When you’re starting a business, it’s normal to want to simplify things as much as possible and to cut costs wherever you can. You’ve got limited resources, you’ve got a limited budget, and every dollar counts.
This is one reason why many small business owners wind up using their personal number as their business phone number, but there’s an affordable alternative that you should consider. You can easily add another line to your personal phone with virtual business phone systems like Tresta, which can be accessed through a mobile app on the phone you already have.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to get a separate phone number for your business, there are seven very distinct reasons why you should. Let’s discuss each one.
1. It’s Good for Work/Life Balance
When you first start your business, it’s not uncommon to work long hours that bleed into your personal life. If that’s what you’re choosing to do, more power to you, but it’s still important to have the option for an off-switch when you want one.
You may, for example, want to keep your personal phone on all night in case of an emergency or even to use your phone as an alarm clock, but you’d be less than thrilled when a customer calls at 3AM to ask a question about your return policy. It sounds extreme, but it happens more often than you’d think.
Having a separate phone number for your business gives you control of how and when you want to be on call for work. Even virtual phone systems like Tresta allows you to shut off your business phone number while your personal phone is on and active.
Keep in mind, too, that even if you’re the go-to person for your business now and are ok working long hours, that may change in the future. Business phone systems make that easier.
2. It Offers Security
Giving out your personal phone number can actually be a security risk. It’s not as bad as someone having your physical address, but do you want irate, irrational customers to be able to reach your personal number whenever they want?
It’s significantly more secure for you personally (and for your staff) if you’re using business numbers instead of handing out personal phone numbers. Think about how often you may hand out business cards; do you really want to be giving all those people your personal number?
There’s always a chance that someone could end up harassing you or another member of your staff, so it’s best to have those healthy boundaries in place. While it’s unlikely, you want everyone to stay safe.
3. You Know How to Actually Answer the Phone
If you’re using your personal phone number for all incoming calls, how will you answer the phone? Will you automatically say “Hey, it’s Joe,” or are you going to answer every call with “Sanford Law & Legal, this is Joseph” instead?
Having a dedicated personal phone number and a dedicated business phone number allows you to always make a great impression on potential customers the second you answer the call.
4. It Makes Your Business Look Credible
Having a phone number specifically for your business will help your business seem more credible and established, and it’s essential to remember that customer perception is so crucial in acquiring and retaining clients.
Having a separate phone number for your business shows that you’re taking it seriously and that you’re treating it like an actual business. Clients respect this, as they’re naturally more hesitant to work with small businesses who don’t quite seem to have their act together.
5. It Scales Better
Some businesses start out as a one-man show, or pretty close to it. You might only need one phone number, which can then be re-routed to other team members if needed.
When you start to scale, however, it can be an enormous pain if you didn’t start with a separate business number. It won’t just be you taking calls, after all, and you may need to have a main phone number that people call for the business itself instead of reaching you directly.
You want to start off on the right foot now, giving everyone the right number upfront so they’re calling it from the beginning. It can be exhausting trying to convert a long list of clients from one phone number to another, so if you have any plans to scale down the road, you want to set up a separate number now.
6. Business Phone Numbers Come with More Features
Business phone numbers often come with more native and integrated features than the standard personal cell number.
Tresta, for example, makes call routing easier, but you can also set up auto-attendants, call recording, extensions, and even texting. These features are exceptionally useful for businesses of all sizes, and as you scale, these features will be even more useful.
You want your business phone system to work with you, not against you. A dedicated business phone number will be key to this.
7. You Can Set Up Branding With Your Business Number
Branding your business phone will ensure that customers have a completely branded experience from the second they call you to the moment they hang up. Business numbers can help with that, even allowing you to set up toll-free or vanity numbers.
You can set up custom greetings, thanking customers for calling your business and sharing a tagline, or having heavily-branded voicemail messages.
This is another step in helping your business look established, and since the details matter, you don’t want to neglect them.
Even if you don’t think you need a separate phone number for your business because you’re a single-member LLC, trust us when we say that you do. Even if you don’t have any intentions of scaling your business now, you never know what the future will hold, and there are still clear benefits to making the change today.
You can make a better impression on customers and vendors alike, and offer a stronger, branded experience that they’ll remember. You want to start and end every conversation on a good note, and a separate business phone number will help.