Land line or cell phone line?

A reader wrote in to ask about telephone options for his consulting business.

"Should I get a land line or cell phone for my home business?"

Forgive me for sounding like an economist, but it depends. If you’re frequently out of your office or perhaps working from a mobile office, such as your car or a coffee shop, a cell phone may be the best option. With a cell phone, you can be in constant contact with clients and business partners.

However, with a land line, you may see lower costs. Mobile phone plans can be expensive, whereas land lines tend to be a bit cheaper, especially for long distance calls.

I’ve got a land line and a cell phone. But my cell phone consists of a $50 phone that came with $50 in calling credits. I pay $10 a month for 40 minutes of access time. I use my cell for checking my home office voice mail, making quick calls to clients and, when necessary, for "emergency" business calls. Wherever possible, I call back from a land line. This saves money, ensures a great connection, and forces me to slow down and focus on the person I’m calling. I almost never make calls from my car. In fact, I try to meet with clients near my home, so that I avoid needing to use my car in the first place.

I suppose you could call me frugal. But I’m a big believer in managing the cost of doing business. I run a busy consulting business without needing to spend $100 or $200 a month on a cell phone. Instead, I can put that money into my own pocket or into revenue-generating activities.

How about you? Would you stick with just a cell phone line or do you need a land line too?

Andrea Coutu says:

The safety issues keep me tied to a landline and mobile device combination, but, yes, email is pretty standard.

1st Rate says:

I think so many people prefer to send emails these days that having a phone isn’t such a big issue. So I’d say a smart phone is probably the best option, you can receive emails and if necessary receive calls from clients that prefer to talk voice to voice. Then if you really need to you can also make calls as well.

When it comes to consulting, I’m a big believer in portraying a professional image. Your post does a good job explaining the best way to use cell phones and land lines. Yes, it will depend on your business and how you operate. Cell phones are convenient, but folks can tell if you are calling from one and using it as your primary phone number. I advise against it. You should get a land line and make sure it is dedicated to your business. Don’t have it be your home phone number. When that phone rings for your business, you need to answer it with your business name and not just “hello.”

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