Virtual Phone SystemFor Small Business Owners

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What exactly is a virtual phone system?

Let’s define, in simple terms, what exactly a virtual phone system is and build up from there. The first thing you need to know is that all business phone systems use a special type of computer called a ‘server’ to manage things like phone numbers, greetings, voicemail, hold music, and call routing. These are standard professional-grade features.

Building upon this, the next thing to know is that business phone systems come in two basic flavors – ‘traditional’ and ‘virtual’ – which are defined primarily by 1) where these servers are located and by 2) who maintains the servers and its software. Check out this article if you’re interested in an in-depth overview of virtual phone systems.

Cables and Wires Icon Representing Traditional Business Phone Systems

Traditional Business Phone Systems

Traditional phone systems are located and maintained in-house. Think wires...lots and lots of wires. Think equipment closets with servers and cables. Generally, business owners don't set up and maintain traditional business phone systems themselves. These systems require a great deal of knowledge. Business owners must rely on specialized in-house technicians or their local phone company to do this work for them.

Traditional phone system for business.
LinkedPhone Cloud Icon Representing a Virtual Business Phone System

Virtual Business Phone Systems

Virtual phone systems, on the other hand, are located off-site and are maintained by your virtual phone system provider. Terminology can be a bit confusing. Simply know that ‘virtual’, ‘off-site’, ‘cloud-based’, ‘hosted’, and ‘hosted PBX’ all mean the same thing – simply that phone system servers are located somewhere other than your place of business (i.e., ‘in the cloud’).

Business calls can be routed to desk phones, mobile phones, computers, laptops, tablets, and landlines. Business owners can configure virtual phone systems themselves on the internet through a user-friendly interface without having to rely on IT staff.

Virtual phone system for business.

Virtual phone systems come with compelling advantages for small business owners and have dramatically changed how they set up and maintain business telecommunications. Let’s dive in to some of these advantages.

What are the main advantages of virtual phone systems vs. traditional phone systems?

LinkedPhone settings Icon representing easy set-up of a virutal phone system for business

Easy Set-Up

Traditional phone systems require substantial technical expertise and lead times to set up. The best virtual phone systems do not require technical knowledge at all. With LinkedPhone, for example, simply pick a local or toll-free business phone number, add team members, assign extensions, and create call menu options. Go live in just a few minutes.

Virtual phone system providers relieve small business owners of having to maintain hardware and software. Check that off your list and focus on what matters - growing your business. Need to make changes to your phone system? No problem – with LinkedPhone you can update your settings online or in the app with a few taps.

Icon of piggy bank highlighting that unlimited talk and text saves LinkedPhone customers a lot of money

Low Cost

Traditional business phone systems not only require substantial technical expertise and long lead times, they also require substantial financial resources. Not long ago, small businesses were forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on private branch exchange (PBX) servers, new hardware and software, compatible desk phones, and specialized IT expertise to configure and maintain the phone system.


Virtual phone systems, on the other hand, are much easier on the wallet than traditional phone systems. There are no PBX servers or software to buy. There are no specialized IT personnel to train or hire. Virtual phone system providers pass on substantial savings that result from scaling technology across thousands of small businesses. At LinkedPhone, we also provide the security, reliability, maintenance, deep expertise, and 24/7 monitoring that would not be feasible for small- and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, as your business grows in staff or locations, there is no need for major phone system upgrades. Virtual phone systems easily adapt to your growing business without huge unexpected costs.


LinkedPhone understands that small business owners require flexibility and transparency when it comes to partnering with a service provider. Our plans are all-inclusive, meaning you get unlimited minutes, unlimited text messaging, and all of the features you need to run your business efficiently and effectively. We’re human too. We don’t like pushy sales people, sneaky fees, hidden charges, or long-term contracts that hold us hostage to a specific provider. What you see is what you pay and you can cancel at any time. Link three devices or work colleagues to your business phone number for only $19.99 per month. Try LinkedPhone risk-free for 7 days.

Icon for laptop, cell phone, landline, VoIP phone for LinkedPhone virtual phone system

Virtual Phone Numbers are Flexible

Traditional business phone systems provide phone numbers with little mobility. A business number on a traditional system works on one and only one phone, typically a wired phone like a landline or an office VoIP phone (voice-over-internet protocol phones work over the internet instead of an analog signal). Essentially, you are required to 1) be at your place of business and 2) be next to your work phone in order to make and receive business calls.


