be added to your smartphone without any additional equipment. They even let you try it free for a month before charging you. Here are their plans:
- Basic allows 300 toll-free minutes for $9.99 per month.
- Pro allows 1,000 toll-free minutes for $19.99 per month.
- Premium allows 2,500 toll-free minutes for 49.99 per month.
- Deluxe allows 5,000 toll-free minutes for $99.99 per month.
There are some pretty cool features included in their plans, such as texts, and choosing your own business phone number. But there are a ton of other great options besides GoDaddy and none of them require a signed contract.
You should check out RingCentral for another economical choice to get an 800 number for your business. All plans include unlimited phone calls as well as video and audio meetings. They have four different options to choose from:
- Essentials plan has 100 toll-free minutes for $19.99 per month per user up to 10 users.
- Standard plan has 1,000 toll-free minutes for $24.99 per month per user with unlimited users.
- Premium plan has 2,500 toll-free minutes for $34.99 per month per user with unlimited users.
- Ultimate plan has 10,000 toll-free minutes for $49.99 per month per user with unlimited users.
There are no contracts and plenty of features to help you get what you need from an 800 number. Here are the plans they offer:
- Base plan allows 300 toll-free minutes for $12.99 per month. ($9.99 if you pay for a year all at once.) It has unlimited extensions and 1 number. In addition, you get 5,000 SMS messages and 40 additional features.
- Plus plan allows 500 toll-free minutes for $19.99 per month. ($14.99 if you pay for a year all at once.) It has unlimited extensions and 2 numbers. In addition, you get 10,000 SMS messages and all the features of the Base plan plus a few extras.
- Pro plan allows 1,000 toll-free minutes for $39.99 per month. ($29.99 if you pay for a year all at once.) It has unlimited extensions and 3 numbers. In addition, you get 20,000 SMS messages and all the features of the Plus plan plus a few extras.
Any of the plans you sign up for include voicemail and fax to email, call routing, call screening, and much more.
5. Freedom Voice
Freedom Voice is another option for an 800 number for your business. It has a mobile app to help you manage your toll-free number from wherever you are.
If you are ready to sign up for one of their plans, here is their pricing:
- Start plan provides 400 toll-free minutes for $9.95 per month.
- Edge plan provides 1200 toll-free minutes for $19.95 per month.
- Max plan provides unlimited minutes for $29.95 per month.
All of their plans include unlimited extensions and unlimited users. They also provide fax on demand, music on hold, call screening and a bunch of other great standard features.
Another company you could choose to get an 800 number with is Grasshopper. They have a call forwarding feature so you don’t miss important business calls. They also offer three different plans, all with unlimited minutes:
- Solo package provides one number and 3 extensions for $29 per month
- Partner package provides 3 numbers and 6 extensions for $49 per month
- Small Business package provides 5 numbers with unlimited extensions for $89 per month
As of this writing, you can get the $25 activation fee waived, and they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contract.
If you need an 800 number for your small business, eVoice is an option you should consider. You can set it up as a second number so it rings right on your cell phone. They’ll even give you a free 30-day trial to see if you like it before signing up for one of these plans:
- eVoice Lite gives you 3oo toll-free minutes for $12.99 per month with unlimited extensions and 6 numbers.
- The most popular plan gives you 1,000 toll-free minutes for $29.99 per month with unlimited extensions and 15 numbers.
- For $49.99 per month, the next plan gives you 2,000 toll-free minutes with unlimited extensions and 3o numbers.
- eVoice’s top plan gives you 4,000 toll-free minutes for $79.99 per month with unlimited extensions and 45 numbers.
Just like with other companies, there are lots of extra features to be mentioned. For instance, eVoice plans with 1,000 minutes or more include incoming faxes and VIP support.
In addition, you have the option of a real person answering and routing your calls between 8 am and 8 pm EST. What’s more, you’ll receive call forwarding, virtual voicemail, and custom greetings just to name a few of their great features.
If you want to keep one phone, but need a business phone number, you can always use an app like Sideline.
With Sideline, you get all of the perks of a business phone number, without needing to have a second phone. Sideline also offers a 7-day free trial for you to test it out and see if it works for you. And, they offer both text and call capabilities, all for the same price.
