Home Business Owners, Do You Have A Seperate Phone?

Business By yelle66 Updated 12 Jul 2008 , 2:37pm by michellenj

yelle66 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 4:08pm
post #1 of 26

And either way, do you answer with your business name or just say "Hello?" I feel so stupid answering with my business name b/c I just use my cell, but I know now that I have customers outside of friends and family calling that I need to answer more professionally. Should I answer "This is So-and-so" or should I answer with my business name and most likely get teased by my friends? icon_biggrin.gif

25 replies
acookieobsession Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 4:44pm
post #2 of 26

Yes I have a seperate number. That way my husband does not answer. It is one line, but has distinctive ring. Plus I got voicemail...it took some messing with them, but my home number answering machine picks up on a certain number of rings and the voicemail with business messgae picks up on a different number of rings.

I answer the phone during business hours (unless I told them to call back later) and I say, cheerfully, " Thank you for calling, this is Julia, how may I help you."

When I jsut used my cell I answered "Hello this is Julia"...still polite but not so dorky when it was jsut me friend.

sari66 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:25pm
post #3 of 26

I have a seperate phone for work to avoid personal calls.

Sweet-Dreams Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 11:45pm
post #4 of 26

I'm not running a business yet, but I already planned what I'm going to do. On my cell phone, I can choose different rings for different people. So, everyone on my contact list gets one type of ringtone while everyone else gets another!

msauer Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:04am
post #5 of 26

I don't have a separate line and have really never had any problems in the last couple of years since forming my LLC.

I do have caller ID, so it helps ALOT. If I don't recognize the name of the person calling, I use my more professional voice. I do occasionally get the "Oh, I was calling for Sauer Cakes...". I just respond with "You have the correct number" or "This is Sauer Cakes".

I get a TON of work through referrals from other customers, so most people coming to me already know I am licensed out of my home. I have to admit the amount of people finding me on their own through my site is greatly increasing, so I may change my mind in the future, but with getting a business up and running (and making a profit), a separate phone line was one thing I thought I could do without.

I would also HIGHLY suggest a website. Even if it is something simple, just to give potential customers another means by which to contact you. I get the majority of my larger orders via email...seems that in this day and age people are too busy to call, so they would rather email.



Lenette Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:10am
post #6 of 26

I have a separate phone line with voice mail.

I usually just answer "Good morning/afternoon this is ***"

A few people sometimes ask if this is the correct number for the business but not too often. It seems so stuffy to answer with the full biz name.

When I was using my cell I just answered " hello this is ***"

HTH! icon_smile.gif

danizabe Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:13am
post #7 of 26

Hi! to tell you the true, i used to have an extra line and i end up using my house phone they will live their message,money is too much unless you have a good plan with your local phone company.I make the same money,and i still have the same costumers icon_smile.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:01am
post #8 of 26

I have a cell phone for biz and if I don't recognize the number, then it's "Hello, this is Michelle," otherwise it's just hello. Since I have a day job, most of my calls go to my voicemail anyway where I have a message for the biz.

korkyo Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 26

For me a second phone line would cost an extra 50.00 a month. Diden't think that was worth it. I have an answering machine that gives the "press one for family, press two for cake.." It does the job.
We also have the caller ID. If we don't know who it is, I answer it.

I am trying to make a new habit of at least answering the phone with,"this is Sherrie " instead of just Hello.

acookieobsession Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:40pm
post #10 of 26

Wow, we have at&t and we use phone pus internet..so when I added the distinctive ring and the voicemail it was only an extra $8 a month!

I like the distinctive ring because my Dh adn soon children will be old enough to answer.


indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:59pm
post #11 of 26

Having spent most of my adult life in a customer service position, it's just natural habit to answer ALL phones with "Hi, this is Debi". Drives me nuts to even call my sister's house and when one of her boys answers, I have to ask "who am I speaking to?"

I've always used my cell phone for biz only. No biz calls thru the house phone, ever.

MichelleM77 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:12pm
post #12 of 26
Originally Posted by indydebi

Having spent most of my adult life in a customer service position, it's just natural habit to answer ALL phones with "Hi, this is Debi". Drives me nuts to even call my sister's house and when one of her boys answers, I have to ask "who am I speaking to?"

We did this as kids, as us girls all sounded alike and even my mom got us mixed up on the phone, so we always answered the phone "Hi, this is _________." Now everyone thinks my 11-yo son sounds like me and its quite funny when they think it is him and start talking. Puberty is coming. icon_smile.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:17pm
post #13 of 26

My business number is a separate cell phone (I carry two, people think I'm crazy) and I always answer it "Hi, this is Brandi!"

