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How to Expand Your Business to Russia as a Foreigner

Want to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner? You are in luck. Russia, the largest country in the world, is prime for new foreign investments. The country has massive untapped business potential, presenting your company an opportunity to enter the market. Here are some useful resources to help you enter the market successfully.

Expanding Your Business in Russia as a Foreigner

Entering your company in a new market, especially one in a different country, requires documentation and other essential processes like registering the business, finding an appropriate business name, and so on.

Here are a few helpful steps to guide you when expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner.

1. Get the Right Immigration Status

To be able to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner, you will need the appropriate immigration status. And so, it is important to check if your current immigration status allows you to start a business in Russia. If you do not have one yet, you will need to decide if you need a residency or work permit.

2. Decide How to Register Your Business

When expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner, you have the following options:

  • Register as an individual entrepreneur or sole proprietorship.
  • Register using a Branch or Representative Office (RO).
  • Establish a Russian Legal Entity as a —
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership, or
    • Public or Private Joint Stock Company.

Decide on a Local Company Name

This is an important part of expanding your business to Russia as you want to make sure that your business name is available and not already in use. Additionally, you will need an address for your business when registering it.

4. Prepare Documentation

The Russian Legislation states that the founders of a business looking to open or expand to Russia will need the following documents:

  • Full company name as well as any abbreviations that may be used
  • Names and signatures of the founders
  • Amount of shareholder contributions plus the nature of these contributions
  • Business plan as well as rules of the company
  • Legal responsibilities

This process may differ based on the type of legal structure you choose to register your business under.

5. Register Your Business with the FTS

Next, register your business with the Federal Tax Service (FTS) by sending them the following documents:

  • Registration form with notarized signatures (R200)
  • Copies of foundation papers
  • Proof of legal status as the business founder
  • Receipt of state registration fee (R4000)

If your application is accepted, then your business will be registered for tax purposes and you will receive the following documents:

  • Certificate of State Registration
  • Tax Certificate
  • Tax ID number
  • Copy of foundation papers with the mark of the registering authority
  • Extract from the Common State Register of Legal Entities

6. Open a Bank Account

Opening a Russian bank account is the next important step in expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner. To open a business account, you will need:

  • Notarized copy of signatures for the account (R200)
  • Documents confirming the identity and authority of the signatures on the account
  • Tax Certificate
  • Russian business license
  • Founding papers

7. Get a Russia Phone Number

Next on the agenda is to get a Russian phone number. You can purchase Russian numbers from a virtual phone service provider like Global Call Forwarding. Russia toll free numbers will give locals within Russia the option to call your business for free, no matter where you are located. Local Russia numbers let them call you for regular local calling charges.

Investing in Russian phone numbers will help you get in touch with locals, business contacts, and institutions as you prepare to move your business to Russia and build local networks. Have calls routed to any number or location of your choice with international call forwarding.

8. Advertising & Promote Your Business

Finally, you can start promoting your business as an international business. Consider using international SEO and digital and social media advertising to boost your business’ international visibility.

Get Russia Phone Numbers with Global Call Forwarding

We offer business numbers for companies looking to expand globally without dramatically increasing their phone bills. You can enjoy advanced communication features such as creative routing strategies, call recording, and more to improve customer service. Sign up today or speak with one of our global specialists to learn more!

Related: Understanding the Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Understanding the Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Want to learn more about the different types of Russian phone numbers available? In this post, we detail the different Russian phone number types and uses.

Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Russia has a variety of phone number types with different purposes that range from free calling to mobile to emergency special numbers. The country dialing code for Russia is (+7) and the trunk prefix is (8).

If you plan to do business in Russia, then understanding the difference between numbers types proves necessary. Russia uses an open dialing plan with four levels for local, zone, country, and international.

Russian phone numbers are administered by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media. They are under a unified numbering plan with Kazakhstan.

Let’s look at the different types of phone numbers, their format, and how to get a Russian telephone number.

1. Russian Local Numbers

Russian local numbers or geographic Russian numbers are phone numbers most commonly used by local businesses and residents. Individuals using these numbers incur local calling charges. Local numbers have a distinct area code for the region they are assigned to. For example, you can get local Russian numbers for the following major Russian cities with these area codes:

  • Moscow (495)
  • Omsk (3812)
  • Saratov (8452)
  • St Petersburg (812)

The format for Russian geographic numbers is: 8 (area code) xxx-xx-xx

As a business, you can get a Russian local number from a virtual provider even if you are not located in Russia. You can have incoming calls routed to your office, situated anywhere in the world. Locals call a local number which then gets forwarded internationally to you. This gives local Russians an inexpensive way to connect with your business, even if it is overseas.

