My story. I started a fitness business in the park as a side hobby. Cut to 7 years later, we had 5 locations, 12 staff members, and between 750-1000 clients. I’d like to say I had the foresight to imagine that but unfortunately I did not. For better or worse, I enjoy the experimenting side of business which sometimes akin to a dog chasing cars. There are many things to plan for when starting a business and this article should help with one aspect: communication.
How Will you Talk to Customers?
Most businesses have some version of communication with customers. The modern world of business communication exists of email, text messages, phone calls, and social media. As we’ve transitioned to the Information Age, consumers adopt technology and then businesses follow suit. We’ve seen this with the rise of texting in business. The question is if you are talking to customers from your phone, should you give them your personal number.
Do you want clients to have your personal number? In my experience, text messaging comes with very little boundaries so you need to be prepared to field questions all the time or set proper boundaries.
Are you listing your business?
It’s never been easier to market your business. Between social media, google listings, and affordable printing, you can get your business out into the world with relative ease. The question to ask yourself is if someone finds your business, how do you want them to contact you? And following from the person paragraph, how do you make it easy for them to contact you?
Listing a number on the internet comes with a caveat. Online marketers find these numbers and add them to call lists. Which makes it more likely for spammers to find you. My number for my first fitness business is still on call lists from advertisers (from 2008).
Do you plan on hiring?
Using your personal number when it’s just you is fairly straight forward. If you plan on hiring an assistant or staff, using your personal number for work gets more complicated. With another person needing to be involved, group texts and constant screenshots become the norm.
If it’s just going to be you talking to customers, using your personal number might be ok. If you are planning on having other staff members at some point, a solution is the better option.
Wrapping up, here are the pros of using your personal number for business:
- Simplicity (all personal and business communication will come into the same place)
- Cost effective (free)
- Consistency (you don’t have to remember multiple numbers)
Here are the cons:
- You have no separation between your work and personal life
- Your number will get added to a lot of call lists (expect a bump in marketing and spam calls)
- You will run into issues if you hire staff
ReachPhone was the solution we built to solve the issues we experienced running our small businesses (gym, landscaping, catering). To try it out, you can get a number here.