In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced business environment, having a professional answering service can provide a huge boost to any small business. However, many small business owners worry that an answering service is an unnecessary expense they can’t afford.

The good news is there are affordable and flexible virtual receptionist services perfectly suited for small businesses on a budget.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: services like Ruby and AnswerConnect offer pay-per-use plans starting around $1/day, with no long-term contracts required. This allows small businesses to leverage the benefits of a live answering service, like more professional call handling and increased sales, without the typical high monthly fees.

What is An Answering Service and Why Do Small Businesses Need It?

An answering service is a service that handles incoming calls on behalf of a business. It provides a professional and efficient way to manage customer inquiries, appointments, and messages. Small businesses often find it challenging to handle a high volume of calls while providing excellent customer service.

That’s where an answering service comes in handy.

Professional Live Receptionists Improve Customer Service

One of the main reasons small businesses need an answering service is to improve customer service. With a professional live receptionist answering calls, customers are greeted warmly and receive personalized attention.

This creates a positive impression of the business and enhances customer satisfaction.

According to a survey conducted by, 80% of customers prefer speaking to a live person rather than leaving a voicemail. By having a live receptionist, small businesses can ensure that every call is answered promptly and professionally, resulting in happier customers and increased loyalty.

More Sales Opportunities with Detailed Messages

An answering service can also help small businesses generate more sales opportunities. When a customer calls to inquire about a product or service, a live receptionist can gather detailed information about their needs and preferences.

This information can then be relayed to the business owner or sales team, allowing them to follow up with a personalized offer or solution.

Research conducted by Forbes shows that businesses that respond to leads within five minutes are nine times more likely to convert those leads into customers. By using an answering service, small businesses can ensure that they never miss a potential sales opportunity and maximize their chances of closing deals.

Peace of Mind Knowing Calls Will Be Answered

Running a small business can be overwhelming, and it’s not always possible to answer every call personally. This can lead to missed opportunities and frustrated customers. An answering service provides peace of mind, knowing that every call will be answered, even during busy periods or outside of business hours.

A study conducted by Small Business Trends found that 85% of callers whose calls go unanswered will not call back. This means that missed calls can result in lost business. By outsourcing call answering to a reliable answering service, small businesses can avoid missing important calls and ensure that every customer inquiry is attended to.

Key Features To Look For in a Cheap Answering Service

When searching for a cheap answering service for your small business, it’s important to find a provider that offers the key features that will meet your specific needs. Here are some key features to look for:

Flexibility With Pay-Per-Use Plans

One of the key features to look for in a cheap answering service is flexibility with pay-per-use plans. This allows you to only pay for the services you actually use, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses.

With a pay-per-use plan, you won’t have to worry about paying for unused minutes or services that you don’t need.

Month to Month Contracts

Another important feature to consider is month to month contracts. This gives you the freedom to change or cancel your service without being tied down to a long-term commitment. Month to month contracts provide flexibility and allow you to adjust your answering service as your business needs evolve.

Customizable Scripts and Hours

Look for a cheap answering service that offers customizable scripts and hours. This allows you to tailor the call scripts to match your business’s unique needs and ensure that your customers receive the best possible service.

Additionally, having the ability to specify the hours of operation ensures that your calls are answered when you need them to be.

Voicemail and Call Forwarding Integration

Lastly, make sure the cheap answering service you choose offers voicemail and call forwarding integration. This feature ensures that you never miss an important call, even if you’re unable to answer it in person.

Voicemail allows callers to leave messages, while call forwarding directs calls to another phone number of your choice, ensuring that you can always stay connected with your customers.

By considering these key features, you can find the best cheap answering service for your small business in 2023. Remember to assess your business’s specific needs and budget to make an informed decision that will benefit your operations and customer service.

Top 5 Affordable Virtual Receptionist Services for Small Business

When it comes to running a small business, every call is important. However, hiring a full-time receptionist can be costly. That’s where virtual receptionist services come in. These services provide professional call handling and customer service at a fraction of the cost.

Here are the top 5 affordable virtual receptionist services for small businesses in 2023:

Ruby Receptionists

Ruby Receptionists is a highly reputable virtual receptionist service known for its exceptional customer service. Their team of virtual receptionists is trained to handle calls with professionalism and care.

They offer a variety of services, including call answering, message taking, appointment scheduling, and more. With affordable pricing plans starting at just $99 per month, Ruby Receptionists is a great option for small businesses on a budget. To learn more, visit their website at


AnswerConnect is another excellent virtual receptionist service that offers affordable solutions for small businesses. They provide 24/7 call answering services, appointment scheduling, order processing, and more.

With their flexible pricing plans, starting at $155 per month, AnswerConnect can tailor their services to meet the unique needs of your business. To find out more, visit their website at


Accessoperator is a virtual receptionist service that specializes in providing personalized call handling solutions for small businesses. They offer services such as call answering, message taking, lead capturing, and appointment scheduling.

With their competitive pricing plans, starting at $79 per month, Accessoperator is a cost-effective option for small businesses looking for professional call handling. To explore their services further, visit their website at

Davinci Virtual Office

Davinci Virtual Office is a well-established virtual receptionist service that offers a wide range of services for small businesses. Their virtual receptionists can handle calls, manage appointments, and even provide live chat support.

With pricing plans starting at $149 per month, Davinci Virtual Office provides affordable solutions that can help your business thrive. To learn more about their services, visit their website at


Moneypenny is a popular virtual receptionist service that has been trusted by businesses around the world. They offer a wide range of services, including call answering, appointment scheduling, and overflow call handling.

With their competitive pricing plans, starting at $95 per month, Moneypenny provides affordable solutions that can help your small business succeed. To find out more, visit their website at

Virtual Receptionist Service Starting Price Key Features
Ruby Receptionists $99 per month Exceptional customer service
AnswerConnect $155 per month 24/7 call answering
Accessoperator $79 per month Personalized call handling
Davinci Virtual Office $149 per month Wide range of services
Moneypenny $95 per month Trusted by businesses worldwide

These virtual receptionist services offer affordable solutions for small businesses that need professional call handling and customer service. By outsourcing these tasks to virtual receptionists, small business owners can focus on growing their business without breaking the bank.

Choose the service that best fits your needs and budget, and watch your business thrive!


An answering service no longer has to be a costly overhead for small businesses. New virtual receptionist services cater to small business budgets, with flexible pay-per-use plans and month to month contracts.

This allows small businesses to affordably leverage the benefits of professional live answering, like increased sales and better customer service. Services like Ruby and AnswerConnect are top choices that provide customized scripts, voicemail integration, and excellent overall value.

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