Creative Industry Related Information for Graphic Designers & Web Designers!
Graphic Design Business - Start a Freelance Design Business Today!

Phone Options for Busy Creative Professionals

Posted: July 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business | No Comments »

The telephone is the most undervalued tool in business, but when used right, it’s a great asset. You can use it to for sales and marketing, client relations, training and even to deliver part of your services. With so many options for phones and phone plans, it can be tough to decide on the right choice. Understanding the pros and cons of some popular options can help you make an informed decision.

Cell Phones

Many startups rely on cell phones for everything, including business. The pros to using cell phones for business are:

  • Flexibility – You can use your cell phone anywhere.
  • Screen calls – Your caller ID will indicate who is calling.
  • Pay as you go – Prepaid cell phones allow you to purchase plans without a monthly requirement.

You’ll experience the same frustrations using cell phones for your business as you may already have for personal use. The notorious cons are:

  • Dropped calls – And yes, it will be in the middle of closing a sale.
  • Bad connections – It’s hard to hear the other person or vice versa sometimes, which can frustrate clients.
  • Health risks – Extensive cell phone usage may have a severe impact on your health.

Buying and selling cell phones is so easy, it seems like a no brainer. However, it may not be your best option for your business.

VoIP, or Voice over IP

Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, allows you to make calls over the internet. Skype is a popular example, where by one click you can call a client overseas or a subcontractor in the same area. You can use a VoIP phone or a computer. You can also attach an adapter to some phones. The technology utilizes the Internet to transmit calls instead of the typical analog phone line used for landlines. The pros of using VoIP are:

  • Easy for subcontractors or employees to use when working on your behalf – No need to be at your office (they can use their own Internet connection).
  • Save costs – No need to pay for a landline in addition to Internet service.
  • Use and record videos – You can even sell those calls or leverage them to increase your prices.
  • Lower costs – The cost to use VoIP is much lower in many cases, and sometimes even  free.

Some entrepreneurs love VoIP, but not everyone is sold. The cons to be aware of include:

  • Unreliable connections – Like cell phones, you’re going to get error messages during calls stating that there’s a bad Internet connection and the call will be “dropped.”
  • It’s dependent on electricity – Unlike your landline, when the power goes out, so does VoIP.

You can always try VoIP for free to see whether it’s the right solution for you. Find an online service like Skype and give it a try.

Second Line

Adding a second line to your landline is another simple phone option.  You can list that line’s number as your business phone and you’ll know when it rings that it’s a business call. The pros of this option are:

  • It will work even when there’s a power outage
  • The connection is stable and reliable
  • You can forward calls

The cons might outweigh the pros in some instances though, such as:

  • You double your phone costs
  • Additional features such as voicemail and caller ID are expensive
  • Limited in functionality when compared to VoIP and some cell phones

Bundling phone service features will help to lower the costs a bit. You can also bundle services with some of your other services with the provider, such as Internet and phone, to lower costs.

Determining what phone option is right for you will depend on how you plan to use it with clients. The expenses may also be tax deductible, which can help to reduce your overall tax liability.

Comments are closed.