2. Russian Toll Free Numbers

Toll free Russian numbers work like any toll free number: they are free for Russian locals to call. The toll free prefix used is (800). This means that businesses, customers, leads, vendors, etc., can call your business from within Russia for free. Again, virtual providers will give you the opportunity to use a toll free Russia phone number from outside the country. Therefore, if you want to expand your business to this country but don’t want to move there, you can still offer sales and customer support through toll free numbers.

The format for toll free Russian numbers is:
8 (800) xxx-xx-xx

3. Russian Mobile Numbers

Russian mobile numbers starting with prefixes (939) or (958) are mobile numbers with SMS capabilities. That means that these numbers can receive instant messages. Using mobile numbers can help your business offer SMS as an alternative to phone calls, increasing accessibility.

The format for Russian mobile numbers is:
8 (939) xxx-xx-xx

  • 101 – Fire brigade
  • 102 – Police
  • 103 – Ambulance
  • 104 – Gas service
  • 112 – General emergency
  • 107 – Directory assistance, Rostelecom
  • 109 – Directory assistance (free, limited info)
  • 009 – Directory assistance in Moscow
  • 100 – Talking clock in Moscow
  • 115 – Info on electronic government services

How to Get a Russian Phone Number

To get a Russian telephone number, simply sign up on our homepage. We offer Russian virtual numbers, toll free numbers, and mobile numbers. You can also get a universal toll free number (UIFN) that includes Russia, among other countries. To sign up or learn more, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with our global experts online today!

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Is global expansion on your next business meeting agenda? Any business aiming for success will consider entering the global market at some point. This is because expanding beyond your immediate location can help increase sales and credibility. But how do you make such a big decision and ensure it doesn’t fail? Here are some best practices and tips to consider when going global.

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Considering global expansion for any business can seem like a daunting task. However, there are plenty of tools and resources available to make this transition as smooth as possible. Here we outline best practices to consider when expanding internationally. These practices are divided into different stages:

  • Planning
  • Presence
  • Follow-Through

Stage A: Planning

The first step to any business’s global expansion strategy is thorough planning. This includes choosing which markets or areas to target and how to go about targeting them.

1. Which Markets to Target
Conduct market research and gather data and intelligence that can help you determine which regions are prime for your business. Create new buyer personas and study different demographics. Research customer behavior, preferences, patterns, and local trends. Consider: what is the demand for your product and purchasing power of your buyer persona?

2. How to Target New Markets
You can start small by test-selling specific products or services in these markets to see how they respond. You may even consider using research and small business tools made available by the governments in those areas.

3. How to Offer Sales and Support in These Markets
Open lines of communication between your main office and the new areas you want to target. Common options include contact forms, live chat on the website, social media accounts, and local phone numbers. This way, you can sell and provide support to entities located in these new markets.

4. International Payment Methods
An important aspect of global expansion is to make processes easy for customers and clients in different states and countries. One of these processes includes setting up international payment methods. In order to decide which payment methods are useful, you will need to research the local buyers’ preferred methods. Additionally, ensure that this payment method has a reputation for security and is credible.

Stage B: Presence

Now, once you’ve decided which markets to enter, the next step in global expansion is creating and maintaining a local presence in these markets.

5. Global Marketing with Partnerships
Start by establishing connections and partnerships with local experts and business contacts. A local partner that has access to the right network of customers, employees, and contacts will prove beneficial. This way, you can quickly enter the market, access the right audience, and create your local presence. You may also consider starting on existing online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, etc. You can test the demand and make the necessary changes before you start selling with full force.

6. International SEO
Next, you want to optimize your online presence with international SEO strategies. International SEO is like geo-targeting where you’re optimizing your website for different countries and languages. It helps search engines identify the countries you want to target. Then it provides the tools to support your marketing efforts. For example, it may offer different languages you may use or show users local results before international results, etc.

7. Global Sales Development
Now it’s time to start making calls. Once you’ve got your partnerships set up and your website optimized for different markets, the next step is to increase brand visibility and awareness in these local markets. To do so, you can use phone sales. A business phone service can support your sales development strategy by letting you call your local, long-distance, and international customers. Furthermore, you can buy international SIP trunks in order to display a local phone number instead of a number they don’t recognize. This way, you can establish connections virtually while taking your time with opening a field office.

Stage C: Follow-Through

Once you’ve got your markets ready and have partnerships and communications set-up, the next step in global expansion is to start making sales and offering customer support. There are a few different ways you can do this. The best way is to get virtual phone numbers and talk to your business contacts over the phone. Here are the most important tools to consider.

8. International Toll Free Service
An international toll free number is a toll free number for different countries. In other words, each country has designated toll free numbers that customers from within this country can call for free. Global Call Forwarding is the most trusted provider of international toll free numbers. Your business can get international toll free numbers for each country that you want to do business in.

9. 24/7 Customer Support
Another important global expansion best practice is to offer 24/7 customer support on different channels. This includes phone, email, live chat, SMS, trouble tickets, and more. You can offer after-hours service by developing an efficient automated self-service system that resolves common queries. Most commonly, businesses will facilitate global customer support using ITFS. Customer support is often handled by workers in remote locations and different time zones.

