New research comparing the use of mobile and landline numbers has revealed that an astonishing 77 per cent of business owners and freelancers use their personal mobiles for business.
In what is a compete reversal of the once frowned-upon practice of making personal calls from work, a further 19 per cent admit to doing so as a stop-gap measure within the first few months of starting up their business. Only four per cent set up a work landline when becoming self-employed.
The findings also showed that more women use their personal mobile numbers for work than men.
Of those who said they use personal mobiles for business almost all admitted to the outsourced communications provider Moneypenny that they have found themselves in a situation where they were unable to answer a call.
For four in ten, this is at least a weekly occurrence. Seventeen per cent admit they find themselves in such a situation at least twice a week, 13 per cent three times a week and 7 per cent more than five times a week.
Furthermore, over half of them have been asked to provide a landline number and have had to explain that they don’t have one, something that applied to three in five younger business owners (aged 18 and 44), whereas only one in five of those aged 45 or over have too.
The survey also focused on the way business owners and freelancers answer their phone, especially if using personal mobiles, with 31 per cent admitting to answering their phone without stating their business name.
Interestingly, the younger a self-employed person is, the more likely they are to change the way they answer the phone to sound more professional – 82 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds would make a conscious effort to answer the phone in a professional way. However, this dropped to 16 per cent among those aged 45 and over.
The young ones are more likely to set up a voicemail greeting that mentions the name of their business and almost half of those using a personal mobile for work say that a friend or family member has answered their phone to a customer or potential customer.
Joanna Swash, Global CEO of Moneypenny, said: “Whether you choose to have a landline number or not, the most important factor is the way you manage and conduct your calls.
“Answering the phone in a positive, polite and friendly manner will make the biggest impact on your customers and potential customers. Always state your name and the name of your business when answering calls and if you say you’ll ring back, be sure to do so”.