How I use Google Voice for my Small Business

By John Gardner

Phone Word CollageWhen I started my VirtualMusicOffice, I wanted a phone number other than my home or cell phone. I didn’t want to add a monthly phone bill. I wanted to screen calls and take calls on either my home phone or cell phone, and to know before I picked up that it was a business call. If I missed a call, I wanted a professional voice mail message for my caller and a way to have immediate access to the message from a variety of methods that would not require listening to it on my phone. Because I conduct my business virtually anywhere, but including locally, I wanted a local phone number. From several options, including subscription and free, I selected Google Voice.

In the signup process, I was able to search for phone number options by area code and zip code. I wanted a local phone number and was able to get a prefix from a small town 5 miles away from Huntington. Some of the calls I get are because people recognize the prefix.

I set my account so that a call would ring simultaneously to both my home AND cell phone. Prior to answering the call, I can see that the Caller ID indicates it is a Virtual Music Office (VMO) call. Google Voice prompts the caller (option) to say his/her name, so the first thing I hear when I answer is,

“You have a call from…..”

…and then I can choose to take the call or not.

Voice Mail and messages. The caller hears the message I recorded for the VMO call — NOT the messages on my cell or phone phones. That’s a good thing.

Message notifications. I have my account for multiple notifications:

  1. text to my phone that I have a message with a transcript. So I can SEE the message without having to listen to it. That is handy if I am in a meeting or somewhere phone use would be a distraction.
  2. email to my Gmail address. From that email I can read and/or listen to the message. (Sometimes, especially if the caller fails to speak clearly, the transcription might contain nonsense word(s).
  3. Google Voice account. From the list of messages I can edit the transcription to fix any nonsense words. From this list I can….
    • Call. The system calls your phone and then connects you to the caller, so they don’t see your home/cell number.
    • Text. Again, the text comes from your Voice (not your private) number.
    • Email.
    • Block caller.
    • …and more


I’d like to be your Virtual Assistant. Check me out at

VMO Business Card

15 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don't add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today's teenage achievers and with those who work with them. Also 4yrs as proprietor of, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting - specializing in school product fundraising.

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