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A guide to business numbers

The right business number will help you capture enquiries in your targeted areas.

At Moneypenny we can provide you with the perfect business telephone number, whether that is regional, national or freephone. Watch this video to discover the different numbers available to your business – we’ve thousands to choose from.

View transcript +

Hi, I’m Jamie. In this video, I’ll unravel the often confusing world of business telephone numbers. I’ll share with you the types of numbers available, and the pros and cons for each.

Your number says a lot about you and your business; local, national, mobile, premium – it’s really one of the first impressions people get. So it’s important to get it right from the off. Don’t panic, we’re here to help. First things first. Consider what you want from a number. Is location important? Perhaps you want to appear based in an entirely different area? Maybe you want to portray a large business image? The good news is, it’s all possible.

Regional numbers allow you to look local, anywhere. For example, you might be in Slough, but want to appear like you’re based in Central-London, with an 0203 number. Or, you could be based in Reading and want to expand your empire into Oxford. Nowadays, you can get pretty much any UK landline phone number, and route it to any number you want. Area codes are a thing of the past. A business in Glasgow has as much right to use an 0203 code as a business in Westminster.

And, not everyone realises this, but you can have as many numbers as you like – and divert them all to the same place; be it your mobile, main office number, wherever. They’re very affordable, too, and it’s proven that prospective customers are many, many times more likely to call a local number over a mobile. In fact, if you take one thing from this video, it should be that you should never, ever promote your mobile number for your business. Instead, buy a regional number and divert it to your mobile; easy!

Here, you have two choices; everybody’s favourite – the Freephone number! Numbers starting 0800 or 0808. It’s certainly something to think about. Callers love them, they have nationwide appeal, and they’re proven to generate the most responses in advertising. However, there are a couple of negatives; firstly, not all Freephone numbers work for overseas callers, and secondly, you will pick up the call charges. But don’t worry, they’re not too bad, shop around for the best deal.

If you want national presence, but without the charges – an 03 number will be for you. The lesser known cousin of Freephone. Callers are charged, but they only pay local rates – peanuts! You get that big business front and nationwide appeal, without any additional cost to your business.

A top tip – avoid these.  These are premium numbers and will cost callers far more than you might think. Not great for making your phone ring, and not popular amongst your customers.

Another question we often get asked, if you get a new number, who owns it? Good question. The number is yours. When you buy a number from Moneypenny, you can either keep it with us, or you can switch the number to another carrier. It’s called number porting. This means that you’re not tied in to one company forever more. You’re in control.

Another question, how do call charges actually work? The caller, the person actually dialling the number, they pay for the call as normal. However, it’s where you answer the call that determines how much of a contribution you make to the cost. So, if you answer on a landline, the cost will be negligible; we’re talking fractions of pennies. It’ll be slightly more if you answer on a mobile and potentially a lot more if you have the number routed overseas, depending of course on what country it is.

So, hopefully that’s given you a quick overview of UK numbers. If you do need any more advice however, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love helping out where we can. And we know a whole lot about numbers.

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