If you’re reading this blog post, congratulations. Congrats because you are now one of the few people who are even aware that on the FCC recently released new 833 toll free numbers.
Why is this significant? Because now is your last best chance to get a good vanity number in this decade.
For those of you not in the loop, here’s what happened and why it’s a rare opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to get a custom toll free number:
Somos is the entity that manages the inventory of available toll free telephone numbers and doles out 800 numbers to telecom companies like UniTel Voice.
In response to the dwindling supply, the FCC authorizes Somos to replenish its inventory by releasing a new toll free number prefix (or area code to be more precise). Since the prefixes 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 have already been released, next up is 833.
Trying to get a good vanity number is like trying to get a good domain name. If you’ve ever tried to find a domain for your business, you know how frustrating it can be. In almost every case, the perfect domain name has been snapped up by someone else.
The recent Squarespace ad with John Malkovich trying to get JohnMalkovich.com hilariously summed up this experience.
When it comes to domains and toll-free numbers, we are all John Malkovich.
There is, however, one little quirk about the toll free industry that opens up a brief window-of-opportunity for businesses to get their dream vanity number (e.g., 833-FLOWERS, 833-CARLOAN, 833-ABCEDFG etc.). And that what is happened now with the recent release of the new toll free prefix 833.
When the FCC first releases a new toll free number they allow phone companies to secure a limited amount per day on a first-come, first-serve basis. This slow trickle lasts weeks/months before the numbers are opened up for normal registration.
It’s during this early registration period that you have a golden opportunity to secure a great vanity 833 number. Some phone companies, such as UniTel Voice, will allow you to order 833 numbers as soon as they become available.
After the first few days, weeks, and months go-by, your odds of getting a great custom vanity number significantly diminishes and you’ll have to wait another 3-5 years (or longer) for the 822 toll free numbers to be released.
Unfortunately, local numbers don’t work like this, only toll free numbers. So if you run your own company or if you’re thinking about starting one, don’t miss your opportunity to snap up the perfect business number.
Your company’s phone number is still one of the most important sales and marketing assets you can own. Having an easy to remember number that reinforces your brand can set you apart from your competition and help you grow your business.
In fact, it’s very likely your competitors don’t even know about this rare opportunity to get a great vanity toll free number and they’ll have to wait until the next decade.
Sorry. You snooze, you lose.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.