Using your personal phone number to take business calls is never ideal if you want privacy and a work-life balance. However, carrying around two mobile phones doesn’t make sense either — at that point, you might as well have an iPad Mini or an old-school brick phone in your pocket. 📱📱 Luckily, you don’t need a second bulky device to separate business from personal. Adding a business line to your cell phone is all about finding the right VoIP phone service

Once you’re subscribed to a VoIP service, all you need to do to use your business phone number is download an app on your cell phone. Your business phone will run entirely on the internet. Keep reading to learn what questions you need to ask before choosing a business line, how to set up a business line, andwhy having a second VoIP number on your cell phone is beneficial.

6 questions to ask before you add a business line to your cell phone

Choosing a VoIP service provider can be a tough decision. Just like any business phone service, every VoIP system offers different pros and cons. The most important thing to look for is an app that offers exactly what your team needs. Here are six questions to consider before you add a business line to your cell phone.

1. Which VoIP services fit my budget?

Adding a business line to your cell phone shouldn’t break the bank. Whether you run a startup or a large company, your VoIP service should perfectly fit into your budget (and offer the right value for the cost). If any VoIP providers are totally out of your price range, take them out of the running.

OpenPhone offers the most business-friendly rates, with plans starting at $10 per user per month. 🙌

2. Which apps are user-friendly for my team?

When you want to work efficiently, you need a VoIP app that offers ease of use. Take advantage of any free trials you can get to figure out how easy they are to understand and navigate. Consider how long it takes you to get a hang of the tool. If you have team members, keep their skill levels in mind as well. Not everyone is a tech pro, after all. 🤓

OpenPhone provides an intuitive mobile, browser, and desktop app experience. Getting new teammates up and running is simple; texting and calling works just as you’d expect. 

3. What business phone features do I need?

A GIF of a woman answering a cell phone and saying, "What do you need?"

One of the biggest differentiators between VoIP services are the features they offer. From voicemail transcriptions and call recording to call forwarding, auto-attendants, and business app integrations, consider what features are your priority. The right functionality will help your team perform more efficiently and create better call experiences.

Don’t overlook the most basic business phone features though. Some VoIP platforms don’t even offer text messaging (and when they do, some only support SMS and not MMS messages).

OpenPhone includes all these business phone features plus integrations and automated texting options to help you save time. 

4. What’s the location of the people I will frequently call?

Most VoIP services can support domestic phone calls and texts, but if you need to reach people internationally too, it’s crucial to look for a provider that can help you reach the right countries — and with reasonable rates. OpenPhone, for instance, offers free unlimited calls and texts in the U.S. and Canada, as well as low international rates. 🌎

5. Do I need a toll-free or local number?

When you use a VoIP service to add a business line to your cell phone, you’ll usually have the option to choose your area code. However, some providers offer more options than others.

Most VoIP providers support local numbers, which have area codes that are tied to specific locations — for example, 206 for Seattle or 602 for Phoenix. A local number can help you build trust among clients in a specific area, the same way you might be more likely to take a call from a neighbor than a stranger across the country.

If you’re doing a lot of business across North America — or you just want your business to appear larger — a toll-free number can be a great alternative to local numbers. Toll-free phone numbers have area codes that are widely recognized (like 888 or 800) and allow callers from over 20 North American countries and territories to dial your number for free.

You might be wondering: what if I want local and toll-free numbers? With OpenPhone, you can have as many local and toll-free numbers as you need. Each user on your plan comes with one number. Any additional numbers that exceed your user count are $5 per month. 

6. What level of customer support does my business need?

One major pro of using a VoIP app for your business line is the fact that you don’t need your own IT team to set up or maintain your phones. But you still want to make sure you can get support if things go wrong.

Consider what times are most critical for your business calls. Make sure you choose a VoIP provider that’ll have your back during those times — bonus points if they offer support on the most convenient channels for you. OpenPhone offers support Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. Just shoot us an email or send us a text message!

