Obtaining a business phone number is one of the most crucial marketing and operational decisions a company can make. A dedicated business line makes it easier to communicate with clients and suppliers, adds capabilities to your phone system that aren’t available on consumer lines, and boosts your company’s professionalism.
However, many entrepreneurs and start-ups choose to begin by just using their personal cell phone number to save money when launching a new firm. This is a mistake, and we’ll explain why later in this post. Here is why a business phone number can help you succeed
Everyone didn’t have a powerful smartphone in their pocket ten or twenty years ago like we do now. Landline phones were still used by the majority of consumers and businesses. Because your home phone and business phone were connected to devices that were physically situated in different areas, having a distinct business phone number was a given.
Almost everyone nowadays utilizes their personal phone numbers for everything. Managing bank accounts, ordering food through apps, communicating with friends, family, and coworkers, and even validating our identities using internet services. We created the expectation that everyone could be reached at their own number when we put a cell phone in everyone’s pocket.
It appears to be a no-brainer for start-ups and entrepreneurs to retain using the same personal phone number, at least at first. “I’m not making any money yet, so why should I invest money on an expensive business line when I don’t know if the firm will even succeed?” you could reason. Why not use your fully functional smartphone with its own phone number, at least until you require better service?
You might be surprised by the responses to that question.
There are numerous reasons why you should not use your personal phone number for business purposes, some of which are less evident than others. Let’s look at some of the most compelling arguments for acquiring a distinct business phone number:
We use our personal numbers to identify ourselves for a variety of reasons these days, so we shouldn’t give them out lightly. Business numbers can be found on everything from business cards to advertising materials, as well as on your website, suppliers, business licenses, tax documents, and more. Putting your personal phone number on company materials makes you more vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, and scammers, not to mention annoying telemarketers.
Robocalls and telemarketing are becoming more of an issue in this hyper-connected world, and spammers and telemarketers can autodial thousands of numbers in minutes or even seconds thanks to the convenience and availability of Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology. Consumers in the United States will get roughly 4 billion robocalls each month in 2020, according to the Federal Communications Commission. If you keep your personal and business phone lines separate, you won’t have to deal with the continuous telemarketing calls that would inevitably result from using your personal phone number for business.
There is no way to distinguish between personal and professional calls, messages, contacts, and notes if you list your personal phone number for your business. It is difficult enough to keep track of all the calls and texts from friends and family; picture adding all your business interactions to the mix, especially as your company grows. Aside from that, if you change your phone number, any marketing materials or business cards you have produced with it will be useless. If a customer dials your number and it is disconnected, they are unlikely to return the call.
Professional capabilities are available on business phone systems and virtual phone numbers that are not available on consumer lines. Individuals do not require call menus, auto attendants, or specific extensions with voice mailboxes, but corporations must. Customers can rapidly acquire what they need or reach specific personnel thanks to automated capabilities, and you don’t have to waste time fielding every call personally.
Every start-up needs to save money, and you may find yourself working with coworkers who all use their own phones at first. However, if the company grows, you and your co-founders will be trapped with the same personal numbers that are related to clients and service providers, making switching to a new number difficult. Furthermore, as the business owner, you will have no influence over how coworkers and employees conduct business on their own personal lines.
Giving your personal phone number to suppliers and clients invites all kinds of unwanted extracurricular communication. This could range from business calls made outside of working hours to unwanted personal advances. When you are supposed to be relaxing, don’t put yourself in the position of having to deal with job difficulties.
Because the majority of client calls to your business are likely to originate from unknown numbers, you’ll never know how to respond if you don’t know which calls are work-related and which are personal. Don’t lose customers by answering a business call with “Hello?” or redirecting the caller to your personal voicemail.
When you use your personal phone number for business, you are never truly off the clock. Maintaining a healthy and safe lifestyle requires the ability to manage work-life balance, and if someone may call you for business at any time on your personal phone line, that balance will be thrown off drastically. You may customize when and how you answer work calls by using a virtual business number on your smartphone or a fully different phone.
A business phone system allows you to arrange your line to go straight to voicemail or redirect calls to another line if you are at work with others and need to go to a meeting, take a break, or concentrate on a project. As the business owner, you can ask someone else in your workplace to answer the phone for you and temporarily give them ownership of the line. It’s a lot more difficult to simply give over your personal phone to a coworker and ask them to answer it for you.
Your phone number serves as a major point of contact for customers and service providers, as well as a part of your brand identity. If someone realizes they’re contacting your personal number instead of a business line, they’re less likely to take you seriously. In addition to a wonderful set of professional calling capabilities, virtual company numbers can be customized to any set of local or toll-free digits that are easy for clients to remember and will convey a level of professionalism and respectability that a personal number would not.
We’ve seen all of the reasons why you shouldn’t use your personal phone number for business, but what about the benefits of having a distinct business phone number? Here are a few examples:
- Enhance customer happiness by improving the client experience.
- Scalability, mobility, portability, and reliability
- Separate your business and personal communications.
- Use any area code to get a local or toll-free phone number.
- Maintain control over how your company’s name is used by others.
- Strive for a good work-life balance.
As a solitary entrepreneur or a small business start-up, there are several options for adding a business number. You might either add a business number to your current cell phone plan or purchase a separate cell phone to run your firm. At your workplace, you have the option of installing a regular landline or an IP office phone system.
You can also take the simple path and register for a low-cost virtual phone number through an internet platform that will function with all of your current phones and digital gadgets. Signing up is quick and easy, and you’ll be up and running with your new business number in minutes. Simply pay for the tiers of service you require and download.