Thanks to current technology, you can set up essential business services faster than ever — and for less money than you might expect.
One popular service among new businesses is Google Voice, a free online telephone service that provides users with unique phone numbers. A Google Voice number will allow you to send and receive calls, text messages, and voicemails from your computer or smartphone.
If you’re interested in using this service for your business, here’s what you need to know about how to set up a Google Voice number.
Setting up a Google Voice number
You can set up a Google Voice account via your iOS or Android device, or from your computer.
If you’re setting up an account on your phone, the first step is to download the Google Voice application. If you’re using a computer, navigate to the Google Voice sign-up page. You’ll be prompted to sign into your Google account.
Next, search for available phone numbers. Enter your city or area code to see available numbers, and claim the one you want to use.
After you find a number, you’ll be prompted to verify your existing phone number (with a six-digit code). This step is necessary, as Google Voice forwards incoming calls to your existing telephone number.
Once you enter the code, your Google Voice number will be ready to use.
Making a Google Voice call
To make your first call, navigate to your Google Voice homepage, or open the app if you’re using a smartphone.
Toggle to the “Calls” tab, then select “Make a Call.” Enter the number or contact you want to call, press the green call button, and get ready to chat.
Sending a text message
Sending text messages using your Google Voice account is similar. Navigate to the “Messages” tab, then enter the phone number or contact you want to get in touch with. Type your message, then hit send.
Google Voice rates
With Google Voice, you can send unlimited text messages and make unlimited domestic calls (up to three hours long) at no cost beyond what you already pay your service provider.
The only time you’ll be charged is if you’re making international calls. If you want to call someone in another country, review the list of Google Voice calling rates and then purchase credits to cover these expenses.
What’s the catch?
Since Google Voice uses your existing number, it can be difficult to distinguish whether an incoming call is directed at your business or your personal phone number. The good news is that other users face this same issue, and Google Voice’s Help Forum provides a solution.
You’re one step closer to starting a business
Convenience, ease of use, and little-to-no costs make Google Voice a valuable tool for many new business owners. After you set up a Google Voice number, create phone links on your business website so that potential customers can easily get in touch.