Give Your Small Business a Single Phone Number with Extensions Like the Big Guys

Last Updated Nov 18, 2009 9:08 AM EST

Do you have a small business that operates out of your basement -- and maybe a few other people's basements? Wish you could have a single cohesive phone number, like 800-SOMETHING, with a slew of extensions? Well, you can, and it won't cost very much (or anything at all).

If you're happy with a local toll number and don't need extensions, you can deploy a single phone number for the low, low cost of free using Google Voice. I've lauded Google Voice before, and it's one way to have one number for multiple phones. The downside is that Google Voice will ring all those phones simultaneously, every time. And you can't have different extensions for Bob, Sue, and Mike.

Another option: Grasshopper is a virtual switchboard for your small business. You can use Grasshopper to get a local or toll-free number, add extensions, and then have the calls forwarded to the phones of your choice, to different desks, different homes, even different cities.

Grasshopper offers a veritable laundry list of features. You get custom greetings, on-hold music, voicemail to text, call screening, and more. Alas, it's not free, but it's close. You can get started with 100 minutes/month for a $25 activation fee and $10/month. You can upgrade to 2000 minutes for $50/month. I don't think you're going to find a better telephony deal than that.

Do you use any sort of virtual phone system? Google Voice? How does it work for you? [via Download Squad]

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