Entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing to operate their businesses at home. The reasons behind this trend include decreased costs, increased convenience and expanded autonomy. Now in 2020, the need for social distancing can also be added to that list.
As an at-home business owner, you face many decisions on the best way to run your company.
Toll-Free Numbers for Small Business
One smart choice that any business owner should consider is getting a toll-free number. This allows your customers to reach you without being charged for the call. If you are still on the fence about whether this is a good option for you, consider the following benefits.
Appears More Professional
When you run a business out of your home, you don’t want to give the wrong impression. Looking professional is critical for any successful company, and asking clients to call your home or personal cell phone creates the look of an amateur operation.
Conversely, having a toll-free number associated with your business helps your company project a more professional look. This can increase your credibility as a legitimate organization and help ensure that potential clients take you seriously.
Protects Your Privacy
Owning your own business should not mean that you have to forfeit your privacy. When you first launch a company, using a personal number can be a setup for an uncomfortable situation in the future.
As your company expands, the number of clients able to call your personal phone increases as well. If you use your phone number in advertisements, the problem becomes even more serious. Anyone with access to the internet can now access your personal contact information.
A toll-free number for business eliminates this issue. It helps you keep your personal information private while allowing you to share your company number freely.
Helps Maintain the Proper Work/Life Balance
One of the drawbacks of running your own business is that the line between your work life and home life can get blurred. It’s especially easy to let work obligations infringe on your personal life, and if you have one phone number for both purposes, the risk of this happening increases.
Having a toll-free number for your business allows you to turn off your work phone at the end of business hours and direct your client calls to voicemail or an answering service. Thus, your business image is enhanced while your personal life is protected from interruptions.
Increases Customer Satisfaction
If you are still using your personal number for business calls, you might be hesitant to freely post it on the internet. If this is the case, you are creating an impediment for potential clients who might want to reach you. There is nothing more frustrating than discovering a company with which you want to do business, only to discover that no phone number is listed. Having a toll-free number to advertise helps ensure that potential client connections are not unnecessarily hampered.
A toll-free number can also increase the satisfaction of your existing customers. People like to know that they have a reliable number to call in case they have questions or issues in the future. This type of guaranteed access to the company should increase their comfort and trust, and in turn, their loyalty to your business.
Another advantage of having a toll-free business line is increased flexibility for both you and the client. It allows your business to screen each call and decide whether to answer it or send it to voicemail. Additionally, most toll-free numbers can be configured to ring on multiple phones at once. If you have more than one person answering calls for your company, whoever is available will be able to answer the call. Customers won’t have to try multiple numbers in order to reach someone.
Additionally, a toll-free number is portable. You can bring it with you if you move, take a trip, or even transition into an actual office space at some point. This provides continuity and avoids the disruptions that can be caused by switching phone numbers.
If you are running your business from home, a toll-free number might be a great strategic move. In addition to providing your company with the flexibility it needs, the number can make your business look more professional, benefit both potential and current customers, and help you successfully separate your private life from your work life.