I use my cell phone as my business phone number. I always answer the phone “Thank you for calling…” - so it’s not like I’m turning a potential customer off by answering, “Yo, what’s up?” or anything along those lines.
My issue (believe me, I got issues) is that I have a 215 area code (PA) and my business is located in area code 609 (NJ). So here are my thoughts/questions?
- Are customers going to think I will be traveling from PA? - about a 2 hour drive to my service area.
- Are some customers NOT going to call because they want someone local? - and it looks like I am not local.
- Is it best to purchase a local number (609)?
- Am I being a total nut-job for even having these questions/thoughts??
@squidskc - you read/learn anything in those marketing books/classes that touches on this subject? Does anyone else use a “long distance” phone number for their business - have you had any issues? What are your thoughts?
EDIT I should add that I am new and working on marketing material - flyers, door hangers, 5 arounds, etc. So, I’m wondering how my phone number is going to look on this material in the eyes of potential customers.
Set up your cell phone as a sip phone. I pay 1 cent a minute and have two phone numbers going to my phone.
So… You’re saying my current number might be an issue and I should get a local number??
I understand what you posted, and it is what I would do IF I got the other number. I wasn’t asking how to set up a different number. I would like to know if people are recommending I get a local number.
Shouldn’t matter. IBS works across state lines by multiple states. They just wanna know how to contact you. The only problem would be on truck magnets/lettering and shirts that move by quickly. May not write the number down simply because they’re driving or moving as well and may not focus on your logo or business name to google you if they’re drawn to the different area code.
That’s just theory, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I took a real estate investment course in college and the only thing I really remember is that many large companies won’t buy real estate 5 minutes in the opposite direction if you have to cross under an underpass because people subconsciously set boundaries in their mind. They’ll drive 10 minutes the other way to get to Target because they conditioned to do so.
Your number may or may not be like an overpass.
But here’s what I’d do personally.
Download Sideline to your phone. it’s free. Get an area code for your service area. Start putting this on all your marketing materials, shirts, etc.
It may open up some opportunities and won’t alienate people across the borders. Plus it looks like you have 2 different locations and sometimes faking it til you make it works. If anyone asks, be honest, tell them why you really have 2 numbers. But if no one asks who cares.
If it was financially prudent, I’d buy a 1-800 number that redirects to your phone. Everyone can remember an 800 area code and you may be able to find one that’s even easier to remember like 800-OCD-MIKE or 800-OCD-WASH.
Strangely enough, the phone number question is one I’ve had because we’re likely relocating to the mountain region a few states away and I’m trying to figure out how to run the business in two locations in the next year.
These guys work all over the country using a toll free number and subcontractors. https://www.perfectpowerwash.com/
Really appreciate the in-depth response. I actually had looked into toll free numbers but decided against it. I like that “boundary” example as well. All great things to take into consideration. Thanks again
Anytime. Hope it helps. Again that’s mostly just theory, but I’d rather be prepared for something that may happen than not.
I really think getting a phone number with your local area code is the way to go. I like the idea above on having two numbers. If people think you have two locations they will probably think you’ve been in business awhile and are good at what you do.
I might be way off here but I don’t think it’s a good idea to have an out of state area code unless you also have a local one. Maybe it’s just me from working in the trades but, if I see an out state number on the side of a truck, I figure they are just here doing some short term job for something like a power plant or factory or just passing through area. As a homeowner I would be less likely to call them for anything. Granted, with enough time and marketing, people will eventually realize you’re from the area. I know it’s not a great comparison but think of buying something off of craigslist. When the ad says they’re local but, have an area code from out of state, I wonder of it’s legit. It instantly makes me think of the times the seller says they can’t meet with me because they’re out in the middle of the Indian Ocean on a Navy Ship that Squidskc hasn’t even heard of so they will have their shipping company contact me after I mail them the $600 for a $2000 item.
Like mentioned I’d get Sideline or just get a separate business phone. Remember, everything you buy or use for your business is a tax write off.
Thanks for the input. Much of what you said I had already asked myself, “Is this what people/customers are going to think?”
GoDaddy has an interesting new product called SmartLine. Its an app that goes on your phone and provides a second number but the interface for answering/making calls is the same as just using your cell. They have toll free numbers as well as local numbers in certain geos.
@squidskc as soon as I posted this I saw your mention of Sideline. Exactly the same thing
I use google voice for a second number, it works good and its free.
I use Google voice too and you can direct it it to wherever you want. Plus you can set up separate VM for it.