Do you run your own business? Are you in the process of starting one up? If so, congratulations! You’ve got some work to do. Somewhere along the way, you might’ve stopped and asked yourself, “How are customers going to get in touch with me?”, and the ways to answer that question are more numerous than ever. But you still need a phone and more importantly, a phone number. You might think the number you already use for personal calls can do the trick, eliminating your need for another phone number. We wouldn’t recommend that. Though it seems convenient and easy at first, using your personal phone number for your business will almost certainly cause you unnecessary headaches. Here are five reasons why:
1. It’s unprofessional
Think of what constitutes a legitimate business to you. Those terms are broad, we know, but bear with us. What does that business have? We’re willing to bet one of those things is it’s own dedicated phone number. It’s as simple as that. We’re not saying it’s impossible to run a business from your personal cell phone number, but we are saying it can come across as unprofessional.
2. You can’t afford to miss business calls
It’s nearly impossible and torturously time-consuming to answer every call that comes to your cell phone. Sometimes you’re driving. Or sleeping. Or you just don’t happen to be near your phone. They’re increasingly spam calls anyway. In personal use, most people can get by with “If I don’t know the number, I don’t answer. They can leave a voicemail.” The same doesn’t apply for business calls. Unlike in your personal life, it’s in your best interest to answer every call that comes in to your business number. Customers know they have more options than ever and likely won’t waste their time or money with someone who can’t be bothered to answer their calls.
3. It makes achieving a work-life balance that much more difficult
We’re not totally sure if the concept of “work-life balance” is actually an attainable state of existence, but it can’t hurt to try. What we are sure of is that mixing personal and business calls on the same phone number won’t make that any easier. It’ll likely do the exact opposite. If both types of calls are coming to the same number, you’ll constantly have to distinguish which calls are which and keep your Customer Service Voice (you know the one) on standby. And eventually, you’ll want to advertise. Do you want your personal phone number attached to advertisements that can find themselves all over the Internet and elsewhere?
4. You’ll miss out on phone features that can help your business
If you really want to use your personal number for business, we know we can’t stop you. But just know: you’re missing out on some key features with the potential to elevate how your business communicates: A cloud-based virtual phone system gives you a local or toll-free phone number to use for your business, as well as features like analytics for greater access to call data, voicemail with unlimited cloud storage, and call routing with auto-attendants for as little as $15 a month.
5. A personal phone number isn’t scalable
If you have any plans to scale your business in the future, you’ll eventually reach a point where a personal phone number won’t cut it. When you’re starting out, you might be the only person in your business a caller will need to reach. In this case, you can get by with your personal number. Once you’ve implemented a sales team, marketing staff, and customer service department, you’ll need something more robust. Starting off with the right phone system makes the process of scaling simple and painless.
We rest our case. While it certainly seems immediately convenient to let your personal phone number serve double duty as a business phone, we think the costs far outweigh the benefits in the long run. Not to mention, it’s never been easier or more affordable to get a phone number for your business to use on any device, wherever business takes you.