As a Virtual Assistant I am always looking for ways to keep my business outgoings as low as possible to keep my rates as competitive as possible. It’s a tough market out there and as the old adage goes ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’.

One of the first things I looked at when setting up my business was how to set up a ‘landline’ telephone number without spending considerable amounts of money.  I’d read that it doesn’t look good for a business to have a mobile number on their website or business card (take note!)… so I knew it was a given that, for my business to have any credibility, I needed to have a landline telephone number. To that end I discovered VOIP. What is VOIP? VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol.  As a Virtual Assistant I like to embrace all things internet.  I work in the ‘cloud’ so why not utilise internet technology for my landline.  VOIP is a technology that uses a broadband internet connection to enable voice calls without a standard telephone line.  The technology converts your voice into a digital signal that travels over the internet.  All I needed was a computer (thumbs up), high speed internet connection (thumbs up) and a VOIP phone (thumbs down).  I had everything, except the phone.  So I toddled off to Amazon and found a VOIP telephone (which I must say was a brilliant investment in itself).

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So I had all my equipment, but I still did not have a ‘landline’ number.  What to do?  Herein enters Sipgate at £0 pounds per month! £0 pounds per month, I was in adage heaven… Worldwide free calls, free telephone number, usable without a computer, no setup fees and no contracts! Wow.  So I signed up, generated myself a ‘landline’ number and I had my landline number for zero pence.

So how does Sipgate make any money? Well, they charge for telephone calls, some are free, others are not. For example, if you call other VOIP networks the telephone calls are free, if you call certain 08 numbers then a fee applies (very small fee applies), likewise fees to landlines and mobiles are payable.  However, the fees are EXTREMELY reasonable and are billed at one minute increments.

So check out the site, it’s a no brainer.  All you need is an internet connection and a VOIP telephone. And I must say that the clarity and tonality of the telephone line is second to none.

So there you go, that’s how to set up a business telephone line for very little pence (zero pence in fact).

I’d love to hear your thoughts and views on other VOIP options out there.  Comment away!

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