More and more entrepreneurs are running their businesses from their cell phones. The only problem with this is that, as you grow and soon need more professional features, the cell phone, by itself, doesn’t quite cut the mustard anymore.
You will eventually need to upgrade your system. With a Talkroute virtual phone system, you can run one, or even multiple businesses from a single cell phone, keep your existing number, and utilize all the features of a traditional phone system.
Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about turning your cell phone into a fully-functional business phone with Talkroute.
Port-in your existing number, or choose a new number.
When you sign up for a Talkroute account, you can choose your main business number in one of two ways:
Port your existing number to Talkroute. This may be your cell phone number, or another number you already own.
Choose a new local or toll free number from our inventory.
Once you port-in your number or choose a new number, this will be your main business number that people will dial to reach you; it is your Talkroute virtual phone number. Calls will be forwarded from here to your phones.
Porting your existing number to Talkroute.
Firstly, it’s important to understand what a port is. A port is simply a transfer of service for a phone number, from one carrier to another. Most people know this process as “keeping your phone number” when you switch to a new carrier, such as switching from Verizon to T-Mobile, for example. Porting your cell phone number to Talkroute is no different; you are just bringing your existing number with you.
There is no downtime during the transfer.
Your number will not be out of service at any point during the transfer process. It will continue to work as normal with the current provider until the day of completion, when it will seamlessly transfer to Talkroute. Keep in mind that the number will fully transfer at some point before the end of the day, but not necessarily at the beginning of the completion day.
Here’s how the porting process works:
1. Put in a port request.
You can initiate a port in two ways:
At the time of signup, follow the prompt to, “Keep Existing Number”.
If you already have an account, you can open a port request from your online dashboard at any time.
2. Contact the cell phone’s current provider.
Though it’s not a requirement to complete your port, it’s a good idea to contact the current provider, let them know you’re porting out your number, and ask them how the port will affect your account with them.
3. A Talkroute porting agent will make contact with you.
As soon as you put in the port request, a porting specialist will email you with instructions for the next step. Then, to get the ball rolling on your port, just follow the instructions for providing the information your porting agent needs to submit the port.
4. Wait for the port to complete.
Once it is submitted, your port will complete in 1-2 weeks, and the number will become active on your account. Ports take an average of 7-10 days to complete, but you should allow a couple of weeks for the transfer to be done.
Using your cell phone with Talkroute, after you’ve ported over the number.
If you port your cell phone number to Talkroute and still want to use that phone with our service, you will need to call the service provider and ask them to assign a new number to the phone. Talkroute does not provide service for your devices; the system works by receiving your calls, and forwarding them to your devices using their existing networks.
The new number you get from the cell phone’s provider will replace the number that you just ported to Talkroute. So all you have to do is add the new number to your list of forwarding phone numbers, to continue receiving calls on that cell phone. If you don’t need the phone anymore and just want to retain your existing phone number, then you don’t have to worry about this step.
Learn more about ports here:
Add your cell phone number to your Forwarding Phone Numbers list.
Whatever phone(s) you want to ring when you receive a call, whether it’s your cell phone or another phone, must be added to the list of forwarding phone numbers on your Talkroute account. Once on the list, they can then be added to any section of your system, such as specific Menu Options or Extensions, or simply to receive every call that comes in to your Talkroute Number.
Configure your forwarding settings.
This is actually something you’ll probably want to do while your number is being ported to Talkroute because you will want to be ready to start receiving calls right away. From your online dashboard, you can set your account to either forward calls directly to your phones, send them to your Call Menu (phone tree), or even just route all calls to voicemail.
Get the mobile dialing app.
The Talkroute mobile app, available for iOS and Android, optimizes making businesses calls from your smartphone while showing your Talkroute Number on the caller ID. Download the mobile app here:
Set the Incoming & Outgoing Caller ID.
Using the Outbound Dialing feature or the mobile app, you can make calls from your phones while showing your Talkroute Number on the caller ID, hiding your device’s private number.
You can also set the Incoming Caller ID to show your Talkroute Number when you’re getting a call through Talkroute, so that you can differentiate between business and personal calls.
Sometimes running your business from a cell phone is all you can afford, and sometimes it’s the best solution for your business type. In any case, Talkroute makes it cost-effective and simple to turn your cell phone into a professional phone system.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.