9. Regional Offices and Infrastructure
Ultimately after reaching global revenue targets, your business will need to open regional offices and colocation centers. Regional offices will host local staff in each region. In addition, your critical infrastructure will be hosted at colocation centers. You can find co-working spaces and regional data centers by doing a quick search online.

10. Local Phone Numbers
Local numbers have specific area codes that distinguish them from other areas. Local calls are charged local rates instead of long-distance rates. This is why businesses choose to get a local business number so local customers can contact them without any hesitation. When it comes to driving international growth in 2020, convenience is more important than ever. Your business should aim to provide a convenient experience as part of your follow-through.

11. Universal Freephone Numbers
A UIFN is a single, universal toll free number accessible from 45 different countries. However, this list of countries is predetermined and cannot be altered. If most of the countries you want to do business with fall under this list, then you search for a UIFN to streamline your inbound calls.

Start By Setting Up International Communications

We at Global Call Forwarding can set you up with local, international, and toll free numbers to get your international communication taken care of. Start by signing up for a new business number or porting your existing number on our homepage. For more information, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

Can I Send an SMS to an International Number?

Global Call Forwarding does NOT offer SMS for verification of services like whatsapp, facebook, paypal..etc.

Sending International SMS Using AT&T Plans

Subscribers can send unlimited international Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages using the AT&T Unlimited Plan, Mobile Share Value®, and Mobile Share® plans. The texts can originate from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Users may send text messages to 190 countries and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) (i.e., picture and video messages) to 120 countries. We will explain how to send an SMS to an International Number?

If an AT&T user is not a subscriber to one of the above plans, they can get an international texting package for as little as $10 per month for 100 texts, pictures, and video texts or $15 per month for 1,000 messages. Message overage costs typically come out to $0.20 per message sent.

The pay-per-use rate to send international texts is $0.25 per SMS sent, with standard messaging rates for SMS text messages received. AT&T charges $0.50 per MMS sent and standard messaging rates apply for every MMS received.

To send a message from the U.S. to another country, dial + (or 011) followed by the country code, area code, and local number.

Sending International SMS Using Verizon

Subscribers to Verizon can send international SMS text messages to over 200 countries and MMS messages to over 100 countries. The process of sending an international message with Verizon is the same as with AT&T. Unlimited international SMS and MMS are included at no cost with the new Verizon Plan, The Verizon Plan, or The MORE Everything® Plan.

With the above plans, messages received, whether from domestic or international sources, are included at no additional cost. If your plan has a received message allowance, international messages received are deducted like received domestic messages. If you do not have a received message allowance, the standard incoming text rate applies to messages that you receive. For prepaid monthly talk plans, SMS texts sent to and from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico cost $0.20 per message, and from other destinations, $0.25 per message.

Sending International SMS Using Sprint

Sprint has an Unlimited International Text service that allows customers to send SMS texts to over 180 countries for $10 per month. Messages must originate in the U.S. or a domestic location, including Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Subscribers must have a domestic unlimited messaging plan or add-on. Without a plan, users can send or receive international SMS texts for $0.20 per message. However, subscribers cannot send or receive MMS messages.

Sending International SMS Using T-Mobile

T-Mobile ONE plan subscribers and recent Simple Choice Plan members have unlimited calling and SMS messaging from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada as part of their plans. T-Mobile claims that users can send and receive texts to “just about anywhere in the world”.

Sending International SMS Using U.S. Cellular

Many U.S. Cellular plans feature the sending of unlimited international SMS messages at no additional charges. However, before calling or testing international numbers, your account needs an international service feature code and text messaging service. To send an international SMS message, dial the international access code (011). Then dial the country code, the area code, and the local telephone number. U.S. Cellular customers can send SMS text messages to over 100 countries. If your plan charges for text messages, the charges for international and domestic SMS messages are equivalent.

Sending International SMS Using C Spire

To use the C Spire plans, first get the C Spire International Calling App with Global Family for your smart phone. C Spire offers two types of plans: Unlimited Calling with Global Family for $5 per month and the Pay-By-The-Minute plan. Both plans feature free unlimited international SMS to over 140 countries. To send an international SMS message, just dial the recipient’s number, including the country code and send the message.

Sending International SMS Using Ting

Subscribers to Ting have no plans or contracts. Charges depend on the number of lines, nationwide call minutes, the number of global SMS text messages, and nationwide data. Ting bills customers for usage at the end of each billing period. Pictures and video messaging are charged as data and do not count against messages. There are no extra charges for International SMS messages and calls to over 60 countries. Sending an international SMS requires a country code, area code, and a local number.

Sending International SMS from Your Laptop

The subsequent paragraphs give information about sending international SMS messages from your laptop via Wi Fi. This is free of charge; messages are easier and faster to type; and texts are viewable on screens that are larger than smartphone screens.

