So, you’ve decided to create your own small business. Sitting down for the first time to flesh out what exactly you will need (and figuring out what you won’t be needing) can be a daunting task, once you realize every little thing that you’ll have to start paying attention to. Where to work, how long to work, how to pay for it- all of these are sure to take up plenty of planning sessions.
As a result, it is easy to overlook some things or to try to find the quickest path to solving the next issue, if only just so that you can check it off your list. One of those things might be the decision of whether or not to get a new phone number for your business. “After all,” you say to yourself in the midst of a thousand other decisions, “I already have a phone number, and I don’t need any more complexity!”
But what if a second number could actually reduce complexity and make your life even more simple? Millions of small business owners across Canada elect to do just that—namely, get a second phone number for their small business—because they realize that it increases their personal flexibility, can save them time, increases professionalism, eases organization and, as previously said, cuts down on complexity and unnecessary frustration.
Here, we’ll be going through the reasons why a separate phone number can help your small business grow, in both expected and unexpected ways.
In starting a small business, one of the first things you are going to realize is how important it is to be organized. For your own personal sanity, the sanity of your employees, and in order to make sure not to cross any of the seemingly limitless red tape relating to government regulations and taxes, you simply cannot run a small business in a haphazard, unclear way.
Now, the organization does not just mean keeping your papers in order- it also means keeping your life in order. Including how you are contacted and how you contact your (potential) clients and customers. This is particularly important, both for callers and the called (you). For example, if you decide to use a single number for both business and pleasure, you are never going to know why someone is calling you. Is a 9 PM call an urgent call from a customer, trying to inquire about an order? Or is it your neighbor who just wants to talk for the next hour? The former you may want to pick up, the latter, not so much.
Plus, using one number means using one voicemail box, which means all callers will essentially be calling your business, which could get annoying. It could also clog up your voicemail, making it far less likely that you will be able to focus on business callers.
On top of all this, going with a second number (so long as that number is a VoIP, or online, number) means that you can organize your life in other ways. Companies like MightyCall allow you to do a lot more than just make a receive calls. MightyCall’s online web panel is a smorgasbord of content. It’s a place where you can view call history (and call/usage statistics, including for individual employees), leave detailed comments about various customers, integrate and organize social media messages, keep a contact book, and more. The centrality allowed for by the web panel is absolutely critical for being able to fully organize your business in a twenty-first-century manner and can peel away hours of time spent organizing. Plus, it can save you real money- no more needing to buy this planner and that folder. Keep it all in one online and secure place.
Another critical element of organization which is allowed by the use of a second online phone number is the so-called “call tree.” Essentially, a call tree enables you to plan out the route which incoming calls will go. So for example, during office hours, a non-blacklisted VIP caller will go to X Employee, while a non-blacklisted VIP caller will go to, say an auto attendant or a call queue. These call trees enable you to have the maximum amount of organization possible- which means the most control over your own small business.
Sure beats managing one single telephone number off of one single phone.
We alluded to this in the last section, but flexibility is key for any small business. Unexpected hiccups may come up, the economy could shift, and employees may come in and out of your company. It is important to be able to keep up with all of those sudden changes and to be able to go with the flow.
A second number dramatically helps in accomplishing that goal. When you look into getting another number, especially an online number, it means that you have are trying to afford yourself maximum flexibility. There are so many situations in which a second number can help your small business bend a bit more than it normally would be able to. For example, a particularly brutal storm leaves everyone snowed in- including your employees. Now they cannot drive to work, but it’s an important week, and you really can’t afford to lose them for a day or however long it takes to clear the snow. In the past, you wouldn’t have any other options- they’re staying home, and you are not going to be getting any help from them. Now when an employee has to work from home? With a second online number (especially one like MightyCall, which includes unlimited extensions- which essentially means every employee can have their own extension), it is no problem whatsoever. All they have to do is log on to an internet-connected device which has a working or plug-in microphone and speakers and bam, they’re alive and working, able to do from anything customer service-wise that they could do from the office.
This work-from-home benefit also allows for other, more twenty-first-century business options. For example, if your small business is on the smaller side—say, less than five employees—then you might not want to spend big bucks on rent for a permanent office space. However, if your house is not big enough for office space, or if you simply want to keep personal space separate from business space, then you can’t just move your business home. With a second number or with a second number plus extensions, employees can work from where ever they need to work from. You can all meet in your local coffeehouse when meetings are necessary, or you can try coworking spaces, places where you can rent space for short periods of time, like hours or days. A second number allows for all of this flexibility.
Let’s face it: the odds of gaining new customers greatly depends upon how professional your small business looks. You could have the best services in town, but unless you run a truly amazing marketing campaign, if you look unprofessional at first glance, people are going to pass you by- which means that they will not end up buying any of your services.
Looking professional is the reason why people wear nice clothes to work in. It’s the reason why people hand out business cards instead of scratching numbers down on random bits of paper. It’s why employees do not throw their legs up on their desks while talking to clients.
Do any of these things affect how well your business operates? No. Do they affect how well your employees can do their work? No (in fact, working in a suit on a hot day probably decreases work, rather than increases). But does it present an image which is appealing to a customer?
And this is where the importance of a second number comes in. Someone who hands out their personal number to prospective clients lends the image of someone who works out of their garage (and yes, everyone knows that Bill Gates started in his garage, but most people aren’t Bill Gates). You may think that it comes across as a very personal gesture, but in reality, most people will be looking for a business number. By being able to hand someone a business card with both your business and personal cell phone, however, you come across as far more serious and professional.
Previously mentioned aspects of professionality are also important, such as voicemails. When calling a business, people expect a business voicemail, to explain hours of operation and the like. A second phone number allows a clear separation of personal from business, upping the professionality. In addition, many online number services, like the aforementioned MightyCall, enable you to access other incredible services, which are sure to put your business above others.
One of these, the auto attendant, allows customers to pick and choose which options they would like to take when calling. This enables smaller businesses with fewer employees to be able to handle larger call volumes, especially since oftentimes customers are calling for questions which can easily be answered by an auto-attendant (opening hours, things in stock, etc., etc.). With MightyCall’s auto attendant, you are able to customize each individual aspect of it, so instead of hearing a slow, dull robotic voice, callers will be hearing a human being (you can make a record of your own voice) or, when waiting to speak to one of your employees (or yourself!), they will be able to hear music or other sound files you have uploaded.
When all of this is added up, it is clear, plain as day, that when it comes to looking professional, a second number is a key to success.
In the modern age, a business simply cannot get by with one single telephone number anymore. For your own sanity, as well as for the benefit of your business, your employees, and your potential clients, getting a second number is essential. A second number for your business can improve your organizational abilities, increase business flexibility, and dramatically up your professionalism. Plus, when you go with an online number VoIP service like MightyCall, all three of those benefits grow dramatically, because your second number will be accompanied by all sorts of incredibly useful features, from unlimited extensions to an auto attendant to an integrated contact book to integrated social media (and far, far more).
Bring your business up to the next level tomorrow by getting a second number with MightyCall today