Running a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences that a person can have. There are so many advantages to being your own boss and charting your own course. Small business entrepreneurs are some of the most satisfied people in the country.
That doesn’t mean things are always easy. There are many challenges to running your own operation and many decisions that fall directly onto your shoulders. Deciding upon the kind of phone system you have early on will be one of them. This is a decision that impacts how your customer service process will proceed.
Should you get a virtual phone number for your business? This is something that many small businesses take on as an alternative to traditional phone services. Is it right for you? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about virtual phone numbers.
What is a Virtual Phone Number?
If you’re new to the world of business you might not be familiar with what a virtual phone number really is and the advantages that it can provide. Virtual phone numbers are really the next greatest tech advancement as far as telephone operating systems are concerned.
How does it work? Unlike your traditional phone service, virtual phone numbers work through an internet-based system. These numbers, as a result, or not tied to a specific device or landline as most traditional phones are.
There’s no hardware to speak of and no physical products one must buy in order to use a virtual number. You can simply use the computer, phone, or another internet-connected device that you already own.
Benefits of a Virtual Phone Number
The benefits of this kind of ease and flexibility are numerous.
Price is a major point. Unlike purchasing a new landline for your office or getting a new cell phone, you won’t need to spend mone buying any new devices when you get a virtual phone number. That can be a huge financial relief.
On top of that, call prices with a virtual system are often much more affordable than calls made through more traditional systems. This is especially true when we speak of international calls. Saving money on a call-by-call basis can really add up to quite a bit of saving for your business over the long run.
The rates often stay more consistent with virtual numbers as well. You don’t have to worry about extra fees, roaming, or any additional charges like that. You simply pay the rate that you agreed to upon signing up.
There’s no maintenance or repair to worry about either as the system is all on the cloud. You don’t have to worry about accidentally damaging the system and then having to get a new one. Your provider will take care of any problems that need fixing.
Even the setup and installation costs of getting a virtual number are more affordable simply based on the ease of the process. Virtual phone numbers also work all around the world, so you can get a U.S. number, a canada number, a UK number, and so forth.
It all depends on where you want to do business! You could even get different numbers in different countries if you want to give the impression you’re ‘established’ in all of these places.
Small Business Advantages
The above advantages could prove why a virtual phone system would be advantageous to just about anyone. But why should small businesses, specifically, consider this move?
The ability to access a number almost anywhere can be essential for those with a small staff or those who have no staff at all. Most small businesses cannot afford to have someone hang out and answer phones all day.
A virtual phone system moves the receptionist’s desk to your pocket if need be. Your calls can be routed directly from the internet to your phone, so you can take calls on the go no matter where else you might be.
Most virtual systems also allow you to forward calls and push voicemails towards your email so that you can access these as an email attachment. This allows you to stay on top of everyone who is trying to reach you.
Benefits to Consumers
How does a virtual number help your customers? For one, it gives them a way to reach you consistently and provides a way for you to provide better customer service to them.
It also should be mentioned that the importance of a ‘local’ phone number to reach out to is not lost on the modern consumer. Clients are much more likely to reach out to a business that feels like it’s within their community as opposed to one that is miles and miles away.
If you’re looking to expand your business but don’t have the money to set up new phone lines in every new location, you could always open virtual phone lines. This would allow you to reap the same benefits without the costs.
This also can be a great way to test out how much attention you might get in a new market without having to spend all the money getting properly set up first.
Understanding the Benefits of a Virtual Phone Number
Many small business owners don’t know what a virtual phone number is, but they should! Virtual numbers can help radically change the way you do business for the better. The flexibility and affordability they provide can be hard to beat.
The above information can help walk you through some of the reasons why a virtual phone number might be something to consider for your own enterprise.
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