Text through Email

Sending an SMS using email requires knowledge of the recipient’s 10-digit phone number and domain. Listed below are five common domains:

  • AllTel – @message.alltel.com
  • AT&T – @text.att.net
  • Sprint – @messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • T-Mobile – @tmomail.net
  • Verizon – @vtext.com

Address the email using a combination of the phone number and domain. For example, the address of an email to an AT&T user with a “(123) 456-7890” phone number, would be “1234567890@text.att.net”. A reply to the message goes directly to your email’s inbox.

Text through Wireless Carrier’s Website

You may be able to send SMS texts to other subscribers on your wireless carrier’s website. Specifically, you can do this on Verizon or AT&T by going to your account and following the prompts to send an SMS text.

Text through Google Voice

This is a free service from Google Voice. You can use your existing mobile number or buy a new virtual phone number, and you do not have to know the recipient’s carrier. However, from the U.S., Canada is the only international destination for SMS messages.

Sending International SMS Using WhatsApp

This free mobile application is the world’s most popular communication app. Facebook purchased this app in 2014, and as of February 2016, its user base was 1 billion. Persons, to whom you send international SMS texts, must have WhatsApp installed on their mobiles, and your contact list must have their phone numbers in full international format. WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection to send the SMS messages.

Saving Money When Sending International SMS

Several considerations apply to international SMS. Foremost is whether your plan features unlimited sending and receiving of international SMS messages. If you have limited messaging, compare overage costs from various carriers as they vary. When sending texts internationally, check that the foreign carrier accepts SMS messages from your provider. To avoid roaming charges, ask people to use email when you are traveling to other countries. Finally, ask carriers whether they have international packages, which may save you money, and consider some of the free SMS methods discussed in this article.

Best Sales Strategy for an International Finance Bank

Do you work as part of the marketing department for an international finance bank? Whether you’re employed by a national finance company or corporation bank, boosting sales through optimized advertising is key. 

In this guide, however, we won’t be talking about the typical ways of increasing the number of leads through having a well-honed sales team. Nor will we cover the in’s and out’s of crafting clever advertising that gets results. Instead, we will take a look at a relatively simple concept: how virtual phone numbers can impact the success of your international finance bank. 

How Virtual Phone Numbers can be Beneficial for your International Finance Bank

Virtual phone numbers have been evolving with the latest developments of telecom and modern computing. Thanks to their enhanced functionality over traditional communication solutions by phone, virtual phone numbers can greatly benefit your international finance bank.

Broad Access

While we live in a modern era of telecommunication, not every caller can reach your international finance company. By accommodating every customer regardless of their ability to communicate from outside of their country by phone, you exponentiate your sales results. 

The best way to remove barriers of communication is by incorporating virtual phone numbers in your business model. Virtual phone numbers enable callers to call your international finance bank without incurring long distance fees and service blockages – two factors that can influence how likely a customer is to transact with you.

Professionalism

Businesses that deal within finance can’t afford to appear out-of-step with technology – particularly if your competitors are dedicated to appearing more professional. By using toll free phone numbers, your international finance bank gains two advantages of professionalism: First, your organization pays for each call made to the number. Second, numbers with a toll free prefix immediately impart a professional aesthetic that customers associate with high-volume professional enterprises. 

Selecting Your Target Markets

Being able to directly call your leads and prospects with outbound calling is a pivotal sales strategy. However, you’re probably aware that broad cold-calling campaigns can bring less-than-stellar results. The secret lies in narrowing the scope of your intended target market by appealing directly to your potential customer. How? With local access numbers from Global Call Forwarding. 

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual phone numbers in over 140+ countries around the world, with innumerable cities and regions included. This means that your international finance bank can target hyper-specific target markets with virtual phone numbers that have the same country/area codes customers are familiar with. This aids in the localization process, particularly when your customer base may only want to do business with domestic entities – or organizations that they perceive as “local.” 

Virtual Offices

The days of having multiple branch offices spread out around the world are no longer necessary. Thanks to the advent of “virtual offices,” customers simply aren’t required to handle their business in-person. Virtual offices are simply a method of approximating the same level of service that a brick & mortar location offers by leveraging Internet-based technologies. 

This is especially true for big-name corporation banks and national finance corporations. Customers that want to open up accounts and get loans at these institutions can do so without stepping foot inside a brick & mortar location. Of course, speaking to your international finance bank’s representatives directly over the phone is still an important part of doing business. And virtual phone numbers are the key to driving sales and taking care of customer concerns, all in one solution. 

