Have you thought about getting an 800 number for your business? Perhaps you just started a business and you want to appeal to a broader client base. Or maybe you are an established business and want the credibility and trust factor of having an 800 number that doesn’t limit you to your geographic area.
Toll-free numbers might seem like they’re only used by big corporate giants, but because of the technology any small business or entrepreneur can get an 800 number at an affordable price, provided you choose the right company and the right plan to suit your business needs.
To help you in the search process, I am going to compare four different companies that offer 800 numbers and talk about whether or not it might be right for you and your business.
800 Number Comparison
While there are more than four options, for this article I’ll focus on the four of the best companies that offer 1-800 numbers.
My favorite phone service is Grasshopper as this is one that I have personally used. The app is user-friendly and you can even have unlimited extensions which is great if you have multiple employees.
They currently offer four different plans:
- $12 a month with an additional 6 cent per minute charge
- $24 a month for 500 minutes (this plan includes two telephone numbers)
- $49 a month for 2000 minutes
- $199 a month for 10,000 minutes (this plan includes three 800 numbers)
As of this writing, all four plans have free activation as well as a 30-day money back guarantee.
2. Ring Central
It is worth noting that Ring Central offers a free trial so that you can try it out for free and see if it is a good fit for you.
Their 800 number plans are as follows:
- Pro Plan includes 300 minutes a month for the low price of $9.99
- Pro Plus Plan includes 1000 minutes a month for $19.99
- Pro Power Plan includes 2000 minutes a month for $24.99
There are two things that you should know about Ring Central.
The first is that they have a $30 activation fee which the other companies do not hit you with an activation at all. The second is that they cannot convert voicemail to text like the other services can.
The third company is called eVoic. Like most other companies, eVoice offers a free 30-day trial with all of their plans.
EVoice also provides 800 numbers for businesses of all sizes as well as a 24-hour, 7 day a week auto attendant, call routing to your home, office and mobile number, and voicemail capabilities that allow messages to be sent to your email or to your cell phone as a text.
EVoice has four different plans for business clients to choose from. The details on each plan are listed below.
The $12.99 Plan
With eVoice’s $12.99 per month plan, you have access to a total of 6 numbers (local or toll free), options for two extensions and you’re allowed 300 minutes with the plan. A very affordable plan for a new or smaller business.
The $29.99 Plan
The $29.99 per month plan is eVoice’s most popular plan, according to its website. With this plan your business can have access to a total of 15 numbers (local or toll free), options for up to 5 extensions and 1000 available minutes to use.
The $49.99 Plan
EVoice’s $49.99 per month plan gives your business access to a total of 30 numbers (local or toll free), 10 extensions and 2000 available minutes.
This plan would work well for a larger business.
The $79.99 Plan
The company’s $79.99 per month plan gives business owners access to up to 45 numbers (local or toll free), 15 extensions and 4000 available minutes.
This would be a plan you would choose if you had a large business or spend quite a lot of time on calls with customers.
To reach a 4000 minute per month limit you and your staff would need to be spending a total of at least sixty-six hours per month on the phone with clients.
All of the eVoice plans do allow customers to buy additional minutes for a price of 3.9 cents per minute.
eVoice did seem to include more numbers with each of their plans, which would be a nice benefit for businesses that need or want to have several toll free numbers.
However, it does not include a minute plan in the 10,000 minute-plus range, so it may not be a good fit if you have a larger business.
Next up on the list is Phone.com.
Phone.com has just three different plans to meet different small business needs:
- $9.99 for 100 minutes
- $19.99 for 500 minutes
- $29.99 for 1000 minutes
All plans include the following:
- A local or toll-free number
- Integrated mobile app
- Unlimited users
- Hold music
- Dial-by-name directory (great if you have multiple employees with extensions)
- Call screening
- Call Recording
- Call routing schedules
- Fax to email
- Voicemail to email
- And More
All plans through Phone.com offer a 30-day free trial to help customers determine if the plan they chose is right for their small business. Use this coupon code to get 20% off your first 6 months of service: 20off6 (ends September 30, 2017).
5. Freedom Voice
FreedomVoice calls themselves “the voice of small business”. They’ve been around since 1996, and were acquired by GoDaddy in 2016.
FreedomVoice helps your business get an 800 number in a couple of different ways.
FreedomVoice’s CloudNumber plan helps your business to have a more professional appearance right from the comfort of your personal smart phone.
With the CloudNumber app, your 800 number calls go right to your smart phone, giving you a way to use your personal phone to receive – and return – phone calls from business clients from your personal 800 number.
The CloudNumber service also provides a virtual attendant with a professional message that lets clients know if you can’t answer the phone right away.
There are three CloudNumber plans to choose from with FreedomVoice.