Virtual phone numbers, on the other hand, are not ‘attached’ to one phone. Because these phone numbers are cloud-based, you can configure them to route business calls to any device you choose – including any wired phone (VoIP or landline), cell phone, or computer (you can even receive calls on all devices at the same time if that’s what you want!). Virtual phone numbers travel with you. They work wherever you are on any device that is convenient for you. With LinkedPhone, it takes just a few seconds to link a device your business phone number and you’re good to go.


Virtual phone systems offer flexibility that is difficult to accomplish with traditional systems. Another great thing about virtual phone numbers is that you can have as many as you need. Use one main business number, set up many local numbers, set up numbers for different departments, or have multiple toll-free numbers. Virtual numbers can also be added to your website so customers can call you directly from their laptop. LinkedPhone offers business phone numbers across all area codes in the U.S. and Canada, including toll-free area codes.

Smart phone with apps icon. LinkedPhone mobile app let's you talk & text from your business phone number

Use Your Personal Cell Phone for Business

Business owners derive substantial value from being able to use their personal cell phone for business. There is no need to buy a separate mobile device. The LinkedPhone mobile app, for example, empowers you to talk & text from your business Caller ID, preserving the privacy of your personal phone number. The mobile app makes it easy to keep business calls, voicemail, text messages, & contacts separate from your personal stuff.


Additionally, incoming business calls and text messages have a distinctive look so you always know which are business and which are personal. You can even set business hours so your phone rings only when you want it to. Our app empowers you to have two lines on one phone – a personal line and a business line, saving you tons of money. Team members added to your account can use the LinkedPhone app free. We offer the most powerful business phone app on the market. Full stop. No one comes close.

Icon with two speech bubbles highlighting LinkedPhone's business texting

Modern Business Features Like Text Messaging

Traditional business phone systems lack many of the modern features business owners need to stay connected to their business and thrive, like messaging with customers and team members. LinkedPhone is so easy to use you can add team members and assign extensions with a few taps. Team members can be distributed across many locations.


We’ve also made it easy to take and share notes about customer conversations and to-do lists so that everyone on your team stays in the loop. This makes it possible to seamlessly hand-off customer conversations from one team member to another.

Finger Press Phone Keypad Icon for selection of call menu options for LinkedPhone Virtual Phone System

Professional-Grade Features Like Call Menu Options & Call Routing

Call menu options (also known as 'Virtual Receptionist', 'Call Tree' or 'Auto-Attendant') were once only available to large corporations because they were so expensive to set up and maintain. LinkedPhone enables you set up call menu options with ease.


Add welcome greetings, voicemail greetings, route incoming calls to specific colleagues or to entire teams based on what the customer is calling about, customize the call routing pattern (simultaneous, sequential, round robin), transfer to voicemail, provide access to company directory, or send the caller to a live receptionist. It’s easy to greet your callers like an established company with a professional feel.

Which Devices Can I Use With a Virtual Phone System?

In this section, we’ll speak specifically to LinkedPhone as not all virtual phone systems offer the same level of connectivity.

Icon for linking mobile phone to business phone number - Add mobile phone, desk, home, IP phone to LinkedPhone virtual phone system

Mobile Phones & Tablets

LinkedPhone works with your personal cell phone. Our app essentially adds a second phone number to cell phone, keeping your calls, text messages, contacts, and voicemail separate from your personal stuff. You can even set business hours so that your phone rings only when you want it to. Learn more about our mobile app.

Icon of desk phone

VoIP Office Phones

VoIP phones (also referred to as SIP phones, IP phones, or Internet phones) are phones that work through the internet rather than a traditional telephone carrier. Most offices in the U.S. are equipped with VoIP phones. When you add an VoIP phone to your LinkedPhone account, we'll provide you with instructions on how to sign your phone in. You'll need a strong and stable internet connection for VoIP phones to work properly.

Landline home phone icon


Route business calls to any landline. Take note, landlines must have existing phone service otherwise LinkedPhone will not be able to route the call. Landlines typically include your home phone, a store phone, or an operator / receptionist's phone.

Icon for business calls and texting on your computer or laptop

Laptops and Computers

Simply sign in on the web to make and receive business calls and text messages on your computer or laptop.

