So, you’ve got your business up and running in your local market. You’ve been able to take advantage of maintaining a local customer and client base, but you’ve hit the wall when you’ve considered expanding your business. After all, the costs, risks, and uncertainty can put your business in the red if you make too many wrong miscalculations when you’re looking to scale. This is a typical roadblock of most business models, and it presents an obstacle for many in similar predicaments. You’re probably wondering: is there a solution where businesses can expand their business at little cost, but still reap the benefits and gain knowledge of new markets, even in new countries?
Expand Your Business Easily
The answer is yes, with virtual phone numbers. Possible due to new innovations in cloud computing, virtual phone numbers are a simple but effective concept: calls made to a virtual phone number are instantaneously routed to a destination phone number, anywhere in the world. Conversely, when local callers contact the virtual phone number, it behaves just as any “normal” phone number would. This means no long-distance charges or connectivity issues that plague traditional call forwarding services.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how your business can expand with virtual phone numbers.
Virtual phone numbers, from trusted service providers like Global Call Forwarding, are available in just about every market in the world. Therefore, if your business is looking to reach new regional markets, virtual phone numbers can be the first step towards contact them.
Consider it from the point of view of a caller — would you rather pick up a phone call from a phone number that matches your area code, or one from another part of the country? Studies have shown that callers are much more likely to avoid these non-area-specific calls simply because they’re unfamiliar with where they’re originating from. Businesses that want to expand with virtual numbers can stop this unfamiliarity by purchasing a virtual phone number that relates to their area code. Vice versa, callers that want to contact a business want to do it on their own terms and not have to pay long-distance fees or contact a call center that may seem “disconnected” from their questions, concerns, and inquiries. This is where virtual phone number shine. They are great for building trust and authenticity in new markets by meeting customers and clients in the middle. That “local” appeal is priceless!
Another regional use for virtual phone numbers is their ability to “shadow test” a market. For instance, if you wanted to market a line of products in a weekly newspaper and advertise using a virtual phone number, callers can begin to place orders. Depending on how your product gains traction and how customers may receive your business can give you hard numbers as to whether setting up a subsidiary business in that new regional market is a smart move.
For ambitious entrepreneurs, you may want to look beyond the confines of the country where your business is based. As mentioned before, virtual phone numbers from service providers are typically available in nearly every country around the world. Think about that for a second…
This means that you can gain a business presence in any country that you choose to simply by signing up for a virtual phone number plan.
Usually, for a business to establish itself in new markets using traditional methods, it has to follow the rules, regulations, and bureaucratic red tape that comes with setting up a physical presence in a new country. This can be particularly frustrating for businesses that are located along country borders, like the United States and Canada. Or, it can be an insurmountable roadblock for startups that are still bootstrapping their business from the ground up — after all, how can you acquire capital in new markets if you can’t even throw your hat in the arena (so to speak)?
This is where virtual phone numbers allow you to tap into these markets. Again, virtual phone numbers can be country-specific, matching not only the country code, but also the diverse regions that comprise a nation. For instance, a country like Russia is spread over numerous times zones, ethnicities, and metropolitan areas, each with their own particular way of doing things. By using a virtual phone number tailored to each region and country, you can access these markets and remain more authentic to what they demand. After all, if a person is suspicious of a call originating from another part of the country, you may be sure that they’ll be doubly suspicious if a call is coming from another country altogether. Considering how inexpensive virtual phone numbers are, your business can subscribe to multiple numbers to accommodate every target market and demographic that your business appeals to. Versatile, no?
Alternate Uses of Virtual Phone Numbers
If you’ve read this far, congratulations on discovering the value and benefits of virtual phone numbers. However, service providers offer even more services that can help expand your business. Consider “call recording,” a service offered by Global Call Forwarding, which allows calls made to and from your business to be stored in the cloud and are accessible when you need them. This service allows your business to be compliant with countries that require certain industries (i.e. banking, finance) to maintain records to avert international scammers. Similarly, this call recording service can help keep track of customer service and employee performance, as well as give valuable data for understanding what your customers need.
There are also virtual SMS phone numbers, which work very similarly to virtual phone numbers, but allow text messages to be sent instead of calls. This can keep your customers updated in real time and at their own pace — after all, a person can read the message when they have free time instead of the immediacy of phone calls.
* * *
The versatility of virtual phone numbers is only limited to your business acumen. By understanding how virtual phone numbers work, you can make the transition to using virtual phone numbers when expanding your company without significant costs and headaches that traditional methods offer.
Written by Tom Senkus
BIO: Tom Senkus is a freelance writer with over fifteen years of experience. He currently runs an international freelance business, which deals with customers and subcontractors around the world. For more information, visit www.tomsenkuswriter.com