Sideline only has one plan, and it’s $9.99 a month after your 7-day trial. The features of Sideline include:
- A separate caller ID
- Auto-reply, so if you miss a call the person who called automatically gets a text from you.
- A team number, so the Sideline number can be used on multiple phones if you have a team.
Of course, there are many different companies you could choose to get an 800 number from. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they will all provide good service or value for your money.
Use caution when making your choice. After all, if your customers have a bad experience on the phone, they may not stay customers for long.
6 Reasons to Get an 800 Number
If you’ve been wondering why you should get a toll-free number, here are some of the best reasons.
1. You Get a Lot of Client Calls
Receiving a high volume of client phone calls might be the catalyst to getting a toll-free number. You need to have a successful business and take care of your clients. Part of taking care of them is making sure you are available.
2. Attract New Clients
One reason to get an 800 number is to attract new clients. When people are considering doing business with your company, they take in everything. Your address, phone number, and years of operation are just a tiny sample of what they look at.
When you have a local 800 number it can attract more than just clients who live in the surrounding area. Seeing an 800 phone number makes your business look more professional and appealing.
Another option some companies offer is a custom number. When you have a number that includes your company name, it makes your business recognizable. In turn, the extra recognition generally causes an increase in sales of your product or service.
3. Keep Current Clients Happy
Additionally, having a toll-free number helps you keep the clients you already have happy. The ease with which your clients can reach you makes all the difference. This is especially true if they have a complaint.
Today’s 800 numbers also allow you to receive calls when you are on the go. This helps you take care of client problems and needs quickly no matter where you are. As a result, your clients are happier which entices them to continue doing business with you.
4. Brand Development
The development of your brand is important to growing your business. Having an 800 number lets you use automatic greetings to help you do that.
The automatic greetings offered by some companies, along with their toll-free numbers, provide a cheery message to callers. Automated greetings are never in a bad mood or let the phone ring extra times because they are too busy.
They can be changed based on the seasons or special events for your business. In addition, you can set up after-hours greetings to handle calls when you’re out of the office.
5. Priced Right
With the low prices, many companies offer toll-free phone services it makes sense to get one. Also, the more you outsource tasks that can be done by others or by automating, the more time you have. Your business can benefit in many ways and get a great return on your investment.
6. Professionalism Anywhere
Solopreneurs can benefit from an 800 number simply by the appearance it projects. Other people won’t know you work from home when they call your toll-free number.
Having that extra phone number enables you to identify calls as they are received. You can tell by looking at the display which calls are personal and which are business.
Being able to identify the calls helps you answer in a professional way when you need to. This increases the professional appearance of your business.
5 Best Features of 800 Numbers
One of the best ways to narrow down your choices is to decide the features your business must-have. It’s possible you may not find the perfect plan that offers everything you want.
In that case, look for the plan that comes closest, is priced the best, and has a good reputation.
Most of the companies mentioned offer plenty of features to help your business. Here are some of the most popular and helpful features.
1. Call Filtering and Voicemail Management
Call filtering is a service that is sometimes paired with an 800 number. A virtual phone will pick up calls and forward critical ones to you and the rest to other people or voicemail.
But you can also screen your calls if you’d like. This feature lets some calls through according to your own preset specifications. The rest go to voicemail.
2. Conference Calls
There are packages for toll-free numbers that include conference call capabilities. This can be a valuable service to use in your business.
3. Virtual Faxes
Did you know you can receive a virtual fax on your phone? It usually comes as a PDF and can save the day when you are nowhere near an actual fax machine.
4. Multiple Users or Departments
As you saw in the plans above, some companies allow multiple users. This can be utilized in more than one way.
If you grow your business and add employees, you can also add options for routing calls. In addition, if you have more than one product or service area, you can also route calls to specific departments.
5. Call Forwarding
Running a business usually means you are a very busy person. When you’re on the go, you can use the call forwarding offered with toll-free plans to your advantage.
The toll-free number can be routed to your cell phone so no important calls get missed.
Clearly it’s important to stay in contact with clients, and others you do business with. Use these ideas and tips to help you get an 800 number and keep your business flourishing.
Have you gotten an 800 number for your business yet?