Is your email address or phone number costing you business?

This post is by Helen Stothard

 

What email address or phone number do you advertise for your business? Chances are you may be losing custom if you do not portray the correct professional image.

Frequently we come across businesses advertising yahoo, hotmail or gmail email addresses on the Internet.  Why? For example, Joe Bloggs is a plumber by trade.  If he advertises joebloggs@hotmail.com or joe@joebloggs.co.uk which do you suppose will be treated more seriously?  Which gives the perception of a professional business?

For less than £10 you can buy a professional looking domain name for 2 years, allowing you to have a business email address even if you don’t want a website.  The other argument is buy the domain name while you can, because chances are by the time you are ready for a website someone else will have snapped it up!

The way you send and receive your emails need not change after a very simple set up process, so you don’t need to worry about learning new systems.

If you’re not technical then talk to us here at teamHLBS as we can help you set this up.

It’s the same thing with your phone number.  If you only advertise a mobile number then many people may assume you are a back bedroom business.  You could use your home number but do you want your calls being answered by your children or your voicemail? What happens when you move home?  The simpler option is to buy a VoIP phone number.  This is an internet number and you can have geographic (dialling code for your town) or a national rate number such as 0845 (watch out with these as many mobile phone users are penalised for calling 08 numbers and will choose the next number in the list rather than dial an 08 number).  If you choose to divert the call then you will pay a small fee to the VoiP company for the divert element of the call but this is much better than losing a sale.

You can divert the calls to your VoIP number to your mobile, your callers being none the wiser, or choose to have your calls answered by a professional call answering service (again a service that we offer), or if you are mainly office based buy a decent VoIP handset that connects to your router and answer the calls yourself.  These cost in the region of £50 upwards.  You can even get an inclusive call package.

Mobile phone companies are also now offering landline numbers that divert to your mobile, although if you choose to move mobile provider in the future I suspect you will lose your number, these cost in the region of £15 per month.

The advantage of a VoIP number is that it can move premises with you, without having to change the number, you don’t have to write to everyone to let them know your new number, and it keeps your home number private as it should be.

So take a moment and look at the way you currently portray your business. Are you confident that you are portraying the right professional image to your prospective clients?  Is this really an area where you can afford to compromise, especially when the investment required is so small.

Written by Helen

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