One: It makes your business look small
Presenting a personal mobile number on business listings, business cards and other advertising services is far from best practice. Even if your business is small, communicating as much to your customers will be damaging in the long run.
If you’re thinking, “I already pay £15.00 a month for a phone bill. Why would I pay more for another phone number?”, here’s your answer: it’s actually costing you money in the long run.
The question you’re forcing into the minds of every prospective customer... is, “Why would a big, dependable company not bother to use a professional phone number?”
Here’s why: people assume that successful companies are big companies. Visions of high rise buildings with dedicated teams of staff fill the heads of the majority of people when they deal with a company they see as ‘dependable’.
“Such professional presentation makes you the obvious choice for prospective customers”
People like the biggest and the best. Even if you’re one man with a tiling business, you’ll stand head and shoulders above the competition with a slick online marketing presence.
This doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. All you need is a website with an accompanying domain for professional URL and email and, you guessed it, a business phone number.
Purchasing a domain name is easy. Yay.com offers this very service, and we’ll even provide you with the tools for managing all of your domains, no matter whether you have one or one thousand.
A website can be built easily in a couple of days with a drag-and-drop site creation tool such as Wix.com or Squarespace and then updated as infrequently as you like.
Such professional presentation makes you the obvious choice for prospective customers. They say, after all, "dress for the job you want. Not the job you have.” Well, the same is true for marketing. “Market for the customers you want. Not the customers you have.”
Try this approach and see if the number and quality of your customers increases. You might find they’re even willing to pay higher prices, resulting in a quick profit from investment in a professional phone number and online presence.
Two: It's impossible to differentiate business enquiries from personal ones
When you’re receiving both business and personal calls to the same phone number, they’re all stored in the same call log on your phone.
When it comes to missed calls where the caller has not left a voicemail, it’s impossible for you to prepare yourself for the callback. You don’t know whether this is a serious business enquiry or a spam call to your personal number. Either way, you’re obligated to return the call in the name of due diligence.
By creating an extra layer of separation between business and personal calls with a business telephone number, you can adapt your telephone manner to match the situation, building trust in your business in the eyes of the other party.
You don’t know whether this is a serious business enquiry or a spam call to your personal number. Either way, you’re obligated to return the call...
You also save time on chasing down leads. If an unrecognised number calls your personal number, but your business calls are all to a separate number, you don’t have to worry about returning such personal calls with urgency. Instead, you can devote all of your time on callbacks to those that came into your business line, since all of these calls are from potential customers.
When you’re running your own business, time is money. Money spent to save time on menial tasks quickly pays for itself. With a dedicated business phone system, you’ll also be far more likely to capture potential leads by taking advantage of advanced business phone features, which leads us to our next point.
Three: Lack of business phone features
When you look into spending money on a business phone number, you’re likely to learn a lot about the business phone features on offer from modern VoIP providers. These powerful phone system features are available to use without the need for any expensive hardware.
VoIP apps can be used to make and receive business calls directly from your smartphone. You can own multiple caller IDs and change them at will to call out from different ‘branches’ of your business - all from your smartphone.
...it’s more than possible to conduct business from a personal device; it’s easy and cost-effective to do so.
If it’s the simplicity of using your personal phone that is making you want to use your personal number for business, this isn’t a compromise that you need to make. With business VoIP, it’s more than possible to conduct business from a personal device; it’s easy and cost-effective to do so. In fact, many modern businesses enforce a BYOD (bring your own device) policy that sees employees using their personal mobile devices to make and receive business calls in an effort to avoid hardware IP phone costs.
There are also features to directly enhance the experience of the caller, improving the impression prospective customers get of your business. These include:
- IVR call menus (press 1 for sales, press 2 for technical etc)
- Call hold/transfer
- Call conferencing
- Custom hold music
- Call queues and audio
Not only will such features improve the impression your customers get of your business, but failing to take advantage of features like these is inviting lowered productivity among staff members due to fewer opportunities for collaboration.
Even if it’s just you in the business, VoIP will improve your own productivity by helping you to manage calls efficiently and effectively.
Moreover, some of the best VoIP providers are evolving into fully-fledged Unified Communications providers, offering team chat features for you and your staff. Fast-dial extensions, shortcodes, call conferencing and easy call transfers are just a few of the features that will make life and work easier, not just for you, but for your staff as well.
Easier collaboration usually translates to more collaboration. Eliminating friction in staff communication can mean the difference between an idea shared (and subsequently acted upon) and an idea abandoned or forgotten. This means value added to your business and, hopefully, greater growth!
Four: It unnecessarily exposes personal details
This one doesn’t seem to worry people as much as it should. By making your personal details available online for millions of people to see, you make yourself a target for spam and fraud
SIM-Swap fraud can be particularly damaging, as fraudsters trick your mobile network into transferring your phone number to a SIM card in their possession.
Initially, you might dismiss this as a low threat annoyance, but how many two-factor authentication SMS messages do you receive? Probably quite a few. Your online banking, for example. And these fraudsters will receive all of them.
...fraudsters trick your mobile network into transferring your phone number to a SIM card in their possession.
It’s not just online banking, though. Use a Google Drive account to securely store and remotely manage all of your business documents? Spreadsheets of financial data? Fraudsters will be able to access these too.
For a low monthly cost, avoid such unnecessary risks by purchasing a business telephone number, as well as taking advantage of all of the advantages featured above.
Five: It’s not always something you can ‘just do later’
You might be thinking that changing your phone number is something you can do when it becomes clear that you need to expand. For most people, though, this transition is not a clear line in the sand. Business growth is a slow, gradual process. By the time it becomes clear that you need a business phone number, your existing customer base will already be familiar with your personal number - the one they use for you every day.
One of the worst things you can do to your existing customer base is to change your contact number. It may be hard to hear, but many customers just won’t care enough to change it. They’ll wait until they need a similar service again and just find someone new.
You can’t just afford to lose all of these customers. They’re the reason you’re ready to expand in the first place!
Moreover, as your business grows, the more your contact details will be shared from customer-to-customer by word of mouth. Usually, this is a very good thing. But, when the time comes for you to have a change of heart, there’s no way of knowing just who has your personal number saved in their contacts list.
One of the worst things you can do to your existing customer base is to change your contact number.
As your exposure grows both online and offline, your personal details will become less and less personal as you find yourself stuck without the possibility of changing the business number.
At some point, you’ll be forced to purchase a new personal number as well as a business number, route all calls to your old personal number to the business number and change your personal contact details everywhere to your new number.
If that sounds like a lot of unnecessary work, be relieved that all of this can be avoided by doing things right from the start. After all, you’ve already done the hard work. Round it all off by acquiring a business phone number today with Yay.com. If you have one or more business domains that need managing, consider moving those to Yay.com too! See what our existing customers have to say about us here.
Using your personal number as your business contact is not a good idea. When it comes time to expand, you’ll find yourself hamstrung by the lack of business phone capabilities and locked into a number that fails to communicate professionalism. What’s more, you expose yourself to fraud risk unnecessarily and cost yourself money in the process.