A 1-800 number, also known as a toll-free number or vanity number is a telephone number that uses letters on the telephone keypad to spell out a word, acronym, or short phrase. If you own a 1-800 number, all calls to that number will be diverted to your regular phone number. But the catch is you have to pay by the minute for all calls you receive through the number, since calls are free to callers.

Having a 1-800 for your small business can be smart move, as it can help your business in many ways. Aside the fact that customers will find the number much easier to remember than a regular phone number, a toll-free number reduces financial onus on the customer, reduces perceived geographical distance, and sends signals of your business’s willingness to offer service.

In essence, having a toll-free number can leave a positive impression in the minds of your potential and existing clients or customers. Having a toll-free number set up for your small business is very easy. And it comes at a very cheap price that even the most bare-bones business owner can afford. Read on to learn the steps involved in setting up a new toll-free number for your small business within minutes:

How to Get a 1-800 Toll Free Number for Your Small Business

1. Figure out if you really need a 1-800 number

A toll-free number doesn’t cost the caller anything, no matter how long they spend on the call. But you will have to pay by the minute for all calls to your toll-free number. Getting a toll free number can be a smart step because it allows anybody to call from anywhere in your country or even in the world, and the call will be treat as a local call for the caller. This means, you, instead of the caller will pay the long-distance charges that typically apply.

If you spend a lot of time on phone speaking with your customers and prospects, a toll-free number will help your business. Why? The reason is because customers or prospects who know they won’t be paying a dime for those 15 to 30-minute calls are more likely to take their time on phone to get enough information about your products or services. And the more information they have about your offers, the higher your chances of getting business deals from them.

Personalizing your toll free number makes your business appear more professional and can lead to a serious increase in business. You must bear in mind, however that finding a personalized code that is still available might take a lot of time. If you think you don’t want the benefits that come with having a toll-free number, or you simply cannot afford the costs, then you can forget about that decision for now.

2. Get in touch with your current service provider

Most telecom service providers offer better deals on toll-free numbers to their existing customers than they do to new customers. So, chances are you will get a better deal from your current service provider. Contact them to confirm this.

Before deciding which service provider to get your toll-free number from, take the time to find out what obtains with other providers. Some of them may have better offers than your existing provider, so you want to ensure that you receive the best service, support, and price.

Aside price and customer service, check other features that are available with your existing service provider as well as other service providers. Some services offers additional features such as caller ID, voice mail, voice-to-email, virtual phone attendants, and more. Go with the option that best suits your business’s needs and budget.

However, whether you are getting your toll-free number from your existing provider or another service, find out how effective the service is from customers who have been using that service for some time or have used it before.

3. Set up your account

After choosing the service that you deem the best for your business needs, you should contact the company and set up an account with them. Most services will allow you to choose your own number—if it is available. This is a good opportunity for you to personalize the number and make it easy to remember.

In addition, since 1-800 numbers need to be linked up with regular phone lines, you need to choose a landline for receiving calls to your toll-free line. The whole process of setting up your account should take no more than one hour with most toll-free service providers.