Small businesses vary a lot depending on their size and industry. As a virtual receptionist and virtual assistant provider, we wanted to find out how entrepreneurs in different industries manage the phone calls to their business. We asked business owners one question: “Who answers your business phone?”
Small business owners – who answers your business phone?
These are the responses we got from 6 business owners that receive at least one business call daily.
“If the phone is ringing, I pick it up!” – James Kerr, Founder & Chief Geek of SuperGeeks
“If the phone is ringing, I pick it up! One time I was in the office on a Sunday. We were closed. But the phone rang and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity…turned out it was someone from the State wanting a $12K database. She was probably thinking no one would be in and would just leave a message. But I answered and closed the deal!”
Bottom line is: You can’t answer the phones yourself all the time because you must focus on other things. However, it is good to pick up the phone from time to time. It gives you a good sense for what’s happening in the trenches…plus clients always love getting the boss.”
“I had to hire a virtual receptionist when call volume went up.” – Jennifer Lendey, owner of chiropractic clinic
“I used to answer the phone at my clinic when I wasn’t with a client, but once my clinic took off and started drawing in more clients, I couldn’t get to all the phone calls. I had to hire a virtual receptionist when call volume went up. I didn’t feel that hiring a full-time receptionist was necessary since my office is so small.
I found a virtual receptionist provider that offers a 30 day free trial and figured I’d try it out with nothing to lose. I’ve now been working with that provider for 3 months and I won’t ever go back to answering my own business phone again.”
“I answer my own phone.” – Arjan Yspeert, independent marketing consultant
“Currently I work alone [solopreneur] as a marketing consultant for SMEs. I work for just a few clients (8,) and I answer my own phone. I guess I get about 10–15 calls a day, 5 of them by clients.
I have had medium sized businesses in the past with partners. We had a girl answering calls on the landline, but the bulk would go directly to the cellphones of the staff we employed. I have also worked alone with many different clients, and in those cases I have used answering services.”
“As your business grows, have someone else answer the calls.” – Tim Lau, entrepreneur specializing in eCommerce and online marketing
“Initially you have to answer your own calls if you don’t have any employees. As your business grows you will want to have someone else answer the calls and only direct the calls to you when necessary since you want to spend your time on the most important things in your business.”
“I use a service that transfers calls.” Thespy Alfred, social care entrepreneur
“I do! I use a service that transfers calls from my office land line to my mobile. Or, if I want, will send the voice recording or transcription via email.”
“I answer if I’m around and not busy – my VR answers any other time.” – Ben Waddis, owner of accounting firm
“Depends on how busy I am. I answer if I’m around and not busy – my VR answers any other time. She has a list of callers and numbers that should be transferred to me, and for anyone else not on that list, she either answers their question or directs them to my voicemail so I can get back to them when I get a chance. I miss too many calls to answer them all myself. This works better for me.”