How to Get a Free Business Phone Number

For a the last five years or so, I have had a dedicated, free business phone number for my computer repair business.  It’s not my cell phone number and it’s not an expensive phone number through a local carrier.  I use Google Voice.

I was pretty hesitant to start using an internet-based phone number for my business.  But it’s turned out to be an excellent and very flexible resource for running and growing my business.  It’s still a local area code and clients who call have no clue it’s a Google Voice number.

Google Voice isn’t your typical phone service.  It’s basically a single phone number you can forward to other phones you already have – like your cell phone or land-line at work or home.  There’s nothing to download or install.  When someone calls your Google Voice number, it rings whatever phones you have specified in your account.  You can also use it for texting.

Forwarding

Mine is set up to ring four different cell phones.  When someone calls, each phone rings and can either display my Google Voice number through caller ID or the actual number of the person who is calling.  This is a setting within Google Voice you can specify.  I always have mine set to display my Google Voice number.  That way we know that it’s a business call coming in and can answer it as such.

If down the road you decide to hire a computer repair contractor, an employee or (like I do) have a dedicated person answering the phone, it’s very easy to add another number and configure individual options for each.

Messaging

If you have an Android or iOS phone you can download the Google Voice app to see missed calls, access your voicemail, etc. You don’t need the app to access these features but it’s easier than going through your mobile web browser.

When somebody leaves a voicemail, Google Voice will transcribe the message to text automatically.  From there you can have it sent as a text message to any cell phones you have configured in your settings

You can also text from the app.  The text message will show your Google Voice number as the sender.

Calling

I don’t call out much from my business number but it can come in handy.  Each time I make an outgoing call from my cell phone, the app gives me the option to call out using either my mobile number or my Google Voice number.  My business number will appear on the receiver’s caller ID if I choose to call via my Google Voice account.  To call out from a landline you simply call your Google Voice number, press 2 and then enter the number you want to call.

This phone number is on my website, my business cards, magnets and advertisements.  It’s a great way to have a centralized number without the expense.  It’s also great if I want to forward my number to someone covering my business while on vacation!  I can still see calls coming in and keep an eye on what’s going on.

Sign up and test it yourself

Head over to www.google.com/voice and get your account.  You will need to use your existing Google account or you can sign up for a new one.  There are a lot more features that I haven’t covered here you can explore.  Get an account and start testing it out for yourself!

Overall, this has been a great service for my business.  I don’t have to put my personal cell phone on the web and I can have a single phone number that multiple people can access and answer incoming calls.

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