When I first started freelancing, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was working for pennies from people who didn’t respect me as a business professional and I only have myself to blame for how I was treated. Just because I work from home I shouldn’t be treated any differently from a “Brick & Mortar” business. One of my problems was that I had people calling me at all times of the day and night, expecting me to be attached to my computer at all times.
It just drove me crazy. I needed to change the way people saw me. Doing web graphics and designing websites wasn’t just a hobby for me anymore, it was how I am going to be making my living. Then it hit me, I desperately needed to separate my personal life from my business life. One of the things that I did to make this happen was to get a separate phone number.
I knew that I could not afford to have two separate phone bills, let alone carry around two different devices. So I went on the hunt for a solution. Yes, if you prefer you can get a new phone and number for your business. Just remember to only use it for business purposes. Also don’t forget to speak to your tax professional to see if this can be categorized as a business expense. However, if you are in the same boat that I was in – building on a budget, then there are some alternatives that you can check out.
Option 1: Skype
Skype is a way to make calls from your computer or mobile device. It’s free to sign up and calls (both voice and video) to other Skype users are free. You can also use it to make calls to both mobile and landline numbers for a fee. As well as pay for their monthly service in which you can get your very own Skype phone number.
Option 2: Freeconferencecall.com
You can get a free conference number to use for your business through freeconferencecall.com. This is great for group meetings, any type of business (like coaching) in which you would like to record and share calls with your clients, as well as regular phone calls.
Option 3: Google Voice
This option is one that I’ve opted for and been using for years. Many of us may already have a Gmail account, therefore it will be easy to setup and get a free Google Voice phone number. Once you have done that, all you have to do is add the app to your phone. You can make and received calls as well as text messages. All my business calls are done through the Google Voice app on my Android phone. I can add the contact details in Gmail so I can see who is calling. Plus track how long the call lasted.
Having a separate number to conduct business has been a godsend. I can easily identify personal vs. business calls, so I know when I absolutely need to pick up. Plus the added bonus of not having to pay a high phone bill is great for my pockets (both business and personal).
How do you handle communications for your business?
Let’s chat in the comments below. Let me know if you prefer to just use your personal number. Or maybe you aren’t at the point where you need to take call and that’s okay too. I’m here to help all.