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How To Have Two Phone Numbers on One Phone: Small Biz Guide

August 3, 2021 6 min. read
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When you first started your business, chances are you used your personal cell phone to communicate with clients. But now that your business is growing, getting calls and texts from employees and customers at all hours is starting to get out of hand. After all, you need downtime just like everyone else.

But how do you separate your personal number from your business line? You can either add a second phone number to your smartphone, use a separate phone altogether, or get another SIM card.

How to have multiple phone numbers on one cell phone

Whether you’re an Android or Apple user, you can choose from a few different ways to add an additional phone number to your device. Before you get started, you should determine what exactly you plan to use the number for.

For example, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services will give you another number, but they require an internet connection to work. Other systems use your existing mobile phone carrier, like AT&T or T-Mobile, to add a second line so you don’t need to be tethered to an internet connection.

Based on your needs, determine which