Sales Strategy for International Bank
Source: Stockphoto.com – O#100204681922ID#100186088462

 The Best Virtual Phone Numbers for your International Finance Bank

As you’re probably wondering, what makes Global Call Forwarding such a great service provider for international finances banks? Especially when there are literally hundreds of companies offering what appears to be the same basic service, Global Call Forwarding sets its service apart with top-tier features and add-ons. These include:

  • Extensive Experience: For more than two decades, Global Call Forwarding has provided enterprise-level, startups, and SMBs with the best in telecommunication.
  • Instant Access: When it comes to sales, the best strategy is immediacy. Thankfully, working with Global Call Forwarding enables your business to start using virtual phone numbers quickly. The subscription process only takes a few minutes to select a business phone number for your international finance bank. 

How ITFS Numbers Can Bring International Leads

International toll free service (ITFS) numbers enable callers to make free phone calls to the ITFS subscriber. ITFS numbers are a very effective tool for marketing to international leads because our service makes any business more reachable in other countries.

One of the greatest benefits of ITFS numbers is that customers from abroad can call your business without a charge. Your business can be physically located anywhere because ITFS numbers forward calls internationally. With an ITFS number, your company will be charged for the service, while customers benefit by calling a “toll free” number.

Benefits of Getting ITFS Numbers

Global Call Forwarding offers ITFS numbers in more than 140 countries. This allows businesses all over the world to take advantage of expanding into specific markets and testing others to see the most profitable markets for their companies and services. With an ITFS Number, you can finally gather international leads using your ITFS Number in your current marketing strategy.

ITFS numbers are a critical tool for many international businesses. They enable your business to be more reachable in foreign markets, and this can contribute to increasing your customer base. The service also makes your business available at all hours, with multiple features designed to manage incoming calls. Imagine, having a Facebook or Instagram Ad – targeted in the country of your choice with a phone number to reach your business, which is essentially the main perk of ITFS numbers. It builds a bridge between the customers or marketing leads you want, in any country you want.

ITFS Numbers with Free Business Features

Global Call Forwarding provides ITFS numbers with a wide array of different business features. When you get ITFS numbers, you will have access to a suite of advanced features such as time-of-day forwarding, advanced IVR, call recording, long-term storage of recorded calls, blacklisting, whitelisting, and others.

Account settings are easily manageable from your ITFS provider’s online portal. Global Call Forwarding offers a very user-friendly dashboard that enables you to access all of your account details, and you can manage all aspects of your ITFS numbers using it. You may also configure your ITFS virtual numbers with an interactive voice response system (IVR) that will greet callers and direct them through a series of prompts. IVR can help your business manage incoming calls more effectively and project a more professional brand as a result of having your communications streamlined so efficiently.

Having these numbers can also boost the productivity of employees and virtual call center representatives. When a customer calls your ITFS phone numbers, he can immediately get access to critical information before speaking to an actual representative. This IVR facility directs all callers to the appropriate department, agent or service representative at the onset of the call, and saves valuable time. The IVR is not only easy to set up but makes use of audio prompts for requesting information based on voice input or touch-tone. This, in turn, also makes way for easy input of authentication information and caller identification.

International Leads
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 ID#100096292794

Getting the Best International Leads using ITFS Numbers

When you get ITFS numbers, your business is taking the first bold step to enhance customer relationships. Global Call Forwarding offers ITFS numbers in over 140 countries so your company can offer free calls in almost any market. Customer relationships will be improved because their calls are handled more efficiently and routed to the appropriate department without unnecessary hold times. This, along with the calls being free, leads to enhanced customer satisfaction.

ITFS numbers can also enhance customer relationships. The call recording feature helps you maintain productivity standards and agent quality, while also being of great benefit to settle disputes faster from credit card companies or customers. You can not only record all incoming calls for reference and security purposes, but you can also listen to the calls on demand and download recordings for quality assurance and training purposes.

An Affordable Cloud-Based Business Communications Tool

International toll free service numbers from Global Call Forwarding are a cloud-based service, and they do not require any expensive equipment for operations and maintenance. Incoming calls can be answered on your mobile phone or landline, and the number of settings can be managed online. This makes it easy for you to run your sales team almost anywhere. Remote teams are a very popular and affordable solution for international call centers and are used commonly for businesses like Apple call centers or Xfinity call centers.

Your company can also test various markets with minimal risk using ITFS numbers. Global Call Forwarding does not charge activation fees and you will not be asked to sign a contract. Your ITFS numbers can be canceled at any time if you find the service does not fit your needs. Global Call Forwarding can provide you a free consultation to better determine the cloud communications needs of your business. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get ITFS numbers for your business.

Common Problems with China Virtual Numbers

Demand for China virtual phone numbers has grown substantially in recent years. However many businesses have gotten frustrated while trying to find a reliable phone number to use in China. Since there are so many amazing opportunities in China, businesses want to continue their presence and therefore a reliable service needs to be available. At Global Call Forwarding we are working hard to solve these issues.

Before problems can be solved, you must first know the types of China virtual phone numbers available. There are three types of Chinese phone numbers that businesses can choose from:

Toll-Free (800) China Numbers

800 Numbers in China have several limitations. This guide will explain their limitations and common problems in more detail.