- The START plan, which costs $9.95 per month and offers 400 minutes per month
- The EDGE plan, which costs $19.95 per month and offers 1200 minutes per month
- The SUITE plan, which costs $29.95 per month and offers 3000 minutes per month
FreedomVoice’s CloudPhone plan is for businesses with a brick and mortar location that needs actual separate business phones.
The CloudPhone service offers three different phones to choose from for purchase, starting at $150. The service itself starts at $29.95 per month.
For more details about FreedomVoice’s Cloudphone service, click here.
RingBoost provides both local and toll free numbers to businesses, including vanity numbers. The company has six different available plans for businesses to choose from. Here are some details on each plan.
The Economy Plan
Ringboost’s Economy plan costs an extremely affordable 99 cents per month. However, there are zero minutes included with this plan and each minute used costs 6 cents.
The Deluxe Plan
The company’s Deluxe plan costs $10.99 per month and includes 250 minutes. Each additional minute used will cost you 5 cents.
The Premium Plan
Ringboost’s Premium Plan costs $19.99 per month and includes 500 minutes. Like with the Deluxe plan, additional minutes used cost 5 cents per minute.
The Silver Plan
The Silver plan with Ringboost costs $19.99 per month and includes 1000 available minutes. Extra minutes cost 5 cents per minute.
The Gold Plan
Ringboost’s Gold plan costs $59.99 per month, includes 1500 minutes available for use. Extra minutes with this plan are only 4 cents per minute.
The Platinum Plan
This plan is for the larger business or the business that handles a lot of calls. It comes with 2000 available minutes, and each additional minute used costs 4 cents.
Although Ringboost has a wide variety of plan options, you may find some of the prices for their plans more expensive than some of the other 800 number providers.
Vonage has long been known for its cell phone service and virtual number service, but they’ve not been so prominent in the 800 number advertising world.
Although their website might be worth checking out, it doesn’t tell prospective clients anything at all about pricing or available plans – it simply asks visitors what the size of their business is and then directs them to call to get a quote.
Most companies offer a host of other features along with their plans, some of which include voice mail, conference call options, call forwarding, and the ability to hook your number to either your land line or your cellular phone. Here is some more info on each of those features.
Conference Calling Capabilities
Yes, by utilizing an 800 number for your business, you have easy access to conference calls with employees and or clients. The professionalism and clear connections for your conference calls are unbeatable.
Specialized Number Choices
Specialized number choices can help current and potential clients remember your phone number more easily.
For instance, if you have a landscaping business, you may be able to choose a number such as 1-800-CUT-LAWN for your phone number.
Fax to Your Phone
You can get faxes delivered to your cell phone that are viewable as PDF’s. This is a great feature if you don’t have a traditional phone line but want to receive faxes.
Adding Specific Department and Employee Options
Helping your business to have a more professional appearance is another great reason to use an 800 number.
You can give clients the option to choose from a number of departments or employees within your business. Here’s an example.
“Hello, welcome to (your business name). Please choose carefully from the following options. Press 1 to place an order. Press 2 to schedule repair service.”
A professional voice system will establish trust with clients and potential clients, and will make contacting the right area in your business easier for clients as well.
Custom Professional Greetings
Most companies all you to have a phone greeting that can be customized to fit your specific business and the phone connection will be clear and professional sounding, even if your clients are calling from all over the world.
Don’t risk losing clients due to a bad phone connection because you’re using your cellular phone or a home landline for customers to call. Instead, choose an affordable 800 number plan that will help your business sound as professional as it is.
No Expensive Hardware to Install
Grasshopper and other 800 number providers partner with your existing landline or cellular phone line on a virtual level. That means that there’s no need for a technician to come and install expensive hardware onto your existing phone system.
No expensive hardware means money savings on purchasing and repair of hardware systems as well.
Get calls forwarded to your cell phone from your 800 number. This means that you never have to miss a call to your business if you don’t want to.
As a business owner, you know that some calls need to be answered immediately, while some calls need to wait as you tend to a current client’s needs.
With the caller ID service, you have the options to either accept the call, to direct the call to voicemail and even to see the number and/or name of the person calling in order to help determine the urgency of taking the call.
Caller ID is just one more feature of an 800 number service that will bring the professionalism of your business to a new level.
With today’s increasingly popular 800 number plans, a much larger number of companies both large and small can take advantage of the convenience and professionalism of an 800 number for their business.
Unlike in days of old, getting an 800 number for your business doesn’t require the presence of an office building, and it doesn’t require setting aside a day so that phone techs can come and install 800 number services in your office or on your phone.
Today’s remote technology means that you can have an 800 number for your business with a simple phone call. That technology also means that 800 numbers for your business are more affordable than ever before.
There are a number of questions you can ask yourself to determine if your business would benefit from the presence of an 800 number. Here I’ll share a few of those questions.
Do You Have a Business with a Separate Office?
