If you're a company of one, whether its as a freelancer, a solopreneur, or a single-member managed LLC, a business answering service may seem like the last thing you need. Most, if not all, of your phone calls are for you anyway, so why do you need someone else answering them anyway? As a company of one, you might not even get a lot of phone calls to justify having a live receptionist or someone else handling your calls. But, perhaps it's time to rethink that.
One-Man Operations Have A Lot to Do!
You really do! Never mind answering the phone. Think about all that you do in a day, and all that you have to do: your core business service, marketing, accounting, sales, planning for the next day, improving yourself and your business. The list can go on forever. Sure, answering the phone may be part of that, such as taking a sales call, answering a few customer questions, or maybe handling someone who's trying to sell you something. But, actually consider how much time you spend on the phone, and how much of that time was actually wasted on a call that you didn't necessarily have to take, such as the customer questions or the telemarketer. It might be nice to have that time back, even if its just a few minutes. After all, a solopreneur or freelancer needs all the time he/she can get, and a business answering service may be able to deliver on that time.
What Phone Number are You Using?
If you're a one-man operation, whatever structure you are using, what's the phone number to your business? Are you using your cell phone or home phone, or do you actually have a business phone number? If you don't have a business phone number, then consider that an advantage to having a business answering service. For example, if your cell phone's area code is different from the city or area you do business, that could actually hurt your business, especially if your trying to specialize in doing something local. An out-of-state or city area code doesn't exactly scream "local", and if its an area code that's unfamiliar to your target demographic, then they might opt for a competitor who is local simply because your number doesn't come across as local. How do they know they won't be charged extra for making that call to your business? Sure, it's cheaper to go with your cell phone or home phone, but a business answering service can get you a professional business number with the right area code.
Don't You Hate it When You Miss Calls, Too?
As we've said, you do everything when you're a company of one. However, you can't do everything at the same time, and because you can't do everything at the same time, you might miss a call or two. It could be a call you were expecting, or perhaps you were in the middle of another call or a meeting, and just couldn't take the one coming in. Or, maybe someone just had to call right when you left the room the talk to someone or to go to the bathroom. It may not seem like a big deal, but what if that person who called was a potential customer? You could lose that customer just as easily as you could have picked them up, simply by having someone there to pick up the phone. A business answering service does that so you don't always have to to be the one to answer the phone. A business answering service can ensure someone is there at your business, even if you really aren't.
You can't be everywhere at once, just like you can't do everything at once. But, a business answering service can take you one step closer. Besides, having a little extra help can go along way to getting more done and to getting things done better.