If you operate a business from home or are planning on setting one up, you’re not alone. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, in 2012 over 52% of small businesses in the US were home-based. Home-based businesses are quickly becoming one of the most common and recognized forms of business startups in the US today. Thanks to the various developments in technology, entrepreneurs can conveniently run their business from home, which helps them save on costs as well as frees them from the hassle of a daily commute.
But while running a home-based business has some perks, it also comes with several challenges. One of these includes choosing the right business communications tool. Some entrepreneurs think they can get by with a residential Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system because they only need basic calling features and that only large companies can afford a business VoIP solution. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Below are the top 3 reasons why home-based businesses should consider getting a business VoIP phone solution to manage and streamline their business communications:
Look and sound professional
Every entrepreneur wants to see his or her home business eventually thrive and compete alongside the big brands. One of the keys to achieving this is by presenting a big and professional image. Having a dedicated business phone number to publish on your website and on your business cards will help give your credibility a boost. Features like auto attendant (which can be customized to route calls and play greetings and announcements) in addition to local, toll-free, or virtual numbers (where customers can call you for free or at local call rates) can also give your home business a big company feel.
Separate personal and professional calls
When operating any home-based business, it’s vital that you keep your personal and professional lives separate. Mixing the two (especially on the same phone line) can lead to disaster. Imagine if your kid or a family member accidentally answers an important call from a potential client! Your client may be forgiving, but the incident won’t surely be forgotten. Having a phone system that’s strictly for business purposes will help you avoid such incidents and let you maintain a professional image for your work from home office.
Take advantage of affordable rates and exciting features
A business VoIP plan may be a bit more expensive than a home VoIP solution (but still cheaper than traditional landline service), but that's because it comes with a host of included business features (while residential plans only offer the most basic calling features).
RingCentral, for instance, offers plans that start as low as $12.99/month. Vonage also offers a pay as you go service at a monthly rate of only $14.99. Then there’s also MagicJack’s Home and Office plan at $14.99/month, which is specifically suited for small offices and home-based business. All these affordable business VoIP plans already include popular features like auto attendant, call forwarding, and more to help you effectively manage your calls.
Clearly, home-based businesses (and not just large and established companies) can take advantage of getting a business VoIP service. It helps project a professional image for your brand, is offered at affordable rates, and includes a great range of features. So if you're planning on or are already running a business from home, then it would be wise to consider making the move to VoIP.