Skype is the #1 Internet telephony application for a reason. Not only can you call and talk face-to-face with clients and friends using the Skype application around the world for free, but SkypeIn and SkypeOut services allow you to use Skype as a traditional Voice Over IP (VOIP) provider and make calls to and from landlines for a fraction of the cost of a traditional landline, which can run anywhere from $30 to $60 a month. A Skype business phone line is the perfect way to stay in touch with your clients while cutting down on the cost of utilities. It offers all of the convenience of a home or business phone, including caller ID, call waiting, conference calling, and voicemail.
The first step to getting a business line with Skype is to set up a free account or log in to your existing account. From the Skype app, you can click on the subscription button which will load a secure frame allowing you to view your account information, phone number, and calling credit.
Most business users will want an unlimited calling plan, rather than a pay-by-the-minute deal. At this time, an unlimited calling subscription is $30.50/year, and you can pick one up by clicking on Call Phones, then under Your Subscriptions on the right side of the screen.
Next, an Online Number offers customers, clients, and partners a way to reach you via a landline. By being a Skype subscriber, you can get half off your online number, so make sure that you’ve completed the subscription step first. The total cost of an online number is $60/year, but subscribers get it for $30/year.
Next, you’ll want to link this Skype account to your cell phone or tablet to make and receive unlimited calling to and from this line on the go. Both Android and Apple have official Skype apps in their respective stores, and, once installed and logged in, Skype should both receive and send calls as well as any traditional phone.
As an aside, though they’re outside the scope of the article, Skype has other ways that it increase your ROI as a business owner. Skype SMS allows you to send text messages at $0.12 per message. This is about the same as per-message rates for traditional cell phone companies, but is ridiculously high for frequent texters. Still, it can be a time saver in a pinch. Skype also offers International calling, video chat, group video chat, and screen sharing for collaboration.