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Why to have a separate small business phone

“Can you hear me now?” has been a frequently heard phrase in recent years because everyone is always on the phone. From less popular landlines to trendy smartphones to high-tech Internet-based phones, it’s amazing how many options there are these days for voice-to-voice communication. If you are a proud small business owner, you may want to consider having a separate business phone. Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, explains why:

— Helps separate your personal & business activities
If you want to put up a barrier between your personal and business-related activities, acquiring a separate phone for your small business can help you build this divider. It can be challenging to stay organized when you have phone calls coming in from clients and friends or family members at the same time. If you receive lots of voicemails and text messages, this can make things even more complicated. But if you have one phone for personal reasons and another for your company, you’ll be able to easily separate these obligations and stay organized very effectively. The last thing you’d want to do is pick up the phone thinking it’s a close friend you can say anything to, when in fact it’s a potential customer you have never met.

— Easier to deduct phone expenses
According to Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, one tax-saving opportunity the IRS offers to small business owners is the chance to write off phone expenses associated with conducting business. These expenses could include talk, texting, and data charges you incur in order to communicate with others about your business. While the deduction allows taxpayers to write off the percentage of their phone bill tied to running a company, it’s much easier to write off an entire business phone bill instead of having to calculate how much of your personal phone bill charges are part of company communications.

— Allows you to get a vanity phone number
In addition to maintaining a separate phone number for your business, having this additional phone line may allow you to claim a vanity number for your company. Much like a vanity URL for a website like www.mycompanyname.com, a vanity phone number could spell out a word or name within the actual digits and their corresponding letters. For instance, if you are a pet supplier, perhaps the phone number 555-PETS is available in your area (this would actually be 555-7387 on the phone keypad). Or, if you can’t reserve a vanity number, you may be able to find one that is easy to remember or includes several of the same numbers. For example, 345-6789 is much easier to remember than numbers in no particular order.

— Gives you flexibility on having a business landline and/or cell phone
Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, points out that there’s been a lot of change with telephone communication over the years. Both individuals and small business owners alike have put away their old landline phones in the closet and are now only using cell phones. However, many companies still prefer to have a landline at a home office or retail store as this technology is still more reliable. With these different options on the table, having a separate business phone gives you more flexibility as far as what types of phones you prefer and how to go about receiving incoming calls. For example, you may wish to only use a cell phone for personal reasons, but you may want to have a landline for your business.

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