Your personal and business lives are two different things. They deserve to be handled differently, and that’s basically why you should stop using your personal phone for business.
But, many people (86% to be precise) are still using their personal phones for their small businesses. That looks all right at first, but the problems down the road are far too many to justify the practice.
Here are six solid reasons to stop using your private phone for business:
1. Difficult To Delegate
In case your business expands to the point where you can’t personally handle all the calls, it’d be difficult to delegate some customer handling responsibilities to your assistant. Who wants to share their personal phone with their coworkers? Certainly no one!
Your phone carries private information that no one else should access. No matter how much you trust your business partners and employees, you should never allow them to know everybody you chat with, the kind of photos you take or keep in your phone, your contacts and acquaintances, the sites you visit, and so forth.
The best approach is to have a virtual business phone number, such as a Second Phone Number, that can be used on different devices. Virtual here means that the telephone number isn’t associated with any SIM card, as is the case with conventional phone numbers.
You can obtain one from companies like Open Phone and share it with your employees. Each of them—it doesn’t matter how many they are—will be able to use the business number on their own mobile devices. This way, you can conveniently work in shifts to handle customers’ calls round the clock.
2. Eats Into Your Me Time
There are times when you should take a break from business issues and relax with friends and family. Have you ever received a business call in the middle of the night? It feels like an intentional intrusion of privacy, but you might be the one to blame.
Given that you provided the phone number on your business website or social media pages, customers expect to have their needs addressed whenever they call. And, since you’re dealing with customers from different time zones, what’s night to you may be daytime to them.
With a virtual business line, you can have your assistants attend to customers when you want some time off. Or, if you’re operating solo, you can configure the phone app to instruct callers to leave a voicemail message. Interestingly, you don’t have to replay voicemail messages in the traditional way. A good virtual line app should be able to forward transcripts of the voicemail messages directly to your email inbox.
3. Employees Can Defraud You
If you have employees and you’re still using your private phone line, chances are high that you also allow them to use their personal lines since it’s awkward to let them use your phone and you can’t be personally available throughout.
This is literally hanging by a thread. You see, your employees can do lots of things behind your back. You don’t know exactly who they talk to and what they discuss. And, you may never know whether they failed to make that important call, even though they’ll tell you outrightly they did. The employees you trust can get into shady deals with customers behind your back. Additionally, if they don’t handle conversations professionally, you risk losing your customers.
But, with a virtual phone system, you can automatically record calls and monitor call statistics for every employee. You can review these whenever you get the time to. That puts you in good control of your business, without making you look too bossy.
4. Exposes You To Cyber Threats
Putting out your personal information out there for every Tom, Dick, and Harry isn’t wise at all. There are people on the Internet who swear by living off other people’s sweat. They’ve mastered the art of hacking and can use whatever little information they have to rip you off your hard-earned money.
Advertising your private phone number on your business website and social media channels exposes you to cyber threats, like credit card fraud, phishing scams, ransomware, trojans, wiper attacks, intellectual property theft, and spyware.
When you purchase a virtual business number, you reduce the exposure of your private line to cyber threats. Additionally, virtual line providers have the knowledge and infrastructure to circumvent such attacks, far above what you can individually achieve.
5. Taints Your Professionalism
It may be difficult or impossible to configure the voicemail of your personal phone. Worse, still, due to the small capacity, customers may, again and again, find your inbox full. You can brush off such small things as inconsequential, but they speak a lot about you as a business person.
Customers may feel that you’re not ready to do business as you claim, and, therefore, move to your competitors. To avoid such, consider obtaining a dedicated business line. Make sure your provider allows you to fully customize your voicemail inbox with personalized greetings to the caller and brief instructions on how to proceed. That’s what customers like. And, when you please them, the cash that you dream of will soon come your way.
6. Limited Scalability
Suppose your business becomes successful and you start opening new branches. If you’re still using your personal phone number and you want to have branch-specific numbers, it may mean you purchase other phones, each with its own line. Frankly, you can’t exercise the necessary control over these phones.
But, with a virtual phone system, you can have as many business lines as you wish to without the need for extra SIM cards. And, you can link all these lines to your personal mobile device and monitor all that’s happening across your business empire.
In A Nutshell
Don’t limit your business from growth and success by operating it with your personal phone. The need to have a dedicated business line can’t be overemphasized, as detailed above. Hopefully, this is eye-opening enough to prompt you to make the switch ASAP.