Separate business email. Check. Business banking account. Yup. Dedicated business phone line … Wait. What? Excuse me?
Most small business owners understand that a business email and business banking account will protect them personally and financially. Despite a track record of good decision-making on the banking and email side, 86% of small business owners still use a personal phone line for business. Sure, using a personal line is cost effective and convenient, but having a separate business line provides several advantages you may not have considered.
Using a dedicated business line keeps all business communications in a single location. Think about it: No more searching through personal text messages or personal voicemails to find important communications from clients. No more trying to distinguish calls from prospects, spammers, or friends. Separating business and personal information is a quantum leap toward organization—a struggle for many small business owners.
Ever call a friend whose voicemail was clearly intended for clients? Ever call a business and receive a breezy voicemail clearly meant for family and friends? Neither situation is ideal. Using a dedicated business line allows you to customize a voicemail greeting specific to clients who may want to know business details (think hours or location). Intentional communication shows existing clients they are top-of-mind, and your on-point business voicemail could impress potential clients who are still determining the value of your service. With a business line, you can save those casual voicemails for family and friends, who already know how great you are.
Still using a personal line from when you lived in another state? Setting up a separate business line using a local area code could earn you some serious cred from local customers and could potentially mean more sales. Americans’ love for small businesses is growing, and anything associated with large corporations is more commonly viewed as “bad.” With 70% of Americans harboring "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in small business, ride that wave of small business goodwill with a separate business line that includes a local area code and phone number.
Privacy and Security
In a world where nearly 2.4 billion people use Facebook, 500 million Tweets are sent daily, and 1 billion people use Instagram, privacy and security are growing concerns. More than 90% of Americans say people have lost control over how information is collected. This extends to your phone as well. When you use only your personal phone line for setting up business accounts, profiles or licenses, it can diminish your brand security and leave your brand exposed. You also may be vulnerable to solicitor or sales group calls. Quit giving out your personal number for business reasons and save yourself a security headache down the road.
As a business grows, the more a small business owner may rely on his or her personal line to respond to an influx of calls. Scaling means controlling and managing communications with employees and vendors as well as clients. While we know you only work with tremendous (and only the very best) people, what if, on the off-chance, that relationship goes south? Additionally, switching lines in the early stages of your business is easier than switching a few years down the road. Think of all the contacts you’ll have to reach out to in a few years about your new phone number when your business is bigger.
Owning a small business is like having a child. It needs constant attention to grow successfully. But, like children, owning a small business should come with boundaries—there is such a thing as being too accessible. If you’re like most people, when your phone is on, it’s almost impossible to disconnect or ignore a call. You’ve also probably received your share of late-night calls from clients as you’re unwinding from the day. How about resting with the peace of mind in knowing your business voicemail will provide them with the high-level info they need, and that you can easily attend to the issue in the morning because you’ll know exactly how to access that client information? Now, that’s a step closer to a work-life balance.
Despite all of these benefits, many business owners still hold on to that one personal line, thinking they’ll have to bounce between two phones or even two phone services, like their current plan and Google Voice. But take heart: Other options are available. Some apps, such as Keap Phone, provide the ability to set up a separate phone line from your existing phone at no additional cost. And set up is so easy, you can start using your new line immediately.
Easy setup and immediate use of a business line: What’s not to like? Why not make the step toward setting your business up for sustainable success and tacking on a little privacy, professionalism and work-life balance to boot?