If you’re in the early stages of starting a business, you’re probably considering using your personal mobile phone number. This is normal – it’s affordable and convenient, and most people prefer it out of habit. It´s a mobile world after all and switching to something new seems alian.
However, “personal” and “business” are very different animals, and they require mutually exclusive approaches. Using your personal number for business is inviting conflict and inefficiency into your life.
There are 4 widely accepted ways to combat this:
- carry two phones with different numbers
- get a multi-sim phone
- add a VoIP desk phone service
- or get a virtual phone number for your business.
It might not seem it at first glance, but all 4 options are safer and just plain better (to varying degrees) than using your personal mobile number.
Here are the 7 reasons you should consider, when thinking about using your personal mobile number as your business number.
1. You are exposed and vulnerable
Your personal information is under constant threat from hackers, scammers, and pranksters, and everything you put out into the world risks being used the wrong way by the wrong kind of people.With so much risk out there, why would you want to expose yourself to more by advertising your personal number?
Keeping your personal mobile number private will become increasingky more important to you especially as SMS and Spam calls start to increase.
Simply having a second number and keeping your personal number out of the spotlight will significantly decrease the chances hackers target you. This will preserve the safety of your personal data without affecting mobility and convenience.
If you choose a virtual number, any calls to that number will be forwarded to your chosen devices, meaning you only need to have 1 phone on you. A potential cybercriminal cannot target you directly (only the business number is publicly available). Therefore, any threat will be directed at the servers of your virtual service provider, and these providers are much more equipped to deal with such attacks than either the average citizen or company.
2. You can´t avoid robocalls
If you use your personal number a lot, chances are you’ve had the infuriating experience of dealing with automated calls.
This isn’t unusual. According to Consumer Reports, 3 out of 10 phone calls in the U.S. are pre-recorded marketing messages. Each month the FTC and FCC receive more than 150,000 complaints attributed to robocalls. Live marketing calls are a point of lesser concern, but they also do exist.
For small business owners, the impact of spam calls can severely drag revenue down. Automated calls will clog your line and nullify your accessibility to customers.
By deploying an automated attendant. Instead of ringing you directly, a robocall will reach a voice menu and get stuck until it times out. Virtual phone systems use cloud technology that allows you to tailor every parameter specifically to your business. This allows you to set up black lists to automatically drop certain calls and to use multiple inbound lines for your virtual number, so if one is blocked, customers can still get through.
3. You are bound to your number
Your phone number is a big part of your life, and most hesitate to change it unless they have to.
Many services ask for your phone number during the registration process, so you may even need it to have access to some things. Mobile numbers are used for two-factor authentication by online banking and digital currency services too, making it even more inconvenient to change your number.
This connection to your number is even worse for business owners. Once it’s widely distributed in marketing, changing it renders previous campaigns useless. That means wasted money and old printed materials in the trash.
Imagine a customer calling an old and inactive number and getting nothing – don’t you think they’d be ticked off, or at least confused? If you tried to call a business and discovered the number had been disconnected, how hard would you hunt for the new one? Probably not very.
If you’re using your personal number for business and decide to change it for any reason, you’re opening up Pandora’s Box.
The best way to prevent this problem is to use different numbers for business and private affairs. Opting for a virtual business number will save you a lot of trouble if you‘re forced to switch mobile carriers/numbers. Once you have a virtual phone number, it stays with you, so the inconvenience of switching mobile carriers or numbers is limited to your private affairs.
4. Your communication capabilities are severely limited
If you’re thinking, “My mobile number will do for now. I’ll come up with something more professional later if the budget allows,” then you’re falling into a trap.
If the time comes to increase your call-processing capability (like adding features designed for business use), you may find it difficult to do with your current phone number.
It may also be too late to switch to a professional solution—if your business is on the rise, the worst thing you can do is change your contact info.
You have basically backed yourself in to a corner.
Cloud phone services are renowned for their flexibility and scalability. You can start with a Virtual Phone Number and a cheap plan with basic features and adjust appropriately. With an advanced virtual phone system you should only pay for what you need.
5. It’s impossible to control employee-customer interaction
If your employees use their personal numbers to deal with customers, you are willingly giving up control over that part of your business. It’s important to keep track of all of your company’s business activities: logistics, sales, customer service, etc. When clients interact with your company through employees’ personal numbers, you don’t know how often and when your employees speak to your customers, how they handle conversations, and what they fail to do.
Even if you wholeheartedly trust your employees, giving them free reign curbs your ability to help and opens up possibilities for your employees to lose customers through ineffectiveness or deceit.
The situation becomes even worse if they leave your employ as the only direct contact youtr customers have with you is via your ex-employees mobile phone.
Any decent virtual phone system solves this problem with ease. All your company’s business interactions are conducted within a consistent communication environment, which gives you full awareness of what’s going on.
You can record calls, monitor detailed call statistics per employee, and much more. With the ability to add Dircet Dial virtual numbers, customers can even still reach particular employees directly, and if tthgey leave you simply re-direcct the calls.
6. It compromises privacy and disrupts work-life balance
Being too accessible to your clients is a real thing. It’s perfectly fine to be able to answer calls promptly during business hours, but customers shouldn’t be able to reach you whenever they want. Entrepreneurs work hard, but you’re entitled to having some sort of a work-life balance.
One of the core ideas behind a business phone number is preserving privacy without compromising accessibility. This idea is mainly embodied through intelligent call routing. You can easily configure the system to forward calls to you and your employees depending on the time, day of the week, and the caller’s number.
You can set the system to forward calls to your cellphone during business hours and to direct calls to voicemail after hours. You can also include a VIP list, allowing for certain people to call you anytime.
7. It puts you in a bottleneck
There are times when you might, lose your phone, leave it at home or worse still have it stolen.In all cases your number one means of communication is lost, and in the case of getting a replacemnet phone and SIM this could be for days.
When you utilise a virtual phone number it is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year and can be forwarded to literally anywhere, even multiple people with just a few clicks. So if your existing phone is inaccessible, simply pull out the spare and make and receive calls on this until you recover the situation.
In a nutshell
Personal numbers aren’t meant for business; they’re inconvenient, inefficient, and potentially damaging.
You can carry two separate mobile phones, try your mobile carrier’s “business” options, or use a virtual phone system to combat this.
Each option has its pluses and minuses, but a separate business number and virtual phone system is the most balanced solution in terms of affordability, convenience, and security. It will effectively protect your personal data from scammers, preserve your work-life balance, and improve your accessibility. What’s more, it will make your company sound professional to potential customers at all times.