Local China Numbers

Local China numbers are also known as direct inward dialing numbers. They are virtual phone numbers with local area codes and they can be used to make international calls within those local areas. Because the phones use local area codes, the callers are only charged local calling rates.

China 400 Numbers

China 400 numbers work similarly to 800 numbers. They are not exactly toll free as callers have to pay local rates to talk. However, the cost of calling is usually included in the price people pay for their phone service so these numbers are referred to as toll free numbers in China.

Now that we know the different types of Chinese phone numbers, what are the common problems with Chinese virtual phone numbers?

  • Mobile access
  • Setup times
  • VoIP regulations
  • Number porting
  • Number availability and limitations

So how do we solve these problems?

1. Mobile Access

Toll free numbers in China are not accessible for mobile phones. If a business has purchased an 800 number for their company, they will only be able to reach landlines which frustrates many businesses. Secondly, there are two 800 numbers in China; one for southern China and one for Northern China. Which means, if you are looking to reach all of China, you must purchase two toll free phone numbers. Because of the lack of mobile access for 800 numbers, 400 numbers exist. These can reach mobile phone users and there is no difference between north and south China. The only difference is that customers must pay a local cost.

2. Setup Times

China requires that you have documentation of your business or passport before getting virtual phone numbers. While you do not need a physical address in China to get a local phone number, the wait for approval on these documents can take a long time. In order to bypass these wait times, you need to choose a provider with a good relationship with Chinese providers.

Chinese lady experiencing a problem with her virtual number.
Source: Stockphoto.com O#1202 – ID#100128939750
3. VoIP Regulations

In China, several VoIP services have been banned. Only certain VoIP providers are allowed to operate in the country. These providers are usually allowed only when China owns a majority of the company. Therefore, adding new VoIP providers becomes very difficult and competition becomes almost impossible. Despite these advantages, Chinese VoIP providers have seen an improvement in the country’s willingness to partner with outside countries. The easiest place to gain a phone number is in Beijing, but outside of the country’s capital, it is still a struggle. The 400 numbers have the most common services available from VoIP providers. With 400 numbers, there is better consistency in call quality. As more businesses take their businesses to China, the service will continue to improve.

4. Number Porting

Number porting is not as advanced in China as you may find in other countries. Changing service providers in China will mean a few extra steps, involving canceling your number and buying a new phone number from your new provider. This issue has not been fixed, but if you choose a reputable VoIP provider that allows you to test their service before signing a long-term contract, you won’t waste any money on advertising a new number.

5. Number Availability and limitations

Local numbers are difficult to set up in China due to their many restrictions. As China’s economy grows and more businesses choose to expand their global reach, the difficulty has lessened. However, complaints about call quality are common. Many providers only provide access to Beijing or Shanghai. At Global Call Forwarding, we offer local numbers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tongchuan, and Hong Kong, with a reliable connection.

The future of China and the VoIP industry shows promise for growth. Although it is difficult at the present time, VoIP providers and China have been working hard to establish better connections and they continue to get better.

Related: The Chinese Telephone Code Plan Explained

Communicating with Coworkers Who Don’t Speak Your Language

Communication is an integral part of any thriving society, it is how we express feelings and cultivate relationships. However, communication at home or at work can be very difficult for some people, and when you add a language/ culture barrier there are even more things that can go wrong. There are thousands of languages in the world, and in your lifetime you have probably met a wide assortment of people who did not speak your language. When you’re working with someone who speaks a different language there are many creative ways to communicate with them that will make collaboration and teamwork easier. Here are a few tips to help business communication go smoother for all parties involved.

Find Some Common Ground

Try to feel out how many words and phrases the other person knows in your language and vice versa. Use those to begin communications. It does not matter if the conversation is very simple, it is a start. Try to avoid the use of any slang words; using slang could lead to a lot of confusion or even offense if the person takes the slang term literally. Remember to speak clearly, loudly, and slowly. You will appreciate the same from them when they attempt to respond in their language. If you’re working with this person on a daily basis, try to use the same words over and over again. Don’t get fancy with your wording because learning a new language takes time and a lot of effort. As soon as you or the other person shows signs of improvement in the new language, then you can start using more complex sentences and challenging words. Using the same words that you both understand will help you communicate, but using the same word over and over that you don’t understand will not help. For example, if your coworker does not know the word for “peach” saying peach over and over again is not going to help them understand what it is. They will not have a Eureka! Moment and suddenly a new idea will pop into their head. Instead, grab a peach and point to it and say the name again. If you can’t find the object or it is an abstract concept, consider explaining the word in a simple definition they will understand.

2. Actively Listen

Listening to someone speak in a foreign language can be very confusing. If you know a few words, trying to translate them in your brain can take a great deal of effort. Try to make that effort and hopefully the person you are speaking back to is doing the same. Look out for confusion on their faces or nonverbal body movements that express perplexity. Most people say “huh” when they are confused no matter where they’re from. Others will shrug their shoulders or raise their eyebrows. If someone is trying to explain something to you in their language, try to learn the phrase for “I don’t understand” in their language so you can let them know they need to explain it differently.

