Obtaining a business phone number is one of the most crucial marketing and operational choices a company can make. A dedicated business line improves your company’s professionalism by making it simpler to interact with clients and suppliers, adding features to your phone system that aren’t available on consumer lines, and increasing your company’s professionalism.
But when starting a new business, many entrepreneurs and start-ups elect to begin by just using their personal number on their cell phone, often to save money. That is a mistake, and in this article, we’re going to talk about why. So just why is having a business phone number so important?
What is the difference between a personal and a business phone number?
Ten or twenty years ago, no one had a powerful smartphone in their pocket like we do now. The majority of individuals and companies still utilized landline phones. Having a separate business phone number was a given since your home and business phones were connected to devices that were physically located in different places.
Nowadays, almost everyone uses their personal phone numbers for everything. Using online services to manage bank accounts, order meals through applications, communicate with friends, family, and coworkers, and even authenticate our identities.
It appears to be a no-brainer for start-ups and entrepreneurs to maintain using the same personal phone number, at least at first. “I’m not earning any money yet, so why should I invest money on an expensive business line when I don’t know whether the firm will even succeed?” you could reason. Why not use your fully functional smartphone, which comes with its own phone number, until you need a better service?
You might be surprised by the responses to that question.
The Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Your Personal Phone Number for Business
There are several reasons why you should not use your personal phone number for professional purposes, some of which are less evident than others. Let’s look at some of the most compelling arguments for having a distinct business phone number:
In today’s world, we utilize our personal numbers to identify ourselves for a variety of purposes, therefore we shouldn’t give them out lightly. Business numbers may be found on a variety of items, including business cards, advertising materials, your website, suppliers, business licenses, tax papers, and more. Putting your personal phone number on corporate papers exposes you to hackers, identity thieves, and fraudsters, as well as annoying telemarketers.
Robocalls and telemarketing are becoming more of a problem in today’s hyper-connected society, and owing to the accessibility and availability of Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology, spammers and telemarketers can autodial thousands of numbers in minutes or even seconds. Consumers in the United States will get roughly 4 billion robocalls per 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 constant 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 include your personal phone number for your business. It’s difficult enough to keep track of all the calls and messages from friends and family; picture adding all your business interactions to the mix, especially as your company expands. Aside from that, if you change your phone number, any marketing materials or business cards you have produced with it will be worthless. If a consumer dials your number and it is disconnected, they are unlikely to return the call.
Professional capabilities are accessible on business phone systems and virtual phone numbers that are not available on consumer lines. Individuals may not require call menus, auto attendants, or individual extensions with voice mail boxes, but companies undoubtedly do. Customers can rapidly obtain what they need or contact particular individuals thanks to automated capabilities, and you don’t have to waste time fielding every call personally.
Every start-up has to conserve money, so you may first find yourself working alongside employees who all have their own phones. However, when the company expands, you and your co-founders will be stuck with the same personal phone numbers that are associated with clients and service providers, making transferring to a new number difficult. Furthermore, as a business owner, you will have little control over how coworkers and employees conduct their personal business.
When you give your personal phone number to suppliers and clients, you open yourself up to all kinds of unwelcome extracurricular correspondence. This might include everything from after-hours business calls to unwelcome personal advances. Don’t put yourself in the situation of having to deal with work problems while you’re supposed to be resting.
You’ll never know how to reply if you don’t know which calls are work-related and which are personal because the bulk of customer calls to your firm are likely to come from unknown numbers. When a business call comes in, don’t answer it with “Hello?” or divert the caller to your personal voicemail.
When you use your personal phone number for business, you’re never truly off the clock. Maintaining a healthy and sane existence requires the ability to manage work-life balance, and if individuals may call you for business at any time on your personal phone line, that balance will be thrown off drastically. You may manage 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 configure your line to go directly to voicemail or reroute calls to another line if you’re at work with others and need to go to a meeting, take a break, or focus on a project. As the business owner, you may ask someone else in your workplace to answer the phone for you and temporarily give them ownership of the line. It’s considerably more difficult to just deliver your personal phone to a coworker and ask them to answer it.
10. It appears unprofessional to use your own phone number.
Your phone number serves as a key point of contact for consumers and service providers, as well as a part of your brand identification. If people notice they’re phoning your personal number instead of a business line, they won’t take you seriously. Virtual business numbers may be tailored to any set of local or toll-free digits that are easy to remember for consumers, and they will give a level of professionalism and legitimacy that a personal number would not, as well as a fantastic set of professional calling capabilities.
Virtual Business Numbers Increase the Value and Professionalism of Your Company
We’ve gone over all 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:
1. Enhance customer happiness by improving the client experience.
2. Scalability, mobility, portability, and dependability
3. Separate your business and personal correspondence.
4. Use any area code to get a local or toll-free phone number.
5. Maintain control over how your company’s name is used by others.
6. Strive for a good work-life balance.
As a lone entrepreneur or a small business start-up, there are several options for adding a business number. You may either add a business number to your current mobile phone plan or get a separate cell phone to conduct your business from. At your workplace, you have the option of installing a standard landline or an IP office phone system.
You may also go the simple approach and register for a low-cost virtual phone number through an internet platform that will operate 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 tier of service you require, download the app, and select a local or toll-free number from a list of area codes in the United States and Canada. Alternatively, you may sign up for a free trial of the service before purchasing to ensure that the platform and available features are suitable for your needs.