Maintaining your personal life while running a business is always going to be a difficult balancing act. But it doesn't help is that 86 percent of small business owners are using their personal phone number for both business and private calls, according to one survey by GoDaddy.
If you're one of the many individuals running a business from your personal phone number, you could be in for some problems down the road.
Considering the power and capabilities of modern smartphones, the allure of running your business from your personal device is more than understandable. After all, it's not too hard to compartmentalize your work life and your out of office life on a smartphone with enough digital storage to store thousands of contacts, dozens of 4K movies, and more cat pictures than you can count.
Unfortunately, while your smartphone hardware may be more than capable of managing all of that and more, running your business through the same phone number that you use for personal activities can put a strain on your work-life balance, your company's reputation, your business' potential growth, and even your overall security.
Your Personal Life
Work-life balance has become a hot button issue for employees and managers around the world. Unfortunately, business owners and entrepreneurs don't enjoy perks like paid vacation time and after-work happy hours, because they're running the entire company. If you're one of these individuals, work life balance needs to be a cognitive priority. Otherwise, you could end up overworking yourself and burning out before you've even gotten started.
“Without a separate number, answering your phone becomes a burden, because you have no context for what that call is going to be,” said Daryna Kulya, cofounder of OpenPhone, an app that allows users to set up a business number on their personal device, in an interview with Tech.co. “Is it a prospective customer or is it your bank?”
Separating your personal phone number from your business phone number will provide that primary barrier to working when you shouldn't, because you'll be able to disable one without disabling the other. So when you're on vacation, you'll be able to focus on relaxing rather than wondering if the next call is a potential customer.
Getting a business number for your company isn't just a good idea for your personal life. Because your business needs to be reachable by your customers, having a business line that they can actually find and call on a regular basis is a very important aspect of running a business.
“A company that makes it easy to call and speak to a live person garners more trust than one operating solely online. It’s nice to know that there are real people standing behind the company’s products and services. Having a phone number helps you build trust in the era of anonymity.”
While calling a business might seem a bit outdated, most consumers are still taking part in the age old tradition. According to a recent study, 60% of consumers have communicated with a business through phone in the last year, making it one of the primary means by which consumers communicate with businesses. Additionally, 70% of mobile searchers have used click-to-call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page, stating that they prefer calling because of the quick answers and human responses.
Growth is one of the most important metrics to measure the success of a company, which means you should always be striving to accomplish more. However, if the founder and CEO of a growing company is still taking business calls through their personal number, you're going to have a problem down the line, particularly because consumers are looking for more creative ways to reach out to businesses.
According to another recent study, 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses. While this kind of technology is far from the norm right now, being able to do so when the time comes is vital to staying competitive. And if you're still running your business from your personal number, keeping track of all those texts is going to be pretty difficult as you scale.
Your Overall Security
At this point in history, caring about cybersecurity is more necessary than ever, particularly in the business world. With security breaches and phishing attacks becoming part of everyday life, the best way to protect yourself is to try to keep your business processes away from the frivolity of your personal experience online.
If you think online security stops at your passwords and laptops, you couldn't be more wrong, as a recent study found that nearly 50% of US mobile traffic will be scam calls in the near future.
Co-founder of OpenPhone Daryna Kulya pointed out:
“You rely on your phone to run your business, but when you put it online, half the calls you get are going to be for a malicious reason.”
This means that the line between who needs your personal information for legitimate reasons and who wants it to steal your identity is getting blurrier every day. Separating your business phone number from your personal phone number can add another layer of security to your business and personal life.
Here at Tech.co we've written a number of guides to help small businesses owners find the best phone setup for them. Perhaps you can deal with the negative side effects of using your personal number for business, for now. But when you're ready to take the next step, and start comparing the latest and greatest business phone systems, we've got you covered. We'll match your requirements to leading business phone providers, and help you to compare personalized price quotes for your needs, whether your company is as small as 5 employees or as big as 5000 daily phone users.