In the early stages of starting a local business, many owners never give much thought to getting a second phone number. That’s understandable, because you're mostly focused on getting more business and on your day-to-day operations. But getting a second phone number for your business could be a smart decision for both your professional and personal lives.
Many people have a romanticised image of a local business owner. They believe it’s someone rooted in the community, serving its customers, always adding a personal touch to what they do. But what most people don’t notice is that being an independent business owner is one of the toughest jobs out there.
As a local business owner or manager, you’re the chief executive, chief operating officer, head of sales, head of marketing, customer relations chief and supply chain officer, just to name a few. While it’s exceptionally fulfilling to wear all these hats, it can slowly but steadily ensure that your professional and personal lives blend into each other.
You could be watching a match and suddenly get a call from your vendor. You could be out for a walk and have to quickly reply to a customer’s grievance. You’re supposed to be always available. But always being available on the same number isn’t a sign of a professional business.
While there are several reasons for a business to set up a second phone number, the most important one is this: with a second phone number, your business will appear more professional.
Your vendors, distributors and team members shouldn’t be clubbed together with your family and friends on your personal number. They need to be separate and well-organised, which is what a second phone number allows you to do.
It makes it exceptionally easy to search for not just their contact information but also the call and communication history.
“I’m at dinner, let me call you back” isn’t a professional response. That’s exactly what you’ll be forced to do if you use the same number for business and personal communication. But with a second phone number, you can automate your responses.
You can direct your callers to voicemail or even better, send auto-reply texts.
If you’re like most local businesses, chances are that your business communication is spread across various apps. You may prefer to send SMS to some associates while using apps to talk to others. Sometimes you could communicate to the same individual through several such channels.
This means that your communication is scattered across platforms, making it difficult to cohesively collect them. A second phone number allows you to put everything together, which saves you time and effort.
You may not remember how long you’ve been giving out your personal number for business purposes. Through business cards, email signatures and website contact details, your personal phone number could be everywhere. This isn’t good news for your privacy.
That concern for privacy might discourage you from sharing your number – which isn’t good news for your business either. A second phone number is your solution. It guarantees privacy and ensures that your personal number stays private.
A second phone number can also be used to request online reviews. As a local business, you know the importance of reviews and you know how challenging it can be to individually ask or email customers.
But with a second phone number, you can send a text to request your clients or customers to leave an online review. The value-added services of a second phone number don’t end there. You can also manage all your reviews in one place with a business number. You would know at a glance who has responded to your requests and who has left favourable reviews.
A second phone number will make your business look more professional and go a long way in separating your professional and personal lives. But beyond those conveniences, you can also use its tools to stay organised, manage your online reputation and grow your business.