How much does LinkedPhone's virtual phone system cost?

Our Entrepreneur Plan provides you with comprehensive business features, a local business phone number, and 3 linked devices for only $19.99 a month. You can link any phone to your business phone number – your cell phone, a colleague’s phone, or your assistant’s desk phone. You can also talk and text with customers from your computer or laptop, free of charge. We also have plans for toll-free phone numbers and larger teams. Please check out our pricing page for the latest.

LinkedPhone provides a full suite of business features included with all of our plans. These include business caller ID, text and MMS messaging, peer-to-peer messaging, voicemail, voicemail transcription (written version of your voicemail), business hours (devices ring only when you want them to), team contacts, customer contacts, customer notes, to-do list management, company directory, call queue management and professional call menu options. Learn more about LinkedPhone features. We build and add features based upon feedback from our clients. Please submit any requests here.

I already have a business phone number. Can I transfer it to LinkedPhone?

Absolutely. Simply fill out this short form to port your phone number to LinkedPhone.

Tell me about the key features of LinkedPhone's virtual phone system.

LinkedPhone offers ‘big company’ technology for small business owners. One of our key features is what we call Virtual Receptionist, a professional feature we offer to all LinkedPhone customers, free of charge. Also known as ‘Auto-Attendant’, LinkedPhone’s Virtual Receptionist performs many of the same tasks that live receptionists perform, like greeting callers and routing them to the right person or team at your business. Virtual Receptionist is a cost-effective way to present a professional image 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Even if you’re an entrepreneur, Virtual Receptionist conveys an established and professional image that delivers instant credibility for you and your business.

The best part about Virtual Receptionist is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a professional, corporate-quality phone system. There is no need to buy expensive equipment, hire specialized IT personnel to install servers and software, or study lengthy user manuals. Leave the hard work to us.

What can LinkedPhone's Virtual Receptionist do?

Finger Press Phone Keypad Icon for selection of call menu options for LinkedPhone Virtual Phone System

Call Menu Options

Call menu options automatically perform an action when a keypad button is pressed. For example, a caller may press 1 for store hours, press 2 for customer service, press 3 for billing questions, press 4 for voicemail, press 5 for company directory. What used to cost small businesses over $10,000 is now available from LinkedPhone for $19.99 a month.


Call menu options (also known as 'Virtual Receptionist', 'Call Tree' or 'Auto-Attendant') were once only available to large corporations because they were so expensive to set up and maintain. LinkedPhone enables you set up call menu options with ease. Add welcome greetings, voicemail greetings, route incoming calls to specific colleagues or to entire teams based on what the customer is calling about, customize the call routing pattern (simultaneous, sequential, round robin), transfer to voicemail, provide access to company directory, or send the caller to a live receptionist. It’s so easy to present your business as an established company with a professional feel.

Clock icon depicting ability of business owners to set busines hours during which mobile phone rings

Business Hours

All devices linked to your business phone number ring only when you want them to. You can configure Virtual Receptionist to handle calls differently when your business is open vs. when your business is closed. When your business is open, Virtual Receptionist routes calls based on caller input (for example, billing questions vs. technical support). When your business is closed, calls are sent directly to voicemail. Of course, you can customize these settings to accommodate your specific business needs.

Smart phone with eyeball highlighting that you can see incoming business calls on your smart phone

Business Call Screening

If you're using your mobile device for business calls, LinkedPhone's call screening feature makes it clear which calls are business calls and which calls are personal calls. Before you pick up, you'll see the name of the person calling and, if applicable, the call menu option selected. This provides a quick heads up for the types of questions the customer might ask.

Phone handset icon with sound waves depicting an outgoing company or welcome greeting for small business call menu

Welcome Greeting

A welcome greeting provides callers with a company greeting and, if you decide to set them up, a list of call menu options. A company greeting lets callers know they've reached the right number and gives them confidence that they're working with a professional business. You have three options for your company greeting. 1) Use your own voice 2) Use our excellent text to speech technology, or 3) Upload an MP3 file. You also have the option of working with our professional voice talent. If you're interested in professional voice talent, drop us a note with your script, your preferred voice among the samples below, and we'll work to get you the best possible pricing.

