How to get started on the WhatsApp Business app

Mohamed Elbadwihi
Last updated October 5, 2023
How to get started on the WhatsApp Business app

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install and configure the WhatsApp Business app on your mobile phone.

If you’re unsure whether WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business Platform is the right fit for you, please read What is the Difference between WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business platform first, and then return to this blog post.

What we will cover:

  1. Installing the WhatsApp Business app
  2. Creating an account
  3. Setting up your business profile
  4. Setting up your office hours
  5. Bonus: Setting up automatic Greeting and Away messages

What you’ll need:

  1. A business – The WhatsApp Business app is ideal for micro-businesses.
  2. A mobile phone – The WhatsApp Business app is available for both Android or iOS.
  3. A phone number to register on WhatsApp.

This will take about 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Let’s get started!

1. Installing the WhatsApp Business app

First, download the WhatsApp Business app on your phone. You can do that through the Google Play Store, or the Apple App Store. Once it’s downloaded, select the WhatsApp Business app icon on your screen:

WhatsApp Business app on a mobile phone.

At first launch, you’ll be asked to accept the WhatsApp Terms of Service. Click on Agree and Continue to accept the terms:

Accepting the WhatsApp Terms of Service on the WhatsApp Business app.

If you already have the personal WhatsApp Messenger installed on your phone, you’ll be asked if you wish to migrate that account to WhatsApp Business app.

Select Use +XXXXX if you want to migrate your existing account, or Use a Different Number if you’d prefer to use another number, keeping your personal and business accounts separate. In this example, we’ll select Use a Different Number:

Selecting an existing number to migrate the account on the WhatsApp Business app.

On the following screen, select your Country, and then enter the phone number you’d like to use.

Click Next to verify the phone number. You’ll receive a 6-digit code via SMS, which you’ll enter next:

Verifying a number on the WhatsApp Business app.

Next, you’ll be asked to give the app access to your contacts and media. Click Continue. You’ll then be asked to restore a backup if you have one on Google Drive. Tap Continue if you do, or Cancel if you don’t:

Giving WhatsApp Business app an access to contacts and media.

2. Setting up your business profile

Creating your business profile

This is what your contacts and customers will see when they chat with you on WhatsApp.

You can enter your business name, add your logo, address, description, and your business category. Later on, you can add more info, such as your opening hours:

Creating a WhatsApp business profile.

Once you’ve created your profile, you’ll be asked to create a catalog.

This is a way to showcase the products and services you’re selling, and allow your customers to browse through them on WhatsApp.

We’ll skip this step for now, you can come back to it later. Select Not now at the bottom of the page:

Creating a WhatsApp product catalog.

Congratulations! 🎈 You’ve now created a WhatsApp Business app account. You should now see this:

WhatsApp Business account.

Enhance your profile

On the top right corner of your screen, click on the three-dotted menu ⁝, and then select Business tools:

Business tools in WhatsApp Business app.

Here, you’ll be able to edit your business profile, create a product catalog, connect WhatsApp with your Facebook and Instagram accounts, create automated greeting and away messages, quick replies, labels, and more. For now let’s select Business profile:

Dashboard in the WhatsApp Business app.

As you can see, this business profile is a little more detailed than the one we created earlier:

Setting up business/office hours in WhatsApp Business app.

3. Setting your business/office hours

Select Business hours, and on the following page. I will choose Open for selected hours. This will allow you to set your exact business hours:

WhatsApp Business profile.

Choose which hours and days your business is open.

I’ve selected Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I’ve added two sets of hours on Tuesday to indicate a lunch break.

Customize this to fit your own schedule. Once you’re done, hit Save:

Customizing business/office hours in WhatsApp Business app.

Your business profile will now show your office hours, as you see in the following image. You can also add your email address and websites to your profile: 

Business/office hours, website, and email address in WhatsApp Business app.

Your business profile is now complete! 🥳

4. Setting up automatic greeting and away messages

What are they?

Automatic greeting messages are a great way to give a warm welcome to your customers. These messages are sent whenever someone sends you a WhatsApp message for the first time.

Greeting messages do not have a defined schedule.

Away messages are similar to out-of-office messages, and can be set to either the same schedule in your business profile, or to a different one.

Setting up an automatic greeting message

From your Settings, go to Business tools, and select Greeting message:

Activating Greeting message in WhatsApp Business app.

Set the Send greeting message toggle to On. Click on the pencil icon to change the message:

Seting the Send greeting message toggle to On in WhatsApp Business app.

Customize the greeting message further by clicking on Recipients. Perhaps you wish to send this message only to people you don’t know, or you wish to add specific exceptions:

Customizing greeting message in WhatSapp Business app.

Setting up automatic away/out-of-office message

For away messages, go to Settings once again, Business tools, and select Away message:

Setting up automatic away/out-of-office message in WhatsApp Business app.

Here, turn the Send away message on. You can edit the message by clicking on the pencil icon:

Seting the Send away message toggle to On in WhatsApp Business app.

Select Schedule to define when your away messages will be sent:

Always send – The message will be sent whenever someone tries to contact you. This is useful for when you’re out on a holiday.

Custom schedule – This option allows you to define when the away message will be sent, and when it won’t.

Outside of business hours – This option will follow the business hours you’ve defined in your business profile. Away messages will be sent outside of those hours.

Seting the outside of business hours in WhatsApp Business app.

Now, let’s try them out. Send a message to yourself on your WhatsApp Business app number, or ask a friend to help out.

If you’ve set a greeting and an away message, and it’s outside your office hours, you should see both the greeting and the away message, like this:

Examples of greeting and away messages in WhatsApp Business app.

That’s it! You’re now ready to connect with your customers over WhatsApp.

In a future blog post, we’ll talk about how to create a product catalog, how to use Quick Replies, and how to connect WhatsApp to multiple devices at once, including your desktop.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the best out of WhatsApp for your business, please feel free to reach out to us on our WhatsApp number, at +13024070488.

We also offer a free session with one of our WhatsApp experts where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak you:

For Europe, Middle East, and Africa

For North and South America

Recommended reading:

What is the difference between WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business Platform?

About the author
Mohamed Elbadwihi

Mohamed has a background in digital enterprise strategy and software engineering. When he’s not staring at his computer screen, he can be found staring at the night sky somewhere in Alberta, Canada, where he moved a year ago. He enjoys reading, and writing about the things he reads.

@Mohamed Elbadwihi