The importance of the right telephone number for your business

Africa is perhaps one of the few untapped continents for trade and investment. Providing the major economic powerhouse for development is the Republic of South Africa.

Have you ever wondered how your own UK-based business might break into such a vibrant economy? With your own virtual landline in South Africa, you might soon have the whole of the continent at your feet – without so much as moving office or having any physical presence in the country at all.

The opportunities

With its long history of European connections, South Africa remains Britain’s largest trading partner on the continent and Britain provides the country’s largest source of direct foreign investment.

South Africa’s mixed economy brings to its population of more than 54 million a per capita income that is ahead of most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tap into the opportunities with your virtual landline

Businesses that use a freephone number are reporting an increase in calls from UK customers after charges to dial an 0800 number from a mobile phone were axed in July.

But you can also increase your volume of phone enquiries from potential customers based overseas by taking a virtual landline that gives callers the impression that your business has a physical presence anywhere in the world – you have a telephone number that appears to confirm it.

Every call you receive on that number may be transferred directly to your UK landline, mobile or even to another international landline or mobile.

In other words, you don’t even need to maintain a permanent, fully-equipped and serviced office in your overseas base – making a virtual landline ideal for any small business that you might be operating from home or one that keeps you on the move from one part of the country to another. If you travel abroad, your South African virtual landline number can still go with you.

Neither are you limited to receiving calls made to your virtual landline on the same number. It may be switched immediately, at any time of the day – from one of your UK work bases to another landline, or even during the course of the same day, say when office staff leave for home and you want calls diverted to your mobile.

This is all done without disturbing or in any way interrupting your existing landlines or mobile – and without giving any hint to your customers in South Africa that calls are being diverted overseas.

Virtual landlines typically come a with a call reporting service which allows you to monitor the calls made, when and how the caller responds if your line is busy – including those occasions when the caller hangs up before you have had the chance to answer.

Another feature commonly offered with a virtual landline is the recording or either or both incoming and outgoing calls. The recordings may be stored online or sent to your chosen email address for you to review whenever you choose.

A virtual landline in South Africa may give you the chance to test the market or to gain a foothold onto business in that country or the continent as a whole – all without the need for the significant investment to set up and run an office there.

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