Are you looking for a second number for business? It's really easy to get started with an extra phone number. You don't need two devices, you can simply add a second-line app to your current phone.
But not all second-line iPhone and Android apps are created equal – it's worth doing your research to find the best phone line for work on your smartphone.
These types of apps have plenty of advantages, which is why more and more individuals and businesses are considering using second phone number apps. If you’re a small business, startup, freelancer or sole trader thinking about getting a second number app, here’s everything you need to know about the best phone number apps in the UK.
It's simply a phone number that you can use for all your business calls and texts. Rather than give clients and customers your personal mobile number, you would share your second phone number. Thanks to working from home, the lines between work life and home life are more blurred than ever. A second phone number for business allows you better separate the two, without causing any negative impact on the day-to-day function of your business.
If you’re wondering why you should set up a second-line app for your business, the easiest answer is that it will save you time and help you organise your communication. Here are other reasons why your business needs a phone number app.
A second number for work: When you install a second number app, you get a number that you can use exclusively for work-related calls and messages. Your personal calls, messages and contacts won’t get mixed up with your professional communication.
Added privacy: If you use the same number for work and personal calls, you’re risking your privacy every time you share it. But with a second number, you can confidently share it and display it on your website or social media platforms.
Auto-reply to missed calls: You’ll never miss a business call again when you get a second phone number app. Outside office hours or during weekends, you can be with your family and set up auto-reply to missed calls. This is how you can achieve a better work-life balance.
Ease of use: With most phone number apps, you can download and get started in a few minutes. There’s no need to wait around for a provider to activate your number.
No device needed: Perhaps the biggest reason why business owners should consider getting a second-line app is that there’s no need to buy an additional phone. It can work on all your connected devices.
Absolutely! If anything, you need it more than many others. Why? Because a second phone number used exclusively for business shows that you mean, well, business! It gives your company a more professional look, which will encourage customers to use your services.
Running a small business has never been easy – and it's got even harder in recent years. As a small business owner, you're very unlikely to have a personal assistant or an automated answering system on hand to take care of your daily business calls when you’re otherwise occupied. With a second phone number for business, you get that, plus many other benefits that are super useful.
Startups, small businesses and freelancers should consider the following factors when choosing a second-line app.
You should go for a phone number app that delivers more than an additional number. For example, beyond calls and messages, find out if your second-line app will allow you to automate online review requests.
In a world where brands grow on the basis of their online reputation, this is a much-needed feature. If your second phone number app can create lists and further enhance customer interactions, it will save you time and help improve your customer engagement.
Keep in mind that too many features might make an app complex to operate – the number of features is not as important as their usefulness to your business.
Burner was initially rolled out as, well, a burner phone. You could use a number and then get it removed from service. But now the service also offers a permanent second phone number. The Burner number app enables you to get a temporary number quickly when you don’t want to share your personal phone number. This is certainly convenient, but if you're looking for a dedicated second number for work, it's likely not the right option.
One of the standout features of Burner is its easy integration with other software such as Evernote and Slack. You can also use SoundCloud to publicly or privately share your voicemails.
Integration with Slack and Evernote for greater collaboration
SoundCloud integration for sharing voicemails
Too many notifications
Seven-day trial with no free option
Unlike the Burner number app, Chalkboard is for long-term business growth. It’s an advanced second number for work that you can download and use within minutes. Plus, it has some awesome automated marketing features that can really help your business grow.
You can choose your own number (UK mobile or US local). It will allow you to separate your work and personal lives by sharing a dedicated number with your clients and customers.
What makes Chalkboard particularly compelling for small businesses and startups are the lists and review features. Now you can categorise contacts into lists and automate online review requests. Importantly, Chalkboard’s simple subscription plans include fees for all calls and messages. You won’t have to pay per call or message separately.
Advanced auto-reply feature
Automated review requests
Freedom to choose your number (US)
Not currently available globally
Free trial, after which you get to choose from reasonably-priced subscription plans
With a Google account, you can get a second phone number from Google Voice. It has voicemail, messaging and calling that you can use on any of your connected devices. You can also personalise the settings to forward calls, texts and voicemail.
Google Voice also allows you to block chosen numbers and filter out spam. You can also store your communication, which is beneficial for small businesses.
Easy to set up
It can filter spam and block selected numbers
Only works in the US for personal Google accounts and G Suite in other markets
Doesn’t support texting in several markets
Unreliable and slow customer support
Limitations with number porting from Google Voice
No auto-reply – business owners would have to type out each reply individually
No group broadcasts – you can’t broadcast messages to groups of contacts.
International calls depend on market rates
Hushed offers several features including voicemail, encrypted messaging and calling. It also lets you add as many numbers as you like. The number you choose will expire depending on the plan you have. It is one of the first second phone number apps to accept Bitcoin.
You can add as many numbers as you would like
Flexible plans with special offers for student
Complex for the regular small business
You may not need it unless you’re specifically looking for burner numbers
Plans start at £1.45 per week
Sideline allows you to use your existing mobile service provider’s voice calling and messaging minutes once you opt for the service. You can also port your existing number to Sideline which ensures continuity for business conversations.
The app comes with texting, calling and voicemail features and has a seven-day free trial period.
Allows you to port your current number
You can use your current voice and messaging minutes
Primarily for the US market
Expensive after the free trial period
Doesn’t have smart business features – nor are all features available on all plans
No analytics tools are available to help your business learn and grow
Does not integrate with third-party apps
Customer report on complicated subscription plans
£7.25 to £11.25 per month
For customers in the US, 2Number allows you to keep your international number. You can also add SMS and minutes to your 2Number account. The in-app currency is also a cheaper option to call international numbers. You can also set business hours and direct calls outside that period to go to your voicemail.
You can make calls to 25 countries
You can set business hours to route calls to voicemail outside of it
Most features are for the US market
Currently only for iOS
Expensive when compared to others
Plans start at £8 per week
If you run a business, whether individually or with a small team, you need to focus on your important tasks. These are what will help to generate revenue and result in more clients and customers. By organising your business communication with a second phone number app, that’s exactly what you’ll get to do.
A second phone line for work is one of the most effective ways of making the most of the resources available to you.