Guest Post by Matt Shealy
Entrepreneurs and small business owners know that having a business can take time to grow. You need resources to help cover start-up costs and overhead. But, as your business grows and expands, you should think about getting an 800 number. From increasing your level of professionalism to improving your brand, here are five reasons to set up an 800 number for your business:
Starting small is how some businesses begin. But, that doesn't mean you have to stay small. Some business owners use their landline or their smartphone for their business calls. But, this isn't always the best way for customers to reach you.
Reasons why you shouldn't use your landline or smartphone:
Toll-free business numbers start with common prefixes like 800 or 866. About 22 percent of small businesses use toll-free numbers, and you should consider it. Why? Your toll-free number is like having a domain name for your website. It's unique to your business and you don't need to change it.
When customers can reach you at a toll-free number, it can open the lines of communication. They know they don't have to pay for a long-distance call. This is especially helpful for customers in remote areas that might be using a landline to reach your business. It's also helpful if you use voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phones.
With VoIP phone service, you can use your 800 number as your primary work number and route calls to your employees based on their extensions. You can even route calls remotely to employees working out of the office or traveling.
Think of 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800 GOT Got Pain, or 1-800-GoFedEX. These are all vanity or custom 800 numbers. They are popular and can raise your brand equity.
These types of 800 numbers include the following benefits:
Having an 800 number in place means you won't have to discard all your stationery products that have your landline or smartphone number listed. It may have been fine to list your smartphone initially, but as you hire staff and expand your locations, you'll need a professional phone number. It's also easier for you to expand your sales and marketing.
Here's an example: Let's say you have an 800 number set up through VoIP service. Your 800 number and site details can be used across multiple sales channels to help customers reach you on any channel they choose (voice, text, email). You can also use your VoIP phone service to forward calls to the marketing department or sales department, all from one primary 800 number.
When you have an 800 number, you can create a national presence. You can work anywhere and customers will assume you're a bigger business or brand. If you have a number local to your area, customers might assume you're only a local business. An 800 number gives the impression that your business has a global presence. So, even if you're still in the startup stages, your customers won't know.
An 800 number is convenient, and it can help you grow your business. It's also professional and when you use it with VoIP phone service, it's easier to track caller data and improve your brand. Talk with your phone provider about setting up an 800 number for your business.
Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.