Over the last decade, new business applications have nearly doubled. Barriers to starting a new business have been lowered, and it’s led to some unconventional practices. You can easily bring a minimum viable product to market overnight with just a splash page, Instagram account, or Amazon listing. You can launch a full services company with just a website to capture leads. But most businesses require phone service, and many entrepreneurs starting up on a dime have chosen to use their own personal phone number for their business. (As of 2018, anyway, 86% of small business owners were using their personal numbers.) Getting a second number for your business from the onset, though, is a smart tactic for a plethora of reasons.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the reasons why having a second number dedicated to your business is so essential – even if you’re a one-man show – and how to get started finding one.
1. It Helps with Work/Life Balance
You know that elusive work/life balance that you’re always hearing about? You’ll never be able to get it as a business owner if you’re using your personal line for business purposes.
Assuming that you’re not on call, you need to be able to shut off your business phone from time to time. For sanity, you know… Having clients and customers connect with you on your personal number is a recipe for burnout, so you’ve got to be able to carve out some “you” time, or time to connect with family and friends away from work.
When you get a second number with a virtual business phone system like Tresta, you can forward calls to different destinations depending on the day of the week or time of day. You can leverage features like auto attendants and smart call routing to greet your callers and get them what they need, or at least set expectations for a call-back. Callers can also be routed to a third party answering service or your voicemail, and you can keep your personal life separate from your professional life.
Ultimately a strong work/life balance will recharge you, and lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. And since being a business owner is an intensive job already, that’s a pretty big deal.
2. It’s More Professional
If you have a second phone number strictly for business purposes, it helps you appear more professional and credible.
With Tresta, you can use your own smartphone to make and receive unlimited business calls (and texts). With dynamic caller ID, calls coming through to your second number are displayed in a way that you can tell they are clearly for business. With Tresta, you’ll see who’s calling and which number they called. So in addition to any custom greetings or call menus you may be using to greet and route your callers, you’ll always know when to answer professionally.
3. It Adds a Layer of Security
Growing your business can be a double-edged sword. The unfortunate reality is that when your business starts gaining traction, you too, as the owner, are more exposed. A second number provides an added layer of security to ensure your personal information stays private. And the more separation you can put between random, possibly nefarious internet users and yourself, the better.
(Pro tip: If you’re operating online without a physical space, you can’t use a P.O. box as your business address but you can rent a physical business mailbox through a mailing partner like UPS. That way, you don’t have to put your home address down on any official and public documents.)
4. It Allows for Easier Call Forwarding
Say you’re using a single phone number for both personal and business use. You decide to go on vacation, and you want to forward all business calls elsewhere so you can enjoy your time away. That’s not an option when you’re using a personal number for both; you’d either have to forward all of your calls – or none of them.
Forwarding calls from your second number while still receiving your personal calls means staying connected while you’re away, but unbothered by business. Obviously, all your calls and texts are right at hand via the Tresta web and mobile apps, so if you want to check in, you always can. To learn more, check out our post detailing everything you need to know about call forwarding.
5. It’s Easier to Scale
Setting up a second number for your business on day one means you’ll never have to pivot. You’ll never have to change your business number, advise customers, update all your online listings, or worry about business partners who need to stay in touch.
With a virtual phone system like Tresta, you’ll be able to add more team members to your account at any time. You can establish phone extensions for departments or users, or even add more phone numbers to your account so your employees have a direct line.
All of this with low monthly rates per user or phone number, and without any caps or overages, or surprise charges ever.
And when you’re at scale, depending on the size and nature of your business, you’ll have access to call reporting to better understand what’s happening on your business phone. You can visualize trends with hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly reporting – and break down reports by phone number, user or group, or even forwarding numbers on your account. This data can help you get a better understanding of your team and your callers, and make better business decisions.
Why You Should Consider a Second Number for Your Business
It’s clear that having a second number for their business is critical, as opposed to relying strictly on your personal phone number. It’s convenient, it’s secure, it’s professional, and it gives you more freedom to live a life outside of your business.
We strongly recommend looking for a virtual phone number instead of purchasing a second device outright. Virtual business phone numbers can be accessed via a mobile app on the smartphone you’re already using, where you can receive calls, texts, and voicemail messages.
Because no new devices are required, it’s easy to be available on your second number anytime, but you can also “go dark” whenever you choose to have the calls go straight to voicemail or to another team member.
Best of all, perhaps, that second number for your business is incredibly affordable with Tresta. The way our pricing is structured, each user is just $15 per month, with all advanced features included as well as your first phone number (local, toll-free, or you can port in a number you’re already using). You can add additional phone numbers to your account for $5 per month (with tiered pricing, so the more numbers you need, the less you spend per number). This includes advanced call routing, call forwarding, auto attendants, extensions, analytics, business texting, and so much more.
Unlike conventional phone carriers, there are no contracts, no hidden fees, and absolutely no issues scaling up and down as needed.
Plenty of new business owners may be reluctant to get a second number just for their business line, even if they’re the CEO of a one- or two-person startup.
It’s more than necessary, though, for all the reasons we discussed above. And even if you don’t care about any of the others, you should always care about how leads, customers, and even vendors perceive your brand. If you want to deliver a professional phone experience, you really do need a second number for your business.