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Getting a Business Phone


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2011
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

It can come in handy to have a phone number for your small business, but it can be expensive to have a separate land line or cell phone when you are just starting up.

I’m a big fan of personal privacy so I definitely was not interested in giving out our home number (especially knowing this about tax registration).

Looking to keep expenses at a minimum we looked to online services and decided to try Magic Jack which has worked well for us:

http://www.magicjack.com

It’s a bit cumbersome as a program starting it up (and plugging a phone into the computer) but for less than $75 we got a phone number that’d be just for the business for at least 5 years including a voicemail account and free domestic calls (and free directory assistance, call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding).

If we don’t have the Magic Jack phone hooked up or the computer is offline, callers can leave us a voicemail. When that happens we get an email with the voicemail attached that I can listen to right from my email inbox. If I don’t have internet access I can call and get my voicemail using any phone.

If I need to call a customer, I just plug the MagicJack & phone into the front USB port on my computer and it works like any other phone.



A free option would Google Voice which wasn’t around yet when we got our phone number through Magic Jack:

https://www.google.com/voice

We’ve since gotten a Google Voice account and I’ve used it a few places though I am hesitant to make the number our primary number for business since I don’t know if Google will continue the service or keep it free (and we just don’t need to pay for second phone number for the business).

It gives you a phone number and free calls within the US & Canada but I’ve never tried to use it to make an outgoing call with it myself.

One cool thing about Google Voice is that when I get an email about a voicemail it includes a text transcript of the message. It’s sometimes a little off, but it does give me the general gist without having to turn on the speakers for the computer (we like our computer to be quiet–scares the daylights out of me when I use someone else’s computer and it makes noise, LOL).

Another affordable option through the computer is Skype:

http://www.skype.com

There’s a reasonable fee with different features depending on which service you choose. I’ve found their tech support to be difficult (really, no phone support line??), but if the phone line & billing are working well it’s a good tool.


This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

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