Katy ratican headshot b w april 2021
Written by
Katy Ratican
29 Mar 2023
11 minutes

A work phone number can change your life. Yes, really.

Not convinced that your life would be better with a dedicated work phone number? This guide will convert you.
Work phone number

Many small business owners and freelancers don’t always think of the need for a separate work phone number. While focusing on their products, customers and revenue, they forget one of the most important aspects of any successful business – a communication system. At the core of that system is a work phone number.

In this guide, we will understand what is required from a work phone number, why you need one, how it can change your life, the different options available in the market and how to get you started with the right work phone number today.


What is a work phone number for your mobile?
Why get a work phone number?

9 reasons why a separate work phone number can change your life for the better

How do you actually get a work phone number?

What is a virtual phone number?

Using Chalkboard for your work phone number

What is an eSIM?

Features needed for a work phone number

Get started with Chalkboard as your work phone number

What is a work phone number for your mobile?

Business owners usually associate work phone numbers with landlines. These traditional phones are linked to a device and rooted in a location. For a small business, a landline wouldn’t be just part of its infrastructure. It would be part of its routine. Therefore, there’s little incentive to look beyond or change it. A work phone number for your mobile is a different matter.

Here’s why:

Exclusively for work. A work phone number is a dedicated number for all business-related calls, messages and multi-media communication.

More than a number. We’re not discussing merely a work phone number. We’re talking about a work phone number for mobile. This number would work along with your existing personal number. Moreover, it isn’t just a number. The right business phone will give you a mobile, flexible, remote-friendly and agile communication system.

Multiple options. You have limited options if you get a work phone from a landline or mobile operator. But if you consider a work phone number for mobile, you get to choose between local numbers, toll-free numbers and vanity numbers. Each of these can serve the specific needs of a business.

Why get a work phone number?

It’s natural to wonder why you would need to get a work phone number. After all, you have probably been doing business quite successfully using your current number. But here’s why every business owner needs a dedicated number for work.

Work-life balance

Without a separate work phone number, you will be forced to use the same number for business and personal calls and messages. This destroys your work-life balance. Even if you have never used that phrase, you will have felt its side effects. Never-ending calls, the inability to figure out which is work-related, missed messages and intrusion on family time, just to mention a few.

With a work phone number, you can separate not just your communication but importantly, earmark your time. You can set work hours or use auto-reply to handle business calls during non-office hours. You can use other features to direct those calls to your team members. In short, you can achieve a work-life balance.


A personal number certainly makes it possible for your customers to reach you. But a business phone number makes you look professional. That’s because all professional organisations – business or otherwise – have dedicated phone numbers.

Regular customers may understand if you don’t take the call but to a potential client, that could signal unprofessionalism. A dedicated number for work makes it easy for leads to reach you. It also makes it easy to respond when you’re unavailable to take calls.

Opportunity cost

A traditional landline or mobile phone number, while useful, has its limitations. But you may be so used to your number that you won’t realise the opportunity cost. That’s the loss of benefits you suffer when you don’t explore other opportunities.

Without a work phone number, you won’t:

And you won’t be aware of what you’re missing out on.

In this case, an advanced work phone number. It allows you to use advanced features to find new customers, build relationships and grow your revenue.

9 reasons why a separate work phone number can change your life for the better

Choosing the right business phone number will help to grow your business and significantly improve your life in the following ways.

1. Identify calls

With a work phone number, you don’t have to share your private number with customers, prospects or on social media platforms and websites. You can safely presume that any call or message coming to that number will be related to your work.

2. Protect your personal number

The more you allow your private number to circulate, the more spam calls and messages you will get. Remember that spammers and hackers can gain more information about you and your family just through your phone number.

3. Organise contacts

When you use the same number for work and personal calls, contact information and messages will get mixed up. A work phone number will allow you to organise your contacts separately and lists will make it easier to search for them at a later date.

4. Set business hours

If it’s your personal mobile number, you’re always expected to take the call. But you can set a customised voicemail greeting message on your work phone number that states your business hours. You can request the caller to leave a message or contact you through other means. With Chalkboard's working hours feature, you can ensure you don't get messages and calls when you're not working.

5. Screen incoming calls

By setting up call screening, you can choose to either answer the call or leave it for auto-attendant. This is how you make your business seem professional. While the conversation may not happen, the customer will know what to do next.

6. Forward calls

When multiple calls come in quick succession or when you’re too busy to answer a call, you will be able to use call forwarding to divert the call to your team members. This will help you focus on your task while ensuring that the call gets answered.

