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What’s the best number for your business?

Business numbers in a nutshell

Not just a means of communication, your telephone number can be a way of being remembered and portraying your business in the way you want it to be perceived.

That sequence of numbers can mean a lot (just think of ‘007’!), especially to consumers, whose opinion of your business can be affected by the number you use.

With what can seem like so many options, how do you know which number best suits your business and the way you want it to be portrayed? You want to make the right choice so as to avoid the estimated £5,000 cost to your business when changing a number – your stationery, advertisements or even your shop front are all affected by your decision.

Let’s take a look at the details of each number for your business to help you make the right choice.

Mobile numbers

Great for communicating on the go and keeping in touch with friends; not so great for advertising a business.  Why? 70% of consumers are less likely to call a mobile number used on an advert, according to Ofcom. What’s more, 38% of both residential and business consumers would be ‘very concerned’ if they were no longer able to distinguish between a land line and a mobile number – so clearly, it’s an important consideration.

Mobile numbers portray a personal feel: while you may want to appear accessible, those 11-digit numbers can imply increased call costs, instability (where are you based? How established is your business?), and even seem amateurish.

Local numbers

Your ‘all-rounder’ number: all start with either 01 or 02, for example 0207 (London) and 0161 (Manchester). If appearing local is important to your business, a local number is the clear choice. They make your business feel familiar and relevant to customers within a certain area. Not to mention cheap to call – consumers understand this, too.

Familiar, however, doesn’t have to mean small. Using multiple local numbers expands your business presence into other areas: if you are based in Birmingham but want to be perceived as having a Bristol location, local numbers can be used to your advantage.

How important is location? Ofcom found that the significance of having a geographic location attached to fixed line numbers was considerable: on average, 45% of business and residential consumers said that they would be concerned if the ability to recognise location was lost.

National numbers

These types of numbers, for example those beginning with 03 or 08, are increasingly accepted by the public as business numbers that offer tangible benefits, which your clients and callers will appreciate. Ofcom introduced 03 numbers as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers, for example, 0870, which are being discouraged from use. This message appears to have resonated with residential consumers, with 64% recognising that 0800 numbers are a viable, cheap option.

National numbers enable organisations to have one national point of contact, a national presence, without consumers having the uncertainty of costs. 

Freephone numbers

These simply do what they say on the tin! From June 2015, ‘freephone will mean free’ for 0800 or 0808 numbers as proposed by Ofcom – at present they are only free when dialled from a landline. As stated above, the majority of callers understand that 0800 numbers are indeed free to call. The confusion lies with 0808 numbers – still a freephone number, introduced as 0800 numbers are in short supply, but not widely understood yet.

Freephone numbers are ideal for attracting customers to call your marketing or sales lines, particularly for a short term campaign. In this instance, you could utilise multiple freephone numbers to facilitate tracking. While this incurs a cost to you, it should be viewed as part of your marketing strategy.

What’s your number?

Your choice of number can change the way your business is perceived by potential customers. Moneypenny knows the value of a main contact telephone number to any business. With thousands of numbers to choose from, we offer three flexible options to help your business stand out from the crowd:

1. 03 Number – a national presence for your business and a low call cost for your customers

2. Geographic Number – enabling you to create a local presence in your targeted areas

3. 0800 Number – the ultimate number for your business, as your customers won’t be charged

Moneypenny is the UK’s leading Telephone Answering and Live Chat provider, offering communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. With our Clever Numbers service, you can secure the perfect business telephone number from a wide choice of regional, national and freephone numbers.


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