If you’re operating from a static location rather than being on the go constantly like a plumber would be, you may benefit from having a permanent telephone line installed at your place of business, whether that is your spare bedroom at home or purpose built offices.
Your customers will want to be able to call you for a number of reasons; to place orders, to have questions answered, to pay invoices etc, so it is important that they can do so. If you give customers your personal number, it is convenient for them to be able to call you 24 / 7, but you must think about;
1. Would it be professional enough for your type of business – it could be fine for a babysitting business, but would it be so good for a financial advisor?
2. Would you want somebody calling you at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night?
3. Does your business need to appear bigger than it actually is, if so, would you benefit from a national 08** number rather than the standard local 01 / 02 or mobile 07 numbers?
4. Do you need to keep the costs of your business calls separate from your personal calls for accounting and tax purposes?
Even if your business involves you being on the go all day, you may wish to have a landline set up and activate call diverting to your mobile which gives off the professional image without your customers knowing that you’re not in your office / workshop / store.
If you decide to go ahead with purchasing an additional telephone line for your business, the next step is to think about how it will be set up and what type of number you would like.
The two main options you should consider when choosing a number are;
A local number – This would be similar to your residential number, usually beginning with 01 or 02. There would be no cost to you when receiving calls, and if your business operates just in the local area, it would give the impression that you are committed to serving the local area,
A national non-geographic number – Number such as 0845, 0800 and 090 give the impression that your business is large and is operating nationally which could be good for businesses such as consultants, accountants and computer sales. This option also allows you to swallow some of the cost of your customer’s calls, for example; if you have a 0845 number you will pay around 3 – 4p per minute, meaning that your callers only pay around 6 – 8p per minute. You should consider this type of number or a free phone number for sales lines in particular, as a cheaper call may entice customers to buy from you