Whether your business is run out of your home office or in a separate rented or owned space, having an 800 number would give your business the appearance of professionalism and enhance your ability to show clients and potential clients that you are serious about what you do. If you’ve got other employees that help you run your business, a separate 800 number phone line is a must.
Do You Run Your Business From Your Cell Phone?
Self-employed business owners who run their business on their own often use their personal cell phone as a business phone. One problem with this is that when a phone call appears with a number the business owner doesn’t recognize, they have no idea whether or not it’s a business call. Do they answer as their business? Do they answer as an individual?
With an 800 number that can be hooked up to your current cellular phone as an additional incoming number, that problem is solved. Grasshopper, which is one of the top 800 number service companies available today, can show incoming calls to your 800 number with a separate identity, even if the calls are being routed to your personal cellular phone.
With this valuable service, you’ll know whether each caller is calling for you personally, or for your business.
Do You Have More Than One Small Business?
This same problem of not knowing who is calling and for what exists for those who own more than one business and use the same phone to promote them all.
Grasshopper can set you up with an 800 number for each business, and identify which business a caller is calling so you’ll know how to answer before you even pick up the phone, no matter how many businesses you own.
What Level of Professionalism Do You Want to Present to Clients?
Let’s face it: An 800 number does add an air of professionalism to a business. Potential clients evaluating your business will likely be encouraged by its appearance of professionalism knowing that you’ve taken the step to establish your business as professional and here for the long-term because you’ve invested in an 800 number service.
Are 800 Numbers Affordable?
As you can see, with plans ranging from $12 a month up to $200 a month depending on the size of your business, an 800 number is affordable for even the smallest of businesses. With Grasshopper, you can choose the plan size that’s best for your business and for your business budget.
What If I Want a Separate Business Phone Number with a Local Area Code?
Some businesses benefit more by having a business phone number with a local area code, giving clients comfort in knowing that their business resides in their hometown city. Grasshopper has the ability to provide local numbers for your business as well as 800 numbers. Whatever type of business phone number you decide will help you put your best foot forward, they’ve got you covered.
As you can see, an 800 number or a local phone number for your business is an affordable and convenient option that will help you bring your company’s image to a higher level of professionalism. Sign up for a free trial with Grasshopper to see whether an 800 number or a local number is right for your business.
Are phone customers and phone calls a large part of my business?
Only you can answer this question, and the answer depends, in part, on what you supply for your customer. For instance, a freelance writer might not benefit from having a toll-free number for their business as it is quite simple and accepted to conduct most business transactions via the Internet and e-mail.
However, if you have a retail business where you’re selling something to customers – whether that be via brick-and-mortar store or an online store – an 800 number might a valuable addition to customers as it would present an image of professionalism and also be an easy way for customers to contact you should they have a question about an order.
What Level of Professionalism Do I Want to Present to Clients and Potential Clients?
Let’s face it: An 800 number does add an air of professionalism to a business. Potential clients searching for your type of business may feel more comfortable knowing that the business they’re considering has chosen to take the step to establish themselves for the long term by investing in an 800 number service.
Can my business afford an 800 number?
All of the companies we researched here have very affordable plans for any size business. If you’re not making enough each month to cover even the smallest plan cost, and have no interest or plan in place for increasing your revenue, then an 800 number might not be a wise choice.
However, if your plan is to continue to grow your business, then it may be well worth the investment.
What are my future plans for expanding my business?
If you have ideas or plans in place to expand your business in a way that would invite customer calls and contact, it might be a wise idea to put an 800 number in place now in order to establish that mode of contact for customers and have it solidly in place for when your business expansion takes flight.
If you search a phrase such as “cheapest 800 numbers” or something similar on the Internet, you’ll also find a few other companies boasting 800 number service for businesses for low prices such as two dollars a month or five dollars a month.
Although there are legit companies offering 800 numbers in this fashion, it’s important for your business to have a truly professional appearance if you want to keep clients coming back.
Therefore it might be a better option to stick with an 800 number service provider that truly specializes in providing toll free numbers for business owners and isn’t in the industry just to make cash.
Toll free number providers such as Grasshopper and the others mentioned above make it their business to make sure your business phone system gives a great first impression to its callers.
Your business phone service system is one area where it’s not always a good idea to go frugal, but instead it might be better to find the company that gives you the best balance of price and service.
In other words, look for value without focusing so much on “cheap”.
An 800 number for your business really will give potential customers the impression that your business is important to you.
If you are looking for your business to stick around for the long run, choose your 800 number provider wisely.
The appearance of a well-established business, along with a great product and quality customer service will do wonders for present and future business growth.
An 800 number can give the appearance of a national company for an affordable price. Click on one of the options above to begin a free trial and see which service is best for you.
Do you have an 800 number for your business? If so, please share your experience in the comments below.