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Written by
Katy Ratican
16 Aug 2021
3 minutes
What is an alternate phone number?
It pays to have an alternate phone number if you're an independent business owner or startup founder. Here's why and how to get one
What is alternate phone number?

Everyone knows professional emails require an official email address. And that official social media engagement needs a business page. Similarly, all your business calls and messages require a dedicated alternate phone number.

If you’re using your personal number for your business calls, you unfortunately may come across as unprofessional. That’s besides putting your privacy at risk. As more and more business owners are finding out, an alternate phone number is a good solution if you want your business to look professional.

What is an alternate phone number?

It’s a secondary phone number that you can dedicate to all your business calls. You can get an alternate phone number from your telecom provider. For that, you may have to buy a new device or opt for a smartphone that can accommodate two subscriber identity modules (SIMs). Another option that’s becoming increasingly popular is to get an alternate phone number through a second-line app.

How to get an alternate phone number

Telecom provider: You can ask your current carrier to provide you with another SIM. Since they already have your details, you may not have to provide additional documentation. But you would either need a dual-SIM phone or need to buy an additional device.

Google Voice: You can use it to link to your other numbers and importantly, choose to receive your calls on any of your devices. While the basic service is free, you will have to upgrade to the paid version to access all the value-added features.

Second-line apps: These give you an alternate phone number that you can share with your customers and clients. You can use any of your connected devices to make and receive calls. Importantly, you don’t need to buy a new smartphone or have a dual-SIM phone to use a second-line app. That saves you money and ensures that you can get started with an alternate number for work within a few minutes.

Why you should consider getting an alternate phone number

Separates your work and personal lives: One of the most important reasons to consider an alternate phone number is that you’ll finally be able to take a step closer to achieving that coveted work-life balance.

When you’re at home or out with your loved ones, you’ll be able to direct all business calls to your new number. In other words, you won’t have to ban any after-hours business calls. Even if you miss calls, with a second-line app, you can set up auto-text replies to respond to those.

Good for privacy: If you’re sharing your personal number with your customers, clients and in your marketing material, you’re increasing the odds of privacy violations. Sharing an alternate phone number, especially from a second-line app, for customer support or business lead generation ensures that your personal number doesn’t end up with spammers or in unscrupulous hands.

Customers feel valued: They hate it when they can’t reach you and that’s what will happen when you use the same number for business and personal communication. But with an alternate phone number, there are better chances of them finding either you or a relevant team member.

In short

An alternate phone number is proof that you don’t need advanced algorithms to improve your business operations. Streamlining your business calls and texts can go a long way in making life easier for you, your team – and even your family members.

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