7. Customised greetings

Creating a personalised greeting for your business on your private number will seem odd to your personal contacts. On a work phone number, you can set up a customised greeting that introduces your business, its latest products, offers and sales or give information about your business hours.

8. Set auto-reply

If you’re driving, in a meeting or spending time with your loved ones, you can set an auto-reply for missed calls. The work phone number will send a pre-written message explaining why you can’t take the call and direct the caller to contact others if it’s an urgent issue.

9. Spend uninterrupted time with family

By using working hours, auto-attendant, auto-reply, caller ID and call forwarding, you can spend time with your family without being interrupted by work-related calls. This goes a long way in helping you gain a greater work-life balance.

How do you actually get a work phone number?

While there are several ways to get a work phone number, business owners usually prefer either a virtual number or a virtual SIM. While both sound similar, they run on different technologies and have different functionalities.

What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual number runs on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology and uses the internet for calls and messages. Unlike a traditional landline PBX (Private Branch Exchange), there is no physical network involved and you don’t have to buy an additional device or hardware.

You can download a virtual number app from a provider and use it on any connected device. The number isn’t linked to a device or location and can be used from any place with an internet connection. This makes virtual phone numbers the preferred option for remote and hybrid teams and businesses with employees who frequently travel.

Virtual phone numbers are highly cost-effective not just because you don’t have to buy a new smartphone. The call charges are also low, especially for international and long-distance calls. They also come with tools to centralise your business communication, find new markets and grow your revenue.

Using Chalkboard for your work phone number

Chalkboard isn’t designed for large enterprises or companies with offices on multiple continents. It’s built for small businesses, startups and freelancers. It’s easy to set up and use. It’s affordable. It has everything you need to find customers, market your products and grow your bottom line.

By downloading Chalkboard to your smartphone, you get your new work phone number. There’s no need to buy a phone or SIM. You get number-sharing that enables multiple employees to use the same number. You get a group broadcast function to send messages to groups of customers.

You can share multi-media messages with your customers and use advanced chat to deepen customer relations. With auto-reply, you can respond to missed calls without compromising on your non-business hours. You can get all these at an affordable monthly subscription plan without complex and binding contracts.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM or virtual SIM is a SIM that comes embedded in a smartphone. A smartphone with an eSIM facility doesn’t require a physical SIM to be operational. But the phones that do support eSIM currently also support physical SIM cards.

In other words, you can use your existing number through your physical SIM and opt for a work phone number through the eSIM. Not every network supports eSIM but the rate of adoption is steadily increasing.

If you plan to use an eSIM as your work phone number, it’s important to note that you can’t remove the SIM from the phone. You’re limited to that specific device and your number can’t be used from other connected devices.

Features needed for a work phone number

Since you will be using it for business, your work phone number needs to have the following features:

Ease of setup and use: You should be able to get started without the help of technicians or having to wait around for your number to be activated.

Contact import and organisation: Nobody wants to manually add their contacts. Your work phone number should enable you to easily import and separate your work and personal contacts.

Number-sharing: By empowering employees to share numbers, you will save on expenses, improve your response times and give seamless access to your customers.

Business texting: With features such as group broadcast and enhanced messaging, you can significantly reduce your marketing costs while improving efficiency.

Multimedia messaging: The ability to share images and videos with your customers will be an added advantage.

Affordability: Your work phone number should have affordable and feature-rich plans that suit businesses like yours.

Auto-reply: By sending pre-written messages to calls you might miss, you can keep potential customers interested in your business.

Voicemail: Customised voicemail and the ability to easily retrieve it will save you time.

Ease of exit: Even with the best of plans, some work phone numbers can lock you into long and complex contracts. What you want is an easy-to-exit agreement.

Trial period: This will help you try out the product and get feedback from your team.

Customer support: You should have dedicated customer support to address and fix your problems.

Get started with Chalkboard as your work phone number

Chalkboard has been built to be the work phone number for ambitious modern businesses. It’s quick to set up, easy to use and highly affordable. You can import your contact lists and separate them into work and personal connections.

This second line for work allows you to schedule messages, activate auto-reply, use broadcast SMS, set business hours and use advanced texting to add greater power to your marketing and customer service.

Chalkboard: The work phone number designed for small businesses with big plans.

Add team numbers to any phone
Keep work separate, personal numbers private, and share calls and texts with your team 🚀
Wedding Shop

Continue reading

Help & advice
18 minutes

There are a number of options when choosing a business phone number. Which will best serve your business? It’s time to take your business to the next level

Help & advice
16 minutes

An in-depth guide for business owners looking for more information about virtual phone numbers