If I were an actual storefront, I think I would answer with the business name - but as I'm still home-based, I don't feel I warrant that yet.

punkinpie Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:20pm
post #14 of 26

Does your telephone company have a second ring type option? My provider does. You get a second tel # for free and it has a distinct ring - that way when you hear the special ring you know its for the business. It's all still one line but you have 2 numbers.

It worked well for me when I had a home office.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:27pm
post #15 of 26

I don't, I guess I'm more casual...I have caller ID and then I do just answer "Hello?" and they say "Is this Cakes by Suzy" and I say "Yes it is, this is Suzy" and there you go. icon_smile.gif Its not like I lose callers by doing that, and I don't get enough calls to warrant a second line, or even answering it with my business name. I get more emails than calls, at least for now.

Jenn2179 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:45pm
post #16 of 26

I have signal ring for my business number which is different than my home number. I did not get an extra phone line just a different ring for the business number. I answer my phone, "Buy Me Cake, This is Jennifer."

CakeDiva73 Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 7:30pm
post #17 of 26

I got a seperate number for the 'business', mainly because I wanted a promotional phone number ending with CAKE. But then I realized carrying around 2 phones was a complete PITA and I was too disorganized to manage it. icon_redface.gif

And on my main cell, I have this really cool visual voicemail feature where you don't have to dial in for messages so it frosted my donuts to get messages on the cheapie phone so now I have all the CAKE calls forwarded to my cell phone. It's like I have 2 phones in one.

The downside? You can never get away from it, lol, and I can never tell when the phone rings if it was forwarded or not. So I just look at the caller ID and if its not a number I recognize, I answer it with a more professional voice. I am still on the hunt for a rental so I also feel wonky answering with the business name.

I think I'll copy Deb and answer with "Hi, this is Christine" and see if that works out.

loriemoms Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 10:49pm
post #18 of 26

I have a seperate phone, which is a cell phone. They are so cheap now with these family plans..I can bring it with me wherever I go, and if I want to let it go to voicemail, I do. I also answer is with "THank you for calling Simply Cakes, this is Lorie...."

Jenn123 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:24am
post #19 of 26

My business phone is my cell phone. I just answer "This is Jennifer" and it isn't a problem for friends or clients. I didn't want to run the risk of my young children answering the phone at home if it was a business line. I also like that I can take it with me because I'm rarely at home.

lutie Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:49am
post #20 of 26

Cell Phone

mommicakes Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:58pm
post #21 of 26

Good question.

I have my cell phone that I use as one of my numbers for my business. I also have another line direct into the house via SKYPE. It is a phone through my computer. I pay $90.00 per YEAR for a phone number anyone in the world can call, and I can call ANYONE IN THE WORLD. The basic services are free for computer to computer calls, and if you want to call other lines, the charges are fairly cheap too. The reason I did this, is because the computer is always on in my house, and the cost couldn't compare to an additional regular phone line at all. for that $90 a year, I can call anywhere a phone can receive a call no other charges. So when the SKYPE line rings I always answer it: "Donna's Custom Cakes, how may I help you?" The cell phone has caller ID and if I don't recognize that number, I answer it the same way.

Check out the SKYPE thing. Could save a lot of money. icon_rolleyes.gif

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:10pm
post #22 of 26

I use my cell phone too. If I don't recognize the number I answer "Thank you for calling The Well Dressed Cake this is Jeanne. How may I help you". You feel dorky the first few times, but after that it gets easier.

ANicole Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:17pm
post #23 of 26

I agree with Jeanne. You will get over the awkwardness after the first few times. Only 1 friend of mine still has to make a smart-a** remark when she calls, but I blow it off. I do answer with my business name. I wasn't at first, and I don't think the customers appreciated having to sort out who they called, if they misdialed, and it didn't sound very professional to just say "Hello". I do have caller ID, too, so I only answer w/ the business name if I don't recognize the #.

mageliza Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 4:38am
post #24 of 26

This is not an immediate fix but long term you may want to check out grandcentral.com.

It is from google and it is Free. You select a phone number in your area code, then you can give out that number as your business phone number. The cool thing is that that number rings into your home phone or cell, depending on how you program it and who is calling.

Right now you have to wait for an invite from grandcentral, but soon will be available to everyone.

marmalade1687 Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 12:38pm
post #25 of 26

I don't have a separate phone line yet, but we're thinking about SKYPE! It's always around this time of year when we are on vacation when we really want to have that second line - I seem to get more calls than ever for orders when I am trying to take a week off! No one can answer the phone right now - we have to let the answering machine pick up so that we can screen the calls! Boy, if I had that separate line, I could answer my own home phone again! icon_rolleyes.gif

michellenj Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 2:37pm
post #26 of 26

I used to have the distinctive ring, ATT called it "Identa-ring". It rand one way for home, one way for biz, and one way for fax to pick up.

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