3. Write It Down

Some people may understand a language on paper better than they can understand it while it is being spoken, especially since accents differ greatly among many languages. If someone has studied a language in school, for example, they probably have a lot more experience reading the language instead of speaking it. If you know that you’re going to be speaking with someone who does not speak your language, consider bringing a small notepad with you when you go to see them. If the person will not recognize a word even if you write it down, try drawing it. If you’re not much of an artist, Google the word on your phone and pull up images to show them.

coworkers communicating in different languages.
Source: Stockphoto.com O#20443 – ID#100092592016

4. Be A Mime

Not literally of course, but acting out what you are trying to convey can be very helpful since you are unable to use your words. For example, if you need to let this coworker know that it is time for lunch, mime having a plate and spooning food into your mouth. You can also rub your stomach to let them know you are hungry. Gestures can be helpful as well. For example, lifting up four fingers will let them know that the meeting is at 4 pm, or that you need 4 copies of a certain document, it all depends on the context of your conversation. Just keep in mind that not all gestures mean the same thing throughout the world. In some countries, certain American gestures are considered rude.

5. Get a Helpful Translator

If your company has recently brought in new employees from another country, or you have been hired into a company that works across different time zones or countries, it is a great idea to download some translation apps on your cell phone. You can use Google Translate right from your phone’s internet browser or you can peruse the app site for something to have readily on your phone. A few apps to consider downloading on your iPhone or Android device include iTranslate, TripLingo, SayHi, Voice Translator Free (Android only), and iHandy (iPhone only). If you don’t want to have your phone out all the time consider purchasing a language dictionary. Leave the dictionary in your desk and bring it along with you when you know you’re about to have a conversation with the coworker who doesn’t speak your language.

Overcoming a language barrier is not impossible. It is important to continue at it and not get frustrated with yourself or the other party. Remaining as professional as possible when speaking to any coworker is very important, so don’t forget these rules still apply to someone that doesn’t know your language. Respect the person who has come into your office with a language barrier, do not make them feel bad for not understanding a foreign language overnight. They are clearly at your job because they want to work and therefore they deserve to be treated with dignity. If it is you who is on the other side, you’d most appreciate this treatment returned to you.

How to get a Canadian Phone Number

Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy. However, its constitution recognizes the king or queen of the United Kingdom as its Head of State. The Head of Government is Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau, and Governor General Julie Payette represents the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II. Canada is located in North America, its capital is Ottawa, and the administrative divisions include 10 provinces and three territories*: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon*.

The estimated population of Canada in 2017 was 36,708,100. Also in 2017, there were 14,987,520 fixed telephone lines (i.e., landlines) and 30.45 million cell phones.

Get a Canada Phone Number from Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding sells the largest selection of local, mobile, and toll free numbers in Canada. The numbers have instant activation with commitment. The local and mobile numbers are SMS optional.

Canadian phone numbers work as follows:

  • Your customer dials the number.
  • Global Call Forwarding routes the call to your phone anywhere in the world.
  • You receive the call on your phone or business telephone system.

All of these numbers are toll free to callers.

Buying a number is a straightforward process, as follows:

  1. Select Canada as the country.
  2. For a toll free number, select a prefix and then select a number.
  3. For a geographic number, select a locale, choose the SMS capability if desired, select a city, and select a number.

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual phone numbers in nearly every Canadian province. Canadian virtual numbers are available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Area Code Chart

The following graphic is an area code chart for Canada. An overlay is an area code that covers a region currently assigned to other area codes.

Population and Telephone Usage in Provinces and Territories

The subsequent paragraphs discuss each major province or territory, its population, landline estimate, and cell phone estimate. The basis for the telephone estimates is configured by the provinces or territories’ percentage of Canada’s population multiplied by the total number of landlines or cell phones.

Alberta

Alberta lies east of British Columbia, west of Saskatchewan, and south of the Northwest Territories. To the south, it borders the US state of Montana. Its capital is Edmonton, and its largest city is Calgary. Tourist destinations in Alberta include Banff, Canmore, Drumheller, Jasper and Sylvan Lake. Alberta’s 2017 population was 4,286,100, and it had 1,749,968 landlines and 3,555,394 cell phones.

British Columbia

British Columbia borders the Pacific Ocean and Alaska to the west, Alberta to the east, Yukon and the Northwest Territories to the north, and the US states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana to the south. Its capital is Victoria, and its largest city is Vancouver. British Columbia has a diverse economy with service industries dominating its GDP. Its 2017 population was 4,817,200, and it had 1,966,811 landlines and 3,995,950 cell phones.

