Almost sixty years ago this month President John F. Kennedy uttered his famous phrase “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” This has held true no matter where you look: with athletes getting stronger, communication getting quicker, and technologies jumping forward. One of those technologies, the internet phone number, has allowed businesses to catapult themselves forwards in ways hitherto not thought of as possible- and it can help your small business too!
Even before the pandemic, businesses were already finding new ways of using technology; the lockdowns and social distancing just made that process occur even quicker. One of the things that accelerated in importance was the internet phone number. It’s advent and advancement radically shifted how people had to do business with one another, from loosening geographic restrictions which could never have been loosened before to how you run your own shop and interact with your co-workers. And of course, it makes for smoother communications with your customers, which is of course crucially important for businesses of all types and sizes. Here we’ll walk you through the different ways that an internet phone number can bring much needed change to your small business.
How Internet Phone Numbers Have Changed the Idea of “Numbers” Themselves
The idea of a “phone number” used to be indistinguishable from the phone which rang when said number was called. Maybe if your parents were especially loving/they had the money, one number might call two or three landlines in a single home- but of course, that wouldn’t exactly give you privacy as anyone who picked up another receiver would be able to tune into your call. Even when cell phones came around, the situation was still the same: one number went to one cell phone.
But internet phone numbers have dramatically re-shaped the very concept of what a “phone number” really is. By being linked to an online account, an internet phone number can be used…well, basically anywhere, on anything (so long as that “anything” is one of many internets connected devices, which aren’t exactly in short supply at the moment). Now you can really control your own number. You’re not restricted to a single phone or tied down to a single desk- your number moves with you. All you need is to be able to log into your app or your account on a desktop/laptop.
Plus, many internet phone numbers can be forwarded to desk phones/landline phones, so if you’re still operating on a system built around that sort of devices, you can still use it. The possibilities for reconfiguring your business and going into the future ready for change are endless.
How Internet Phone Numbers Have Changed How You Work
So, as we indicated above, businesses were once built around phones. You had to be near your phone; if you stepped out of the office for an important meeting, you could miss an important call. This in turn necessitated the hiring of a secretary, someone to take your calls for you and direct them to where you need to go. It created an entire office culture, something that grew to be so pervasive that films and movies started being made about them.
But that’s all changing. Internet phone numbers such as VoIP services allow people to completely go back to the drawing board when it comes to organizing the way they run their own businesses. For example, some VoIP providers offer things called auto attendants, which can answer your callers’ most basic questions and forward their calls to where they need to go (among other things, such as direct special callers or automatically block others). Does that sound like a secretary? Well, yeah. Not only does that already change how your team works, it also changes how much money you make- a secretary can cost you thousands of dollars a year (if you’re paying people legal wages, a secretary will likely cost you tens of thousands of dollars a year). A VoIP program will cost you…a couple hundred? Maybe?
And that’s just a little piece of it. There are so many more ways you can change how you work- way more than we can discuss here. You don’t even need an office- you just need an internet connected device. Your local coffeeshop can be your office, or when you absolutely need a space, your living room or a place at your local coworking space.
Internet Phone Numbers Can Change How You Interact with Your Coworkers
The pandemic has already shown us that how we interacted with our coworkers in the 1990s probably isn’t going to be how we interact with them in the 2020s and beyond. And we aren’t just talking about making Zoom calls- from top to bottom, with an internet phone number you can re-arrange how your co-workers (or employees, if you’re top dog) interact with you.
Since anyone can log in with the correct information, it’s a cinch to set folks up with a new account and have them be able to log in wherever and whenever. Geography, time itself- you no longer need to be bound by them. It really re-shapes the way you can think about business.
Internet Phone Numbers Can Help You Interact with Your Customers in Entirely New Ways
The beautiful thing about internet phone numbers are all of the things that come with them. From being able to leave widgets on your website (through which potential clients can contact you or ask you to contact them) to the aforementioned auto attendant which can literally talk to your customers for you (and with some auto attendants, such as MightyCall’s, you can literally upload your own voice- so it’s basically you talking to your clients).
This all helps make it so that the callers you or your coworkers end up talking to are actually the ones who need help, and don’t just want to ask your what your hours are. That prioritizing is going to give you more time to prepare for the calls that matter (not that they don’t all matter of course!).
It’s important to remember: while things have slowed and altered during the pandemic, clients will want what they want. Pandemic-related slowness will oftentimes not mitigate that desire. With an internet phone number, however, you’re more likely to be equipped to deal with it.
Internet Phone Numbers Can Help You Change Your Entire Business Model
This really gets to the core of everything we’ve been saying- internet phone numbers literally can change how you do business, from top to bottom: your hiring policies, how you interact with clients, how you work with your employees, how you run your own life. All of it can change with that one number. The entire way you think of doing business can change.
The truth is, everything is changing- it always has, and always will. It’s the law of life. And in the 2020s, everything is changing faster than ever. So why don’t you? Get an internet phone number today, embrace change, and watch your business become all the better for it.