A business phone number gives customers a direct way to contact your team. It also lets you route calls to different departments or employees within your company to resolve issues promptly and effectively.
If you’re looking for a professional business phone number, you may not know where to start.
Don’t worry, this guide will walk you through the entire process of acquiring a business phone number, including the various options available to you, to provide customers and clients with a convenient way to reach your business.
The 7 Best Virtual Phone Number Companies to Get a Business Phone Number
The easiest way to get a business phone number is through a virtual phone number company. The following are some of the best options you can consider to get started:
- Nextiva — The Best Overall (For a limited time, get 25% off when you sign up!)
- RingCentral — The Best for Advanced Features
- 800.com — The Best for Toll-Free Numbers
- CallHippo — The Best for Vanity Numbers
- Google Voice — The Best for Free Virtual Phone Numbers
- eVoice — The Best for Faxing
- Talkroute — The Best for Call Centers
Check out our detailed breakdown of each virtual phone number company here.
Get a Business Phone Number in 5 Easy Steps
The good thing about business phone numbers is they are easy to set up. All you have to do is choose a business phone number, purchase a plan, and optimize your business calls with extensions.
- Decide If You Need a Business Phone Number
- Choose the Appropriate Type of Business Phone Number
- Sign Up With Nextiva
- Purchase Your Business Phone Number
- Add Business Phone Number Extensions
We highly recommend Nextiva to make the task easier. It lets you choose from the main types of business phone numbers and set up a local line of communication for locations you don’t have offices in.
Step 1: Decide If You Need a Business Phone Number
A business phone number offers several benefits over traditional landline or even smartphone numbers, but the question is whether your business will benefit from it.
Here are a few instances when getting a virtual business phone number makes sense:
- You want multi-device access and other flexible features like call forwarding and call waiting.
- You want to offer customers additional communication channels aside from voice conversations, like SMS texting, online faxing, and video conferencing.
- You feel you need more advanced features to manage customer/client support calls better. Think real-time notifications, caller ID, and voicemail transcription.
- You want to assign separate business phone numbers to team members, so they can communicate with customers without sharing their private contact information.
If you’re nodding your head to even one of these instances, your team will likely benefit from a professional business phone number.
Step 2: Choose the Appropriate Type of Business Phone Number
Decide what type of number you need for your business. Each type of number supports different business needs, so you must consider your requirements before deciding.
Your business phone number options include:
Local Business Number
Local phone numbers have specific area codes for specific cities and regions to help businesses build a more trusted local presence. Seeing a familiar local area code also makes it more likely for prospects and customers to answer your calls if they haven’t saved it already.
- Faster and cheaper to acquire
- Plans often include unlimited minutes for local numbers
- Familiar area code seems more trustworthy
- Landline callers may be charged when making calls outside their local area code
Toll-Free Business Number
Toll-free or 800 numbers are location-agnostic business phone numbers that help you establish a nationwide presence. As the line owner, you’ll incur charges for both calls made and calls received. In other words, your client or customer won’t be charged for contacting you using this number.
- Gives an impression of a large business
- Customers living at specific locations can contact your business for free
- Serves as the main business number or hotline
- International callers may not be able to use it
Vanity Business Number
Vanity phone numbers are personalized toll-free numbers that include specific words or phrases related to your business. For instance, 1-800-FLOWERS if you’re a flower boutique; 1-800-GET-MORE-LEADS if you’re a lead generation company.
- Improves brand recognition
- Can be toll-free or a local number
- Excellent marketing tool
- May take longer to set up and involve extra charges
International Business Number
International numbers help you build a local presence in a foreign company, even if you don’t have a physical office in that region. Whenever a client calls this line, the provider will route the call to your domestic phone number you can then pick up on your office or mobile phone.
- Supports customers in international locations and global markets
- Cheaper for customers to call an international number
- Doesn’t require a physical presence
- May have to pay per-minute rates
As you can see, each type of phone number serves a specific purpose. Choose one that best meets your needs.
Step 3: Sign Up With Nextiva
Nextiva is a leading virtual phone number company that provides business phone numbers in every US state. You can use it to set up any type of phone number—local, toll-free, vanity, or international. Nextiva also offers a host of other features like prompt customer support and superior audio quality, making it one of the most reliable options for setting up a business phone number.
That is exactly why we recommend getting a business phone number through it.
Here’s how to go about this.
- Open Nextiva’s website and click Get Started.
- Fill in your details, such as your email ID and phone number.
- You’ll get an email informing you about the next steps.
Essentially, Nextiva will give you a call to learn more about your requirements and provide you with a quote. You can also contact the company directly if you want it immediately.
Step 4: Purchase Your Business Phone Number
Once you’ve purchased a plan and are set, you can get a phone number for your business. Choose one or more business phone numbers from the displayed options and add them to your cart. Then complete the checkout process and make the payment.
If you plan on porting an existing business number (that is, taking your existing business number and transferring it to another provider), talk to Nextiva’s support team for the next steps. Keep in mind that the porting process usually takes five to seven business days—at times, even ten days. That said, you can continue using your previous provider until your port is complete.
Step 5: Add Business Phone Number Extensions
At this stage, you’ve set up your business phone number, and now, you can add extensions to route calls to staff members and teams. Optimizing business calls with extensions also cuts down on your company’s overall phone bill, which is another huge advantage.
Instead of having separate numbers for each department or employee, you can use one central phone number for the entire company. Customers can then dial the extension of individual departments/employees from within the phone system and connect to them. You can also forward the extension to a personal number to handle VIP calls.
If you’re unsure how to do this, the support team at Nextiva can help you get extensions set up.
Final Thoughts About Getting a Business Phone Number
To get a business phone number, you’ll have to choose the type of number that works best for your business. Then purchase the number from a virtual phone number company like Nextiva, followed by optimizing the line with extensions.
And that’s it—you’ll finally have a brand-new, convenient way for customers to contact your business.