What’s the 411? A 411 business listing is an easy Fundability™ move that can make your business more attractive to lenders and credit issuers.
There will always be customers and prospects who would rather use a phone to contact your business. You can serve them well by getting your business on 411.
What is a 411 Directory Listing?
For those who remember using a free Directory Assistance service back in the day, a 411 directory listing is similar. It is, essentially, a business directory with phone numbers. For callers who have trouble with Google and getting a good search result, or don’t do well searching on social media, this next phase of Directory Assistance is vital.
If a prospect is elderly, blind, or regularly goes where there’s no real internet but there’s still phone service (the Appalachian Trail, perhaps), the 411 directory is a necessary link to your company—particularly as many of these people would have trouble with a paper phone book.
Or maybe your clients are too busy to run an internet search for your business. Having your business phone number in a 411 directory can save them time.
Consumers who have it easier and save time contacting you, are going to be more likely to want to do business with you. An easy-to-find business number could mean the difference between a sale and no sale.
How does a 411 Business Listing Help with Building Business Credit?
Credit providers at times check with Directory Assistance to be sure a business is legitimate before they issue a company credit card. Lenders will check, too.
Starter business credit vendors which report to commercial credit reporting agencies will want your business to be findable on 411. They may deny you a corporate credit card if you don’t have such a record.
Since starter vendors are an easy, proven way to build and grow your corporate credit, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to make sure they approve your company credit application?
A business with no record will have a harder time getting positive information across to these lenders and credit providers. In addition to making things easier for a potential customer, you want to make them easier for credit issuers and lenders.
A record on a 411 directory is a chance for you to proactively give lenders and credit issuers what they want.
How do I get my Business Listed on 411?
If you’re using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) line, a cell phone number, or your personal home phone for your business, chances are that you will need to add that phone number to 411 yourself.
A business landline, though, will be automatically added by your local phone company. Such a listed number is likely to be found in the databases that national directory assistance uses (1 + area code + 555-1212).
Keep in mind that there are several 411 directories. Each carrier maintains its own data. Fortunately, there are services such as List Yourself which will submit your business name and business number to thousands of directories.
Step 1 – Start With Your Local Provider
First of all, you will need to have a separate business phone number. This number has got to be different from your home phone number. But a VoIP business setup is acceptable. You can use it to ring any number, including both cell phones and landlines.
Then, call your business’s local phone service provider. You should be able to find the customer service phone number for your provider on your business phone bill.
Step 2– Make Sure These Are Changes You Can Make
Always make certain that you have the authorization to make changes to your business phone account. The rep will then ask you a number of security questions. These questions might possibly include your account password or your account billing address.
If you’re a person who does not have such authorization, find out from your local provider exactly who does. If necessary, make a case to them about getting a record on 411.
Step 3 – Ask For Your Number to be added to the 411 Information Directory
Ask for the rep to add your business phone number to the 411 information directory. There are some local phone companies that might charge a fee for adding a local business record.
Always make sure to ask the representative if there is some sort of fee.
BONUS: if you have not yet claimed your Google My Business account to tout your professional services, now would be a good time to do so.
Step 4 – Check Your Information
To make sure that your information (including area code) is listed correctly, all you need to do is make a phone call to yourself.
It will also help to keep your info up to date and accurate if you keep in mind where a client calls from. Which other names might a prospect use to find your business?
When you’ve addressed this, make a call from the cities or regions where your customers are located to make sure you are listed correctly. Make updates as needed.
How Much Does it Cost to List for 411?
One way to get on 411 is via ListYourself. As of mid-2022, the prices were as follows:
- Individual Listings: free.
- Quick Start regional listings (240 closest localities): $25/month (and $25 set up fee)
- National or multi-regional listings – $0.10 per record (locality) per month with a $25/month minimum
- Online Listings:
- 1 record: $5/month or $60 annually
- 2 – 10 listings: $60 annually per listing
- 11 – 100 listings: $50 annually per record
- 101 or more listings: $40 annually per listing
You can also get a free business telephone number listed on yellowpages.com or Jingle Networks.
Contact your local 411 and ask for your own record. If they tell you that there is no record, let them know that you are the owner of the small business, and ask them how to get your local listing into local search.
There may be a small charge. Charges will vary depending on the local 411 providers.
A savvy small business owner will want to get every advantage they can, to get the word out about their business. A record in a 411 directory is a useful tool for this.
Even savvier entrepreneurs will build corporate credit—and know an online presence, including a 411 listing is one of the keys to unlocking credit.