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Written by
Katy Ratican
9 Jun 2021
8 minutes
Why set up a second phone number for business?
Why small business owners should have a second number from the same phone to separate their personal and business lives
Pexels ono kosuki 5647296 second phone number for business

You need a second phone number for work. Whether it’s a small business, a side project or a large-scale corporate job, you need to stay connected wherever you are.

However, you don’t want to share your personal, private number for work purposes. Soon enough, customers will be calling you outside of your working hours and clients might feel as though they can call you at the weekend. You could be at your child’s school play or out with your spouse for a nice dinner. Just when you’re ready to be present and enjoy the moment, your phone rings. It’s a client or customer of your local business. They needed to discuss something urgently and had to call you. It is on these occasions that you realise your need for a second phone number for your business is a high priority.

When you get a work call or text outside of business hours, you often can’t go back to what you were doing. The issue the call raised would be at the back of your mind until you get a chance to complete the task. Your personal time just became business hours. As a local business owner, you realise that you can’t just switch off.

But with a second phone number for business, you can.

If you are struggling to separate your work life from home, the good news is, technology has your back. Most modern smartphones can easily accommodate multiple phone numbers, allowing you to add a business line to your mobile phone, without having to buy another phone or any external hardware.

What is a second phone number for business?

As the name suggests, it’s a phone number that you can exclusively use for all your business calls and texts. That’s the number you can give out to customers and clients. Your website, Google My Business profile, social media pages, business cards and all other collateral will have that business phone number.

Here’s the most important thing to remember about your second number: you don’t need a second phone. You can use a phone line app on your phone and activate your business number.

Why local business owners might need a second phone number

All local and independent businesses need a second phone number for business. To begin with, it makes your operation look professional.

Also, as a local business owner, you may not have a personal assistant or an automated answering system to take care of your business when you’re busy. With a second phone number for business, you get that and several other benefits.

What is the purpose of a second phone line?

A second phone line can transform your business and how it operates. A virtual number for business can help to streamline communication and many second-line apps offer advanced features as standard. You can make calls and send instant messages on the go, or opt to use a variety of automation options that save time and valuable effort.

The advantages of a second phone number for business

Separation of work and personal lives

No matter what stage of growth your business is in, you need personal space to recover and recuperate from all the pressures of the office. You can’t efficiently do that if you’re always available for business calls and texts. With a single number, that’s exactly what you’ll end up doing.

With a business number, you can finally separate your work and personal time. You can now direct all calls to your voicemail on the second number. You’ll be undisturbed and able to spend meaningful time with your family and friends.

Privacy

If you use the same number for business and personal reasons, remember that you’re exposing your number to several unknown circles. Along with the expected spam, you’re also looking at privacy violations. There’s always the concern of people sharing your personal phone number without permission.

When you have a second phone number, you can easily share it with your clients or customers without worrying about your privacy. In fact, there are several ways in which you can use your business number to enhance your privacy.

Streamline communications

Second-line apps offer an array of features that are helpful to businesses. But the key to making the most of your second line is to learn how to use those features to best benefit your business. Devise a strict routine of enabling call forwarding when you leave the office, for example. Or create perfect business voicemail greetings depending on the circumstances.

Auto-reply text messages are a great way to not miss any opportunities that might usually occur from missing business calls. Auto-reply text messages mean that when you receive a text, your secondary number app will immediately reply with preset information. This is a great way to save time and it allows you to share information en masse about upcoming offers or sales.

Automation is key in any business; any chance you have to automate and streamline communications, you should take it.

Your best business friend: automation

It isn’t the monopoly of big businesses or multinational chains. You can also use the power of automation to make your professional life easier. This is another reason why you should consider getting a second phone line app instead of getting a new number from your provider.

After all, with two phones, you’re only doubling your problems. But a second number through an app gives you several opportunities to automate your business phone system.

Voicemail system: Not all calls need to be answered by you. Your voicemail system can add a layer whereby the caller will have to press a digit to get through to you. This is necessary as you expand your business and may not have adequate time to talk to all clients or customers.

When you use a second phone app, you’d also have the freedom to limit the number of calls that get forwarded to you.

Answering system: With an answering system that can greet your callers, you’ll make your phone system look completely professional. You can also direct calls through a voice menu and if need be, route them to the concerned team, such as customer service.

This frees you from the need to pick up the call especially if it’s an issue that can be resolved by somebody else.

If you are interested in setting up a business phone number but feel overwhelmed by the different types of telephone numbers and how they work, you’re not alone – it can be confusing to make a decision about which approach is right for you and your business.

Types of business phone numbers

There are a number of options available to small business owners who are looking to set up a new business phone number.

Local business phone numbers

Local business phones are arranged through telephone service providers. The number will start with your local area code and all calls will be made directly to your place of business.

Toll-free business phone numbers

Toll-free business numbers typically start with the 800 area code. These numbers allow clients to call you without paying any phone charges. Vanity numbers are also available for toll-free lines.

Premium rate numbers

These start with 09 and can cost the caller up to £3.60 a minute. Businesses often opt for using premium rate numbers when there is an incentive for the customer to call, for example, if you’re running a competition.

Mobile phone business numbers

Mobile phone business numbers are assigned to a mobile device, such as your personal phone. A business call can be made directly to the mobile number, or you can forward your local business calls directly to your phone.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the most popular choice for those looking to set up new business phone numbers. VoIP numbers are assigned to users in lieu of a phone line and unlike the traditional phone lines, these use your internet connection. Mobile phone business numbers are quickly becoming one of the preferred business number options for business owners, as they are simple to set up and are a less expensive option than many of the more traditional business phone number options.

Things to consider when setting up a second phone line for business

You need a second line that is going to work for you and your business. When considering a second phone line for work, here are some factors to consider:

  • Cost. Does the service you’re looking at justify the cost?
  • Additional features. What features do you need to succeed? Perhaps caller ID, auto-reply messages or voicemail.
  • Simple to use. You don’t want to waste valuable time setting up a second business line. You need a service that gets you up-and-running with a business number within minutes.
  • Domestic versus international. Do you need to make international calls?
  • Tech support. Does the service offer good quality support as and when you need help?

In short

You don’t run a local, independent business merely to grow professionally. You run it to improve your quality of life. By separating your professional and personal lives, by making your business look and feel more professional and by enhancing your privacy, that’s exactly what a second phone number for your business can give you.

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