How to Set Up a Business Phone Line

Business communications create the perception of the company in the public eye. Signage, printed materials and advertising campaigns work together to trigger company recognition for current and potential customers. Avenues of communication separate from personal methods will ensure that the business is viewed as professional and trustworthy. From the outset, a business phone number is an important part of the contact information that will be included on all legal forms and credit applications. Concrete reasons that support the need for a business phone number, including:

• Legal documents will have the correct contact information from the inception of the business.
• Business life will be separate from personal communications.
• Printed materials, including business cards, will convey the best method of contacting the business owner and employees.
• A business credit history requires a separate business phone number when registering with the business credit bureaus.Business telephone service can be established through five different paths. The size and location of the business will dictate which approach is most suitable. Each one offers various advantages and disadvantages.

1. Custom ring on existing line
2. Virtual PBX
3. Business Voice over Internet Protocol
4. Cellular phone agreement
5. Separate traditional landline

Custom Ring

Home-based businesses spring up each year, and some grow into large organizations. To get started, the landline provider can establish a phone number that rings with a different pattern of rings on the same phones. All business documentation would have the phone number associated with the custom ring entered in the appropriate blanks. Whenever the phone rings, the appropriate greeting is given based on the audible ring pattern.

• Advantages – Business calls are identified by a ring, and additional service contracts are not required. Cost savings is noticeable since there is not a separate phone bill for the business.
• Disadvantages – Personal and business calls will compete for the same line. If other people are present during the workday, only one person can use the phone line at a time.

Virtual PBX Service

The phone number published as the business contact number exists in the online software and not in the phone system. Virtual PBX provides phone features through the internet without adding a traditional phone line. Software provides useful messages, call logs and system settings.

• Advantages – Inexpensive monthly rates are available through Virtual PBX. Calls can be routed to any landline by updating the software. A business phone number can be acquired in approximately 15 minutes by visiting the website of a Virtual PBX provider.
• Disadvantages – When the business outgrows Virtual PBX, the provider does not have to allow the client to take the number to another provider. Virtual PBX providers are exempt from the FCC law that requires providers to port numbers.

Business VoIP Service

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a flexible communications option for businesses that make a significant number of long distance phone calls each month. All long distance fees are eliminated since the VoIP technology routes the calls to the closest ending point before handing off the call to the local phone service provider. Growing businesses would be wise to choose VoIP since the existing data network in the office will support the voice communications as well.

• Advantages – VoIP providers do not require annual agreements. Service fees are less expensive than traditional lines. Phone numbers can be ported to another provider.
• Disadvantages – Equipment costs can raise the installation expenses, but the costs are recovered over time. Cabling and network speed play important roles in the sound quality and connection reliability in VoIP phone systems.

Cellular Phone Agreement

Providers of cellular phone service have many different options for phones and calling plans that meet the needs of business owners that are not tied to a specific location. Sales people, realtors and consultants find that a cell phone provides all the communication access required to conduct business.

• Advantages – Excellent phone options that provide online and email access from virtually any location. One phone number will be reachable regardless of location or time of day. Phone numbers can be ported.
• Disadvantages – Low rates require signed agreements for one or two years. Early contract cancellation can be expensive. Long conversations on a cell phone can exceed monthly limits without notice. Home life and business life are more difficult to segregate.

Separate Traditional Landline

Businesses that conduct the majority of the business communication in the local area will benefit from excellent monthly rates on landline service from the local provider. Some home-based businesses select this option to prevent impact on other people who will be present during the workday.

• Advantages – Affordable rates are helpful in the early months before the business is generating a profit. Reliable connectivity is helpful when the entire business is conducted on the phone. The phone number is portable to another location or provider when the business grows.
• Disadvantages – Some local providers will require a contract to receive the lowest rates. Phone features are purchased individually and can add a great deal of money to the monthly cost for caller-ID and call-forwarding features.

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SMB Reviews
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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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