With the e-commerce boom of the last few years, there are more people than ever running small companies. Many of them, even in retail, are operations with just a couple of people. Sometimes, in the case of companies that use outsourced fulfillment, they are even run out of a home, with no formal office. Mostly, this isn’t an issue because their sales don’t depend on a physical visit from a customer. Still, having the presence customers expect from brick and mortar companies goes a long way toward establishing customer trust. It also means providing them with a way to ask questions and get help that doesn’t rely on impersonal text communication. Both of these facts can help increase your sales, so it’s a good idea to invest in a business phone number early. So what’s the best way to do that?

Extra Number? Or Extra Line?

For traditional phone lines, adding a number typically meant adding an extra line. That’s a big expense for many companies, especially startups. If you’re running the business from home, it’s probably a good idea to keep people from ringing your personal line and getting a family member, but is there another way? A lot of small companies have decided there is, opting for prepaid cell phone lines or other inexpensive ways of keeping a voice line open. That means managing more hardware, though, as well as the upkeep expenses associated with it.

What about adding a number without adding a line, then? There are online providers who can provide you with an easy VOIP solution that connects to your PC for voice messages or even live talks, but if you aren’t running their app on your desktop, they’re basically just a voice mail. They also require you to have the bandwidth to dedicate to the VOIP service. Luckily, there is another option. You can get a business phone number that simply forwards to your existing cell line. With the right provider, there’s even going to be easy app support to let you know which number is receiving the call and to sort your messages when you miss a call.

Get Up and Running Quickly

Providing your company with a dedicated contact number doesn’t take long, especially if it’s being forwarded to a phone line that you already have going. All it takes is a little time to set up and orient yourself to the new product, so don’t wait. Additional numbers are quite inexpensive when they don’t have to be dedicated to their own phone lines.