Male Voice Talent

Female Voice Talent

One dot with two arrow to two other dots. With LinkedPhone's call routing, you can route customers calls to any team, department, or individual at your business

Call Routing

Route incoming business calls to the right person or to an entire team. You've likely called into a big company and heard "Press 1 for Customer Service" or "Press 2 for Billing". LinkedPhone provides the very same technology to you, without the hassle or the expenses. Virtual Receptionist routes business calls to mobile phones, office IP phones, and landlines. You can even talk and text on your laptop or computer. When routing calls to a sales team, for example, all phones ring at the same time until someone picks up (Simultaneous Call Routing). You may also configure your sales teams' phones to ring one at a time  (Sequential Call Routing) or to evenly distribute call loads across your team (Round Robin Call Routing). If your team is busy, the caller is placed in queue with hold music until someone becomes available. Lastly, you can set up a team voicemail box so that every unanswered call is attended to.

LinkedPhone Virtual Receptionist: Play Info Message

Play Informational Message

Play a message with important information you'd like to convey to customers. For example, a pre-recorded message can be used to relay business hours, office location, company website, email, special sales, promotions, company events, or general updates about your business. Again, you may use your own voice, use our advanced text to speech technology, or upload an MP3 file.

LinkedPhone business voicemail icon

Voicemail & Voicemail Transcription

Business voicemail is sent instantly to the LinkedPhone mobile app and to any email address you specify. Our customers love this since they check email far more frequently than they do voicemail. LinkedPhone also transcribes your voicemail free. Read your voicemail anytime you're on the go.

Team Members icon for Adding Team Members to LinkedPhone's virtual phone system for business

Company Directory

When you add team members to LinkedPhone, a company directory is automatically created for you. There is no need to build or maintain a company directory manually as team members enter and exit your business. Callers may search for team members by name or extension.

Call sub-menu icon for business teams and departments

Multi-Tier Call Menu

Multi-tier call menus ( a.k.a. sub-menu) provide additional call menus for teams and departments. Use this feature if you have a department that requires its own call menu. For example, if you have a customer service department, you can set up a multi-tier call menu customized just for that team - 'Press 1 for product support' and 'Press 2 for billing questions'. From here, you can direct callers to colleagues who are specialized in these areas.

How do I use LinkedPhone's virtual phone system with my cell phone?

We recommend using the LinkedPhone app for the best experience. Our app effectively adds a second number to your cell phone (no need to buy another mobile phone for business). It’s like having two lines – a personal line and a business line.

The LinkedPhone app lets you to call and text from your business number caller ID (your personal phone number stays private), see incoming business phone calls, read and listen to business voicemail, add team members, create team and customer contact lists, share contacts, take notes on customer conversations, create business to-do lists, communicate with colleagues, transfer live calls to another colleague, review call history, record company greetings, access a live dashboard, and create call menu options. It’s the most powerful business phone number app on the market today.

When you sign up online, you and anyone else you add to your account may use the LinkedPhone app free of charge. For optimal call quality, calls generally go through your carrier. Since most mobile plans provide unlimited minutes, this is not a concern for the vast majority of our users.

Is LinkedPhone's virtual phone system easy to set up?

The elegance of LinkedPhone’s cloud-based system is how easy it is to set up. We are very focused on providing a clean and intuitive work environment while preserving power and functionality. You can set up a phone system for your entire company in just a few minutes. The images below illustrate how easy it is to set up a call menu option that routes calls to select team members.

Set Up In Minutes

Use the phones you already have. No new stuff to buy.
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Finger Tap Icon for selecting any local or toll-free business phone number
1. Select a Business Phone Number

Choose a local or toll-free business number or port current number. Start using your business phone number immediately. Unlimited business calls & text messaging. Try us risk-free for 7 days.

Icon for linking mobile phone to business phone number - Add mobile phone, desk, home, IP phone to LinkedPhone virtual phone system
2. Link Your Devices

Make & receive business calls on the phones & devices you already have. Add team members too. Personal numbers stay private. See how call routing works. Learn about the LinkedPhone mobile app. Users in your account can use the app for free.

Lady with Headset Icon for LinkedPhone's virtual receptionist and call menu options for virtual phone system
3. Set Up Virtual Receptionist

Welcome greeting. Voicemail. Set business hours. Add call menu options. Set which devices ring. Learn more about Virtual Receptionist. Explore all LinkedPhone business features.

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