How to add a business line to your cell phone with OpenPhone

Add business line to cell phone: A screenshot of available phone numbers during OpenPhone setup

Adding a business phone line to your cell phone is easy with OpenPhone — it only takes minutes! All you need to do is follow these simple steps to get the second number you need:

  1. Head to my.openphone.co/signup.
  2. Enter your email and tap “Continue.” You’ll receive a six-digit code in your email. Enter the code and tap “Continue” to proceed.
  3. Confirm if your new number is for work or personal use.
  4. We’ll automatically assign you a number, but if you want to choose a different U.S., Canadian, or toll-free number, tap “Pick a different number.”
  5. Verify your account with your current phone number.
  6. Enter your credit card information. You won’t be charged until after your seven-day free trial ends, and you can cancel anytime.
  7. Download the OpenPhone iOS or Android app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Once you complete these steps, you’re all set! You can start using our mobile app from your existing phone to separate personal and business calls with ease.

7 benefits of having a second number on your cell phone

If you’re still not sure if getting a second phone number for your personal cell phone is worth it, take a look at these seven benefits of doing so.

1. Know when incoming calls are for business or personal

Answering a business call with “What’s up?” or “Hi, who is this?” is a nightmare no professional wants to go through. And if you answer your best friend with “Thanks for calling XYZ Company,” you’ll never hear the end of it. When you get a second number, your personal calls will look different from your business calls, which will appear with a distinct inbound call screen.

2. Keep business calls to your working hours

If you’re using your personal cell phone number for business, there’s no way to prevent business calls from coming in outside of your working hours. But when you have a separate business line, you can set up business hours to hit snooze on professional calls at the right times. Your callers will be sent straight to voicemail, so your business phone app doesn’t ring when you’re not working. With OpenPhone, you can even set up a custom greeting for after-hours callers, so they get the memo about your working hours.

3. Keep your personal number private

A GIF of a boy saying, "Some privacy please"

Using your personal number for business makes it easily searchable online. Even if you don’t have it displayed on your website, social media pages, or business listings, some of your business records may still be public. The best way to prevent privacy issues — and avoid endless spam calls — is by using a separate business line for all your professional calls and texts.

Organizing your messages will prove to be difficult (if not impossible) if you’re using your personal phone number for business. But with a VoIP app, all your business-related conversations are easy to review. When you hop on OpenPhone, you can see all your business texts, calls, and voicemail messages from specific contacts in a single thread, so there’s no confusion.

5. Create a more professional presence

A dedicated business line allows you to set up a more professional calling experience. When your clients call you, you can have a phone menu ready to route calls to the right place and voicemail messages prepared for when you’re away. And when people shoot you a text, you can set up auto-replies for a prompt response.

Even your phone number can look more professional. When you make an outgoing call, you can have caller ID set up to ensure your clients know who’s calling. Or, if you have a toll-free number, you can choose a vanity number that’s easy to memorize and relevant to your business (think 1-800-FLOWERS).

6. Call and text from virtually any device

If you get a second number with a VoIP service, you won’t be limited to making calls on your Android or iPhone. Many VoIP services offer apps that are compatible with any internet-enabled mobile device or computer. 💻 You can switch between devices or stick to your preferred one.

OpenPhone offers desktop, web, and mobile apps to make your life easier no matter where you’re working.

7. Add anyone to your business phone system within minutes

If you have teammates, you can easily add anyone to your business phone system. With OpenPhone, it’s as easy as inviting team members via email (and adding a small per-user fee each month). This process is significantly easier than adding a team member on a landline or desk phone system. There’s no need to buy a new device or hire a pro for the setup phase.

Add a business line to your cell phone with ease

Add business line to cell phone: A screenshot of OpenPhone's mobile and desktop apps

Thanks to VoIP services like OpenPhone, you no longer have to choose between using your personal phone number for business and carrying two phones. Getting a business line is as simple as downloading an app. You’ll get all the features you need to build a more professional call experience, stay organized, and build a connected team. Start your free trial of OpenPhone today.

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Author

Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.

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