Should I Use a Personal or Business Phone Plan for My Business?
Business owners are always looking to find more ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. Using your personal mobile plan for your small business is one way to save on phone bills while staying in the loop on important business matters. And, if this is you, you're not alone. A 2021 Statista study found that 64% of Americans use their personal phones for business tasks.
Although it’s possible to manage your business through personal devices, it can have several disadvantages in the long run. The primary issue is defining the boundaries between work and home life. Whether you receive work messages while you're on vacation or never know if a call is personal or work-related, it may cause more harm than good. What's more, if you're a business owner experiencing these issues, your employees are likely feeling it too. Here, we'll take you through why getting a business mobile plan is a good choice and the benefits that Optimum Business can provide for your company.
Why You Shouldn't Use Your Personal Phone Plan for Your Business
There are a number of reasons we encourage against using your personal mobile for business use. If you're currently using a personal number for work, you've likely experienced at least one of these things.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is perhaps the most important reason why Optimum Business recommends business mobile plans. Whether it's colleagues phoning you after hours or simply always seeing work applications on your phone, it can make it incredibly difficult to relax. Keeping your work on a separate device helps maintain discipline and allows you to switch off properly.
Privacy and security
Another issue with having everything on one device is getting personal and professional details muddled. Whether it's email addresses, documents, or images, having everything on one phone puts you at risk of slipping up eventually. For example, you could put your professional relationships in jeopardy by sending a text to the wrong person. And, at the end of the day, you likely want to keep your private life private.
Using your personal device for business can increase the risk of breaching legal requirements or accidentally leaking sensitive company information. To prevent this, you may be required to ensure that everything on your personal phone is password protected and that it’s always in your hands, which could create extra stress.
Personal data loss
If your personal accounts and business life intertwine on your phone, it can turn into a hassle if you decide to leave your company in the future. Erasing all the work information and accounts on your phone may also result in personal phone numbers, messages, and information being erased. Having a business phone makes this a much easier process.
It can be difficult to multitask at the best of times. But using your personal phone to multitask for professional and personal purposes constantly makes it even harder. Unless you have two easily interchangeable SIM cards, keeping your private life in one place and your work life in another is much easier.
Potential higher cost
Cost is another consideration. You can often get business deals if you purchase phones, app subscriptions, or maintenance in bulk. And these expenses can be tax-deductible for business use. Also, if you're using a personal phone as an employee, you may have to purchase anti-virus or VPN software. It might seem like you're saving on the phones initially. But as your business grows, it's wise to save with deals where you can.
Why Business Mobile Plans Are Worth it
Here are two key reasons we think your company could benefit from using business mobile plans.
As mentioned, using personal devices can put the safety and security of sensitive business information at risk. With cyber hacking becoming increasingly intelligent and complex, it is even harder to keep your digital assets safe. As a business owner, you cannot have complete knowledge or control of the site or apps that your employees are visiting on their personal phones. You also cannot have the same level of control over security measures. So, by enabling your workforce to use business phones, you can have greater autonomy to ensure that business information is secure. For instance, this allows you to ensure that the correct anti-virus software or security processes are installed.
Increased level of professionalism
The mentality that comes with using your personal mobile can also affect your level of professionalism. For instance, how you or an employee answers a call from an unknown number on a personal phone is likely to be more casual than if the call came to a business phone.
Key communication touch-points like email signatures and voicemail greetings can affect your business's reputation if not managed professionally. Finally, you or employees may slip up—like dropping a text to the wrong number when out of work. Therefore, separating work communication from personal mobile plans helps maintain strong reputations and greater professionalism.
Plans That Offer More Services
The main difference between business and personal mobile plans is the extra benefits business plans can provide. These can include:
- Business Hosted Voice: This cloud-based system enables you to make and receive business calls on your mobile using the same number as your business.
- Virtual receptionist feature: Manage your customer service both during and outside of working hours. From 24/7 answering with customizable greetings to hold music, this feature helps you stay in control of customer calls efficiently and easily.
- Flexible PRI trunking: You can use this tool to manage up to 24 simultaneous call sessions and port your current numbers at no extra charge.
- Cost efficiency: Depending on your line of work, your employees may need a high number of minutes and require unlimited Internet access to complete their work. Business phone plans are likely to have better deals on data and minutes than personal ones, meaning you can save money in the long run.
Jobs That May Require a Personal Phone Plan
While Optimum Business recommends using business phone plans vs. personal phone plans, there are some lines of work where it's not always possible to use a business phone. Such jobs include:
- Caregivers and nannies may need to use their personal phone to be on hand for patients or clients 24/7.
- Couriers, drivers, and delivery workers may use personal phones to use GPS to find addresses or receive operator or client calls while on shift.
- Private tutors or instructors may find it easier to stay in touch with their clients or students and teach online classes using their personal phones.
- Sales, account, and project managers may need personal phones for sales, team, and communication management.
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