Small businesses need to be able to communicate with their customers, vendors, and investors. It’s also a great idea to have a toll-free number that you can give out without the fear of receiving scam calls, annoying telemarketers calls, and other nuisances.
Toll-free numbers are a great option for people who need to keep their main business number free and who want to keep their private number private.
In this post, we will take a look at 7 of the top toll-free phone number services for small businesses and discuss the value of each. Then you can sign up for the free trial of any of these that you are interested in to see which one will work best for you.
Grasshopper is a popular toll-free phone service for small businesses that many business people use. It provides an unlimited number of extensions that allow you to share it with multiple employees.
You will be able to purchase different types of numbers through this service including:
- Toll-free numbers
- Vanity numbers
- 800 numbers
- 833 numbers
The new 833 numbers are the latest prefix that can be used for toll-free numbers. Many businesses are opting to use these numbers because they may differentiate your business better than the 800 numbers do.
Vanity numbers are popular too and they can work to enhance your branding. Numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS have been able to corner the market on flower delivery using their vanity number. Who could forget 1-800-FLOWERS?
There are also a number of other prefixes you can purchase such as 877, 866, and 888.
The Grasshopper app is user-friendly and they currently feature 3 main plans:
Solo Plan: For $29/month you get one number with three extensions each. If you pay yearly, you’ll get a discount and you’ll only pay $26 annually.
Partner Plan: If you pay $49 each month, you’ll get 3 numbers and 6 extensions.
Small Business Plan: For $89 a month, you’ll get 5 numbers and unlimited extensions.
Grasshopper also features free activation and a 30-day money back guarantee with unlimited minutes.
They have a 30-day trial so you can test drive it before you buy.
Ring Central is another popular plan for business owners who need a 1-800 number for their business needs. Ring Central states that they are number one in cloud communications. One of the unique features of this app is that it works with more than 100 apps.
Their multiple cloud-based PBX system combines voice technology with video conferencing, collaboration software solutions, online meetings, and integrated contact solutions. It’s easy for businesses to incorporate Ring Central’s versatile system into their platforms and collaborate with people all over the world.
Ring Central’s business plans include:
Essentials Plan: For $29.99 a month per user, you can add up to 10 users and receive 100 toll-free minutes.
Standard Plan: For $34.99 a month per user, you can have an unlimited number of users and 1,000 toll-free minutes.
Essentials Plan: For $29.99 per user, you get up to 10 users and up to 100 toll-free minutes.
Ultimate Plan: This plan gives you an unlimited number of and 10,000 toll-free minutes for $59.99/month per user.
There is a $30 activation fee when you join Ring Central. The cost is a bit more than a service like Grasshopper, for example, because it operates on a PBX system.
This means you do have to have physical hardware installed on the premises and the system operates like a phone switchboard system.
EVoice is another great toll-free number service for small businesses. They offer 800 numbers for businesses no matter how large or small your business. They offer voicemail that allows messages to be routed to your home as well as an office and mobile number. You can have the messages routed to your email or cell phone as a text message that will include the voice attachment. This service is compatible with both landline and cellular phones systems and features four different business plans to choose from.
The $12.99 Lite Plan
This plan allows you to have access to up to 6 phone numbers. The numbers can be either local or toll-free. There are options for 2 extensions and you have up to 300 minutes with this plan. This would be a great way to start to see if you like their service before upgrading to a larger plan.
The $29.99 Plan
The $29.99 plan is the most popular one offered by eVoice. You’ll have access for up to 15 different numbers with this plan and five extensions and 1000 minutes to use. For many small business owners, this plan should be enough for their needs.
The $49.99 Plan
If you need more bang for your buck, this plan allows you to have up to 30 numbers (both local and toll-free) and you get 10 extensions and 2000 available minutes. For medium-sized businesses, this would serve your purposes in most cases.
The $79.99 Plan
For larger businesses who need the top plan, this plan gives you more access for up to 45 numbers and 15 extensions. You will have 4000 available minutes to use. This would be a the best plan if you are a larger business with multiple conference call needs each month.
If the above plans turn out not to be enough, you can also still add more minutes for a price of 3.9 cents per minute.
EVoice includes more numbers for the money than most of the other plans we reviewed.
But the number of minutes are limited to the specific plans without purchasing more minutes.
Phone.com has a number of different features and all their plans include local or toll-free numbers, integrated mobile apps, and a dial-by-name directory. It also features call screening and call recording to name a few. You can also route your calls to other numbers and send your voicemails to an email making it compatible with both smartphones and landline devices.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee with this plan and you will get 15% off of your first 6 months of service if you take advantage of their sale they have going right now. Phone.com has three different plans to meet your business needs.
The $12.99 Plan
For only $12.00/month you’ll get 300 minutes, one number and unlimited phone extensions.
The $19.99 Plan
For just a few dollars more, you can get up to 500 minutes which includes two numbers and unlimited extensions.
The $39.99 Plan
The $39.99 per month plan gives you 1000 minutes plus three numbers and unlimited extensions.
