Globalisation gives practically any business – large or small – the opportunity to expand into new markets. To take maximum advantage of that opportunity, you might think you have to have an office set up in country or countries you are marketing.
This might be a daunting, not to say expensive, prospect. If you are just testing the waters, do you really need the expense of renting an office, staffing it and dealing with a mountain of red tape – all in a foreign language? And in the burgeoning markets of the Far East this might prove more than an inconvenience.
Even though you might be physically a whole world away, your customers in China and those hoping to do business in China will gain the impression that you have a strategically placed office in the country.
What is a virtual landline?
It might help first to consider the traditional landline. The basics are described on the WhatIs TechTarget website:
- whether the telephone handset is connected via a wall socket or wirelessly to a nearby base unit, a fixed or dedicated landline transmits the audio data of a voice through a physical connection such as copper or fibre optic cable;
- just as the name suggests, a virtual landline is internet based and operates effectively through your own “cloud” address;
- in other words, you are able to receive and make calls using set rate tariffs without the expense – or disruption – of having to install another fixed landline.
How does it work?
It works very simply:
- anyone calling your virtual landline number – wherever in the world that appears to be – believes that they are calling another fixed line phone;
- that call is directed to your own UK-based fixed line, mobile or even online;
- any missed calls, when you are unavailable, may be dealt with by voicemail, with the message directed to you as an audio file by email.
What a virtual landline provider has to say
John Hayes from TelephoneNumberSolutions.com says: “Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they have to set up an office in the country they want to market to. They spend literally hundreds of thousands of pounds on these costs, when all they need to do is get a localised, virtual telephone number. The cost savings are huge and it gives companies the opportunity to test out international markets at very little cost.”
This view is echoed by property professions. In fact, estate agents in Belgravia – one of the most expensive areas of London to buy or rent commercial premises – say that many investors from the Far East who are keen to establish a London base do not realise that they can take advantage of having a presence in the UK capital without needing to relocate here.
A spokesman for Belgravia estate agent Best Gapp adds: “A number of the international clients we deal with first established a presence in London through setting up a virtual phone line.”
Whether your business is a start-up or a long-established enterprise, a virtual landline may prove a cost effective and highly trustworthy means of breaking into new international markets.