Manitoba

Manitoba borders Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north, Hudson Bay to the northeast, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south. Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and largest city. Agriculture, energy, forestry, mining, oil, and tourism dominate Manitoba’s economy. Its 2017 population was 1,338,100, and it had 546,332 landlines and 1,109,977 cell phones.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick borders Quebec to the northwest and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast. The isthmus of Chignecto connects New Brunswick to Nova Scotia on the east. The Bay of Fundy is to the southeast, and the US state, Maine, is to the southwest. New Brunswick’s capital is Fredericton, and its largest city is Moncton. Its economy depends upon agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, and tourism. Its 2017 population was 759,700, and it had 310,177 landlines and 630,184 cell phones.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of Labrador on the mainland and the Island of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. Labrador borders Quebec to the southwest with the Atlantic Ocean on all other sides. Newfoundland Island lies southeast of Labrador. St John’s, on Newfoundland Island, is the capital of the province and its largest city. The economy depends upon mines and quarries in Labrador, oil production from offshore platforms, the fishing industry; in Newfoundland, there are paper and lumber mills and agriculture.

Tourism is also important during the months of June through September. The province’s 2017 population was 528,800, and it had 215,903 landlines and 438,649 cell phones.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories border on Yukon Territory to the west, the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean to the north, Nunavut Territory to the east, and the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the south. Its capital and largest city is Yellowknife. Its economy depends upon its natural resources, which include gold, diamonds, natural gas, and petroleum. The Northwest Territories’ 2017 population was 44,500, and it had 18,169 landlines and 36,914 cell phones.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia lies southeast of New Brunswick, and water surrounds the Nova Scotia peninsula: the Gulf of St Lawrence to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, and the Bay of Fundy to the west. Nova Scotia’s capital and largest metropolitan area is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the world’s largest exporter of Christmas trees, lobsters, gypsum, and wild berries. Other sectors of its economy include defense and aerospace, the film industry, tourism, information and communications technology, and Michelin tires.

The province’s 2017 population was 953,900, and it had 389,467 landlines and 791,276 cell phones.

Nunavut

Nunavut Territory constitutes the major portion of northwest Canada and of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It borders the Northwest Territories to the southwest, Manitoba to the south, Hudson Bay to the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Its capital and largest city is Iqaluit. Mining, along with oil and gas exploration dominate the economy, which also depends upon arts and crafts, hunting, fishing, whaling, and the New Canadian High Arctic Research Station. The territory’s 2017 population was 38,000, and it had 15,515 landlines and 31,522 cell phones.

Ontario

Ontario is the most populous province in Canada. It is home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Toronto is the provincial capital and its largest city. Manitoba lies west of Ontario, and Hudson Bay and James Bay are to the north. Quebec is to the northeast and east, and five US states, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are on Ontario’s southern border. Ontario’s economy includes manufacturing, power generation, natural resources, and auto production. The largest single employer in the national capital region is Canada’s Federal Government. The province’s 2017 population was 14,193,400, and it had 5,795,012 landlines and 11,773,669 cell phones.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest province in land area and population. However, it is the most densely populated province at 25.25 persons per square kilometer. Its largest city and capital is Charlottetown. PEI lies in the Gulf of St Lawrence north of the Nova Scotia peninsula. Agriculture, the fishery, and tourism are the basis of its economy. The province’s 2017 population was 152,000, and it had 62,060 landlines and 126,087 cell phones.

Quebec

Quebec is the only province with a predominantly French-speaking population. Its capital is Quebec City, and its largest city and metropolitan area is Montreal. Natural resources, aerospace, information and communications technology, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry drive Quebec’s economy. Quebec borders: to the west, Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay. At the north, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, to the east, the Gulf of St Lawrence and Newfoundland and Labrador. To the south, Quebec borders New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. The province’s 2017 population was 8,394,000, and it had 3,427,179 landlines and 6,962,967 cell phones.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with Alberta to the west, Northwest Territories to the north, Manitoba to the east, and the US states, Montana and North Dakota, to the south. Its capital and largest city is Saskatoon. Saskatchewan’s has a diverse economy. Service industries account for 41.3%. The remainder of the economy includes mining and petroleum (13.0%), wholesale and retail trade (11.7%), transportation, communications, and utilities (9.1%), manufacturing (7.7%), agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (6.8%), construction (5.1%), and other (5.3%). The province’s 2017 population was 1,163,900, and it had 475,208 landlines and 965,475 cell phones.

Yukon

Yukon borders Alaska to the northwest, the Beaufort Sea to the north, the Northwest Territories to the east, and British Columbia to the south. Whitehorse is its capital and only city, although there are also seven towns: Carmacks, Dawson, Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, and Watson Lake. Yukon’s economy consists of mining, tourism, manufacturing of furniture, clothing, and handicrafts, hydroelectricity, and trapping and fishing. The territory’s 2017 population was 38,500, and it had 15,719 landlines and 31,936 cell phones.