Home Truths: 5 Reasons You Need A Second Line For Your Home Office
Did you know that your home business is like a New Orleans brass band? It needs a second line if it is really going to make some noise. A second phone line helps you to present a more professional image, offer better customer service and crucially it is one important way you can maintain that distinction between your home life and your work. It may also help you to market your business more effectively and stay in touch with your customers when you are not in the office. Rebel Office Supplies actually wrote an interesting piece on this.
Installing a second line need not involve disruptive rewiring or incur great set up costs – indeed new technology offers you the opportunity to potentially reduce your phone bills if you opt for a separate home and office phone. VOIP services that route your calls over the internet rather than the traditional phone networks are increasingly simple to use. Providers like Vonage offer you solutions that are no more complex than plugging a standard office phone into your broadband supply. When you do so you can also can plug into some fantastic call rates, crystal clear reception and a host of other premium benefits without paying the usual premiums.
Here are five reasons your home business’s parade may get rained on if you do not have a second line.
You may have a great website and beautifully designed headed stationery but it is all for nothing if customers ringing you are greeted by your teenage son’s snarled “Wassup,” as he picks up the phone. A separate line lets you take control over how you handle incoming calls to your business.
2/ How are you engaging customers?
Many home businesses avoid the perils of sharing the home phone by using their mobile as the office phone. There are two problems with this.
- A landline is cheaper to call and presents the image of a more stable business.
- You are not able to engage your customers if they just get an engaged tone as you make your own social engagements for Friday night.
3/ Take control
There are a number of ways that the services offered by VOIP providers can help you to take control of your office phone and start making it do some of the work for you.
- Caller identification is included as standard so you will be able to see who is calling before you decide to pick-up. Importantly the call waiting feature will also let you know just which call is waiting so you never need miss an important phone call again.
- Voicemail messages can be picked up from any phone wherever you are. They can also be transcribed as text messages and sent to your email inbox so any calls you miss can be responded to quickly and efficiently.
- Call divert features help you to take calls when you are out of the office. Services like call hunt will try a number of different phones if there is no answer from one of them.
4/ A portable home office phone
Being able to route your calls to another phone helps free you up from the tyranny of being stuck in the home office but what about those roaming rates should you be abroad? By taking the little black box that your phone plugs you can actually take your office phone with you. Simply plug any phone into it – and connect it to a broadband supply – and you can make and receive calls at the same rates as if you were back at home.
5/ Project a presence
As your internet-routed second line is no longer tied to geographic constraints you can project a presence for your business in any local area. From Birmingham you can have a virtual phone number that gives you a presence in Manchester, England or Manchester, New Hampshire. This means your customers in either Manchester can call you at local rates. Read this interesting piece to understand more.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that a second line will help you to project a professional image, stay in touch when you are out of the office and help your customers and suppliers to reach you. Just like that New Orleans jazz band your home business can start to really swing!
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