One of our favorite benefits to technology is that you aren’t limited to doing business with customers, partners, and vendors in your backyard. A small business owner can be based in a rural town or a big city – or even work from the road – and still do business all over the world. Unfortunately, the long distance charges can add up quickly.
Whether you have customers spread throughout your home country or in every corner of the world, you want to provide a way to reach your business that’s easy for them and low-cost for you. With a little help from Skype, you can.
Setting up a Skype number lets someone call you from a landline or mobile phone, and you pick up the call on Skype. When a person dials your Skype number, your Skype account rings just as it would for a Skype-to-Skype call. The only difference is that Skype displays the caller’s number, not his or her Skype contact info.
- Sign into your Skype account on Skype.com
- In the “Manage Features” section, choose Skype number
- Click “Get a Skype Number”
- You’ll be prompted through the process of setting up the number, including picking the country whose area code you want attached to your number (you choose from a list of available countries, and although you don’t need to select the country you live in, some countries require proof of residence to set numbers with its area codes).
That’s it. In seconds you have a new number you can share with business contacts, colleagues, clients or anyone else who needs to reach you from a traditional phone.
Rene Kaaij, a Dutch producer and songwriter, purchased a Skype number so that when clients call from all over the Netherlands, he can answer on Skype no matter where he is – and it’s always a local call for his customers.
Many small business owners use a Skype number as their main business line.
“I don’t keep a landline anymore and I wouldn’t like giving my cell phone out for business,” explains Solo Smarts founder Kelly McCausey. “Having a Skype Number is the perfect solution. I can take calls anywhere I am, on my iPhone or my computer.”
A couple of things to note:
- You can purchase up to 10 separate Skype numbers for any one Skype account. Prices start at $5 a month, but you’ll get up to 50 percent off if you have a Skype subscription.
- Voicemail and call forwarding can be set up for your Skype number, so you’ll never need to worry about missing a call even if you’re not near a computer or mobile device with your Skype account on it.
- You can create Skype numbers for your employees through Skype Manager. In that case, you own those numbers, so if an employee leaves you can reassign his or her number to someone else.
- Skype numbers are available in many places, but can’t be purchased in all countries. Check if your country allows Skype numbers before you start the purchase process.
Are you already using a Skype number for your business? Tell us how it’s helped, in the comments.