Phone.com also offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not happy with the service.
Freedomvoice is owned by GoDaddy and they call themselves “the voice of small businesses.” They will help you get a business phone number with an 800 prefix that allows you to use your smartphone or landline phone for your business phone service.
All calls will go straight to your smartphone rather than a landline system which gives you a way to use your smartphone to receive and return business calls without revealing your private cell phone number. The cloud number service provides a professional message system using a virtual attendant that lets people know that you will return their call as soon as possible.
CloudPhone is their other plan that allows people with a brick-and-mortar location for their business to use separate business phones. The starting cost for this service is $150 and the service itself starts at 29.95 a month. There are three separate plans for this service.
RingBoost provides local and toll-free numbers to business owners, as well as vanity numbers. They allow you to get a memorable number that your customers will remember which will increase your calls, interest in your brand, and allow you to connect to people while keeping your privacy intact.
Their best plans are listed below if you’d like to check out this service.
The Starter Plan
Ringboost’s economy plan is only $1.99 per month! You do not get any minutes with this plan but it is more of a “Pay-as-you-go” option where you can purchase minutes on a prepaid basis at the rate of 6 cents per minute.
The Business Pro Plan
This plan is $10.99 per month and includes 200 minutes of talk time that you can use with your phone number. Each additional minute is only 5 cents each.
The Premium Plan
Ringboost’s Premium Plan costs $19.99 per month and includes 400 minutes of talk time. You can purchase additional minutes at any time at the rate of 5 cents per minute.
Purchase the plan that is best for you based on your usage needs and the amount of perks you need. Most people start out with a smaller plan then add onto it as you need more.
Vonage is one of the most popular business phone services available for business owners. Most people know about the various business phone systems they offer. Their system operates as a virtual phone service. You only need an internet connection to connect to the service.
But they have not been advertised as much as an 800 number service. If you are already a Vonage customer, however, you can use your number with their service.
The 800 service is an “add-on” feature that you can add to your current service with Vonage for an extra $39.99 per month plus fees and applicable taxes.
If you want a plan with Vonage as well as the 800 number option, you will need to know about the following plans:
The mobile plan for cell phone users includes unlimited calling in both the US and Canada and it costs $19.99 per month.
The premium plan will cost you $29.99 per month and it features unlimited calling also.
This plan has a few more features and features unlimited calling and costs $39.99 per month.
All Vonage plans include the following:
-Phone service via internet connection
-40+ business phone features
-24/7 tech support for US-based service
-No annual contract
-14-day free trial
-Additional business phone numbers including 800 numbers
To add the 800 number for your business, you will need to join one of their plans and then contact customer service to find out how to start an 800 number.
Which is best for a small business?
It might be a bit confusing as to which 800 phone number service is best for your business. First think about the size of your operation and how much you will use your 800 number. Do you have more than 20 staff members who you need to coordinate or collaborate on projects on a regular basis? If so, you will probably want to choose a service that is more robust such as Vonage.
But if you already have a different phone service and do not want to start with Vonage’s complete system, that’s okay, too! You can have any type of service you want to get an 800 number. Just inquire with the service that you want to try and ask them how to get an 800 or vanity number.
How Vanity Numbers Help Build Your Brand
Unlike ordinary 800 or 877 numbers, vanity numbers are a great way to promote your brand. Because they usually have a word that is associated with your brand, it will be far easier for people to remember when they need what you offer in your business.
For example, if you own a coffee shop, why not try to get the number: 1-800-CafeShop
or something even more unique such as 1-800-CUPOJOE. There’s no limit to what you can use as long as the number is available with most systems.
Using a vanity number sets you apart from your competitor because you can advertise your number along with all of your ads and people will remember it when they call you without looking up your website or business card.
A Word About Google Voice
Google Voice is another type of service that allows you to get 800 numbers or vanity numbers for your business. It is a free service unlike some of the standard 800 phone tools. Google Voice allows you to use a local phone number to use for business so that you do not have to use your private or personal phone number.
This increases your level of safety and security while allowing you to use a different number that you can publish to the world without concerns. Everyone is concerned about data and privacy issues these days. So it’s a good idea to find a system that will allow you to avoid putting your real number out there.
Google Voice does not give you multiple extensions like the more sophisticated 800 services do, but you’ll have plenty of other options and features. Besides, Google Voice is free! If you have thought about getting an extra number, you could start with Google Voice and see how you like it. You can download the app on the Google Play store. Then look into some of the many other options we have shown you on this site and try out their features, as well.
Additionally, if you want to do any advanced call tracking like I talk about for our brick paver company, you’d want to use a fully featured voip provider instead of GV. Maybe if you had a hypnosis clinic or something you could get by with GV or OOMA office, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you plan on growing the business substantially.
You may find that getting an 800 number is one of the best things you can do to improve your business branding and get more business, as well as to keep your own number private.
Most of the services we have discussed on this page offer a free trial for around 30 days so you can try them before you buy them. Whatever you do, check out the idea of getting a toll-free number. It could really boost your business more than you think.