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How to become a London company without the London costs

18/07/2011 09:33

Having a virtual 020 London number can save your company a lot of money if you want to operate in London but not have London based offices says Jemma Fox of The Virtual Number Company. 

Everyone knows about the postcode lottery, but for a business, the far more important code is actually the telephone area code, particularly the London 020 number. Jemma Fox, Marketing Director of The Virtual Number Company, explains why.

“When people are looking at phoning businesses for making enquiries, they obviously pay attention to the number they are calling”, says Fox. “If the area code isn’t one that they recognise, then it isn’t somewhere relatively local, and they therefore often discount it before they even make the enquiry. Obviously this varies on a case by case basis – for example, if they’re looking to have a product sent in the post then it doesn’t matter so much, but if it is a company to do some sort of work for them, such as a plumber, electrician, kitchen designer, dress maker, landscape gardener, pest control service, car mechanic, cleaning service, solicitor, funeral director or computer help, then people like to know that the business is locally based.  This is because there is a certain comfort in knowing that someone is local, and therefore will understand your wants and needs. But there is also a sense of if something goes wrong, they won’t be a million miles away to put it right, that you won’t get charged so much for them having to travel to get to you, and a lot of people like to feel they are doing their bit for the local economy.”

So, having a local phone number is important. As around 1 in 8 of the UK’s population live in London, the London area code is by far the most important area code. It is probably the most well known area code in the country, aside from non-geographic numbers such as 0800, because such a large proportion of the UK population lives in London. The official code for London is 020, but most people include the first letter of the next section of the number to 020 to make three different London codes: 0207, 0208 and 0203. With such a high population density in the capital, a large amount of business is carried out there, and therefore, for anyone wanting to do business in the London area, having a London area code is vitally important.

However, having premises in London to operate from is incredibly expensive to say the least. A company may want to operate in London, but doesn’t necessarily need premises to carry out its work from, or may prefer to base itself outside of London in order to save on rental and other costs. But, they still need a phone number to be contacted on, and just giving a mobile number doesn’t look particularly professional. The solution is a virtual London phone number. The Virtual Number Company specialises in providing nearly 500 different virtual telephone numbers for towns and cities across the UK, including London 0207, 0208 and 0203 numbers. These are phone numbers with area codes for these different locations which are pointed to existing landlines or mobile phones. There is no need for any new telephone equipment, it is just routed to an already existing phone. So, if you are a company that doesn’t need offices to carry out your business from as you’re on the road all the time, you can still have an 020 number pointed to your mobile phone so that London customers instantaneously see that you are a business that operates in London, and you don’t have to give out a mobile phone number. Likewise, if your business is outside the M25, you can still appear to be a London company as you operate there, but can do it from cheaper premises.
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