Vonage has teamed up with Tim Campbell MBE, winner of the first season of The Apprentice, to create a series of videos on how to grow a successful small business. Tim draws on his experiences as an entrepreneur, his work with Lord Sugar, and setting up the Bright Ideas Trust.
In this video, Tim explains how using a business phone number for your firm instead of a mobile phone number is vital in seeming more professional.
Every small business needs to consider how customers get in touch with them, and the phone is still the number-one way to do this. For some business people who are often moving around, such as therapists or personal trainers, a mobile number may still be the most effective way to stay in touch with the customer base.
But a recent YouGov study showed that 60% of people believe that a company with a mobile phone as the main contact number is less trustworthy than one with a business number. Many small businesses use a mobile phone number out of convenience, especially in the early days of trading. Soon, however, this is going to have an impact on sales.
If you use a mobile number on your website or business cards, it might mean that potential customers are thinking twice before contacting you. Of course, you could easily be as professional as the next firm, but perception is everything and the small hesitation could in fact cost you the contract. Tim recommends that small business owners consider what might stop customers getting in touch, either to place an order, or to find out more about their services.
Case study: Indigo Dingo
Indigo Dingo is a video production company based in Oxford. Director Paul Wightman explains how he spends a lot of his time on set in locations across the world. He says that his mobile phone is a really important tool. According to him, you never want to miss a call because you never know when the next big contract is about to hit. A Cloud-based phone number is the perfect solution as it follows him wherever he goes.
Also, one of the other benefits of having a Cloud number is that he can choose a phone number that is geographically based in London, even though the company is based in Oxford. When many of his clients are based in the media hub of Clerkenwell and Shoreditch this is worth its weight in gold, as they seem to favour suppliers based nearby.
Cloud phone numbers
Using a Cloud-based phone service is a surefire way to appear more professional, since you can choose a bespoke business number as your main point of contact. The great thing is that you can still stay mobile and answer the call from anywhere on your mobile phone.
Choosing an area code
Even if your customers are based in another geographical location, you can tailor your business number to appear closer to them. This is a perfect example of how you must put yourself in your customer’s shoes to analyse how you are perceived as a business.
A cloud-based number gives you all the flexibility you need to appear more like your customers. Many small firms outside of London choose an ‘02’ number to benefit from the associations of being located in the UK’s largest and most economically active city.