I’m starting a small business next month, and I want to get a business line but I don’t have an office yet. I was thinking of using a voip phone service instead of a landline, but I’m not sure if I can use it with my cell phone for now and maybe get an office phone after I find a lease space? Any help would be much appreciated!
This is a super common situation for startups, and there are some great VOIP solutions that will do exactly what you need. Before I recommend one over the other though, let me throw out a few questions and choices for you, so you pick the right solution for your needs of the future. (that way you won’t have to switch providers later on if there’s an office feature you’re going to need later… we can account for that now and save you money)
How To Choose The Right VOIP Service For You
Selecting the right VOIP service for your needs comes down to how you want to use it. If you’re a startup or small business owner that uses your cell phone a lot and doesn’t have a lot of employees, you will probably want a different feature set than another business with an office and a receptionist.
Below we’ll talk about how you want to connect and use your VOIP service, and what features you should look for for each:
VOIP Connectivity & Usage Options
With today’s smartphone capabilities, a lot of mom and pop brick and mortar businesses owners just use a business cell phone for most of their communications these days. Unless you have a retail store, or an office with sales staff or several employees, a lot of service and sales based businesses simply use virtual numbers and services for all of their business phone system needs.
I too set my business phone lines up in the same manner, but the one thing I do differently, is plan ahead of time if I ever want to use a particular line in a larger office setup… or plan to hire additional employees for that company. This helps avoid having to switch providers down the road, and having to port / transfer your number to a different service provider. (which isn’t hard, but takes extra time! I’m used to being able to setup a business phone line in less than 30 minutes, and changing anything I want with the click of the mouse… No waiting for local phone companies to hook anything up, run lines, etc…)
When a business is young, none of this really matters. All you really need is a cheap forwarding number to your cell phone, and you’re up and running. But, once things get rolling, you might want to have faxes emailed to you, voicemails transcribed, and on and on.
This really just comes down to two things…
Cell Phone Or Office Phone?
There are a few VOIP services that have smartphone apps that fully integrate your phone system right into your personal cell… all without having to carry a separate “business cell phone” and a “personal cell phone.” (which is a pain, as I’m sure you know!)
For instance, if you just started a business, want to use your phone line on your cell for the time being, but plan on getting a warehouse or office later on, you want to look at Ring Central over Grasshopper. The reason being, is that they have a built in soft phone application that you can run on any office computer, and any staff can answer and make outbound calls without any additional hardware needed.
Want to add an office phone? No big deal… Ring Central lets you easily lease top of the line hardware for a low monthly fee, which is much cheaper than paying a ton of money to setup your business phone system.
Let’s say you’re a contractor, and you’ll probably never have an office. In fact, your office is mostly operated out of your truck, and you’re always on the road or traveling to your customer’s locations. Grasshopper is the perfect choice here, and their main solution is to turn your mobile devices into a fully features business phone system.
Setting up extensions and an automated greeting is easy peasy, and you can add unlimited options simply by logging into your control panel online.
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