5 Reasons Your Home Office Should Have a Business Phone Number
You made the decision to work from home – whether to spend more time with the kids, avoid the rising costs of child care, or just get away from the long daily commute and office grind – but working from home does not mean you cannot separate personal-communications and work-communications.
You have a mobile phone, so you may be wondering why you need a separate phone number for your home business. But, think about the next vendor or client you meet and their less-than-appealing personality. Do you really want to give that person your personal cellphone number? Rest assured, there are ways to use your cellphone without having to compromise your personal security.
Or that important new client is calling, but because the number is so similar to your sister's, you… well… let's just say you answer the call in a manner that you perhaps might not have, if you had only realized it was actually your next big client calling.
If you still think there’s no need for a separate business phone number, here are five reasons to reconsider.
1. Sound and Look More Professional
Whether you freelance or you are working on a startup, you rely on your home office to get your work done. If you want clients and vendors to take your business seriously – despite the fact you’re taking phone calls with a toddler hanging off your hip – a dedicated line can help.
With a dedicated business number you are no longer giving out your personal cellphone number – and it gives the impression you don’t work alone, even if you do. Just make sure you opt for a phone service that offers you a dedicated line and the ability to forward those calls to your mobile phone – so you can easily keep in touch regardless of where you are.
If your home business has a website – and let’s face it, in this day and age if you don’t have one, you really should – adding your business phone number to your contact page and header makes your business look that much more professional and legitimate.
It hasn't been proven and of course Google isn't talking, but it has been talked about by top SEO consultants that having a “contact us” page with valid information – including address and phone number – helps with SEO efforts – especially if you want to rank in local searches. It would seem that Google gives more credibility and legitimacy to websites that are transparent with their contact information.
2. Utilize Call Forwarding to Route Calls to your Mobile Phone
With smart call forwarding, you do not have to share your cellphone number when you leave the office. Instead, business contacts dial your business line as usual, and it forwards that call to your mobile phone regardless of where you are. The caller never knows you are answering via your cellphone unless you tell them.
This video is obviously from Grasshopper, but it also gives a great overview of how all of these virtual phone systems work.
With forwarding, you don’t miss important phone calls, but you still keep your privacy. Whether you are out on a sales visit, showing a new house or picking up the kids from school, business keeps going.
No matter what, don’t forget to set business hours and an after hours greeting that then forwards calls to your business voicemail – that way you aren’t getting calls on your cell phone at 2:00am.
Here at Revuezzle we utilize call forwarding from Phone.com so that our team members are able use their cellphones to conduct business but never have to worry about giving out their personal cellphone numbers to business contacts. We can easily see if the call is a business call or a personal call and answer accordingly. When making calls from our cell phone, it's just a matter of utilizing either the free phone.com iPhone or Android app and the person we are calling will never know we are calling from a cell phone unless we tell them – the number that shows up on their caller ID is our business number.
3. You Get Clearer Call Quality
Cellphones are notorious for poor call quality. If your home office tends to have a few dead zones or that 4G you paid for isn’t working, you risk giving clients an inadequate call experience. With a dedicated business phone number, and HD digital phones, you can offer your clients and vendors better call quality, limited disruptions, and a fixed network.
Virtual Phone System merchants offer HD quality digital business phones from top phone makers like Polycom, Panasonic, and Cisco, that come preconfigured so that they are plug and use ready. Prices for these phones are very reasonable and in some cases like RingCentral, you can even rent them if buying a desktop phone doesn't appeal to you. If you already have a phone you want to use, most merchants will allow you to use them with some setup on your end.
4. Offer Your Customers the Advantage of a Toll-Free or Vanity Number
Want customers from around the country to call you without paying long-distance rates? You can add even more professionalism and convenience by using a toll-free number.
With most plans you can get a toll free number Free, or if you want to keep your existing local number an add a toll free number – the toll free number is less than $5 a month in most cases.
If your business wants a competitive edge or you just want your company personality to shine through, look for a vendor that offers vanity numbers. Vanity numbers immediately identify your business to your customers – for example 1-800-FLOWERS.
Have international clients? Some phone services also offer Global Virtual Numbers, that provide flat rate international numbers that provide your customers anywhere in the world with a local number to call at standard US local rates. Your clients will appreciate the savings.
5. It Really Doesn’t Cost That Much
Let’s be real. Professional phone services do not cost as much as you think – and if it’s really a big deal, remember it is a tax deduction. Most phone services for home-based businesses are extremely affordable, especially when you consider the free features, convenience of a dedicated line, and the fact you aren’t giving out your own personal number to new business contacts. Plans start at under $10 a month – that’s less than you are paying for that cell phone service.
Here are two companies that provide great plans designed for home offices and people who need systems that can route calls to other phones. As you can see we are offering a couple of special discounts and both companies offer you the ability to try their service for free for 30 days with no risk.