Many small business owners use their personal phone numbers for business. If you're one of them, youre not alone.
It might seem harmless when youre first starting out, but soon after youll experience the painful side effects of this which can last for years and years, even after youve moved on from your business.
I want to share lessons learned and hopefully save you some pain from falling down this path.
When you use your personal phone number for business, your number will start being shown all over the internet. Listing your business on Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, etc? Your number will be there for years and years, and unfortunately there are so many scammers out there trolling for these numbers to spam call you and spam text you.
When I used my personal number for business I ended up getting 30+ spam calls per day! Even registering with the National Do Not Call List and blocking these calls, these scammers end up changing numbers and blasting me with calls anyways.
I eventually stopped answering any unknown numbers. This impacted my business and personal life. When I moved to the next chapter after my business I ended up contacting all these sites to remove my information but till this day I still receive these spam calls and texts.
Since business doesnt sleep and your personal phone is also your business phone, you will receive late night calls interrupting your personal time, texts on your personal number from strangers, and never knowing whether a call is for business or personal.
A call from your bank or your childs school looks the same as a call from a potential customer. Its tough to know how to respond or whether you should respond at all. Have you ever received a call while standing in line at a noisy coffee shop and wondered if you should walk outside to take it?
As mentioned earlier, since your personal phone number is used as your business number you want to make sure your number is listed in the internet to get more customers.
This greatly increases your chances for identity theft. I remember filing my taxes one year and all of the sudden the IRS wasnt accepting it. Apparently someone had already submitted my taxes! Turns out someone had stolen my identity.
This was a huge pain, I had to call the IRS and resolve the issue. I also had to change everything - bank accounts, credit cards, etc. I felt violated and was worried that these people would have access to my life and accounts.
Eventually all of this was resolved, but all of this pain could have been avoided by not using my personal phone number for business.
Imagine potential customers calling your business and your voicemail is full or not set up at all. These are new customers and money just lost.
There are studies that have been done that show you only have seven seconds to make a first impression. It is critical to make a great first impression with potential customers who are calling in.
You work hard to get new customers, dont let something as small as what phone you use hinder the growth and reputation of your business.
As your business grows, so will the amount of calls your business will receive. Eventually you will need more team members to help answer the phone. This doesnt work when your personal phone is also your business phone.
You could forward your calls to a new business line, but then all calls both personal and business will be going to your business line. Its a mess that can be avoided
What we recommend is setting up a business phone. It's a pain to carry 2 phones around all the time, but whats great is there are services out there that allow you to have a business phone on your existing cell phone.
Riser is a great service that solves all these problems and separates work and personal calls easily with two numbers on the same phone.