Over the past few years the number of sole traders in the UK has grown dramatically, fueled by a combination of recession driven redundancy and new Internet enabled business models that have reduced start-up costs.
And despite the need for cost containment, no new business owner would consider operating without a smartphone. Few, however, would consider a mobile only business model – the ‘one man band’ stigma still applies, even 30 years on in a mobile dominated world, prompting most companies to invest in both mobile and landline services.
In addition to the cost of two contracts, companies pay through the nose to have calls diverted from landline to mobile. Even worse, should there be a need to relocate, porting a landline number can be slow and painful and in some cases – where people may move out of the local area code – not even an option. In this case, businesses will then have to go through the painful and time consuming process of updating websites, brochures and business cards and contacting each and every customer and supplier with the new number.
So how can a small business achieve that essential agility and flexibility without incurring these unnecessary communications costs?
How about a dedicated virtual business phone number that provides a consistent contact point from any location – not only from landline to mobile, but as and when the business relocates? A cloud based service that can be used when the user has access to the Internet – via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G network – and where this is not available the service can be diverted to their mobile on GSM or to a landline. A virtual business phone number offers companies the option of a local number to reflect business location or an 03 national number, whatever suits the business model. That number is owned by that business as long as required – however many times the company location changes.
Mobile is now undeniably a lynchpin of business productivity, efficiency and customer service – no new business owner would consider setting up operations without a smartphone. Yet mobile still has some flaws. In an era of virtual numbers that are cross-device and Apps that enable an individual to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world as if on a UK landline – at a fraction of the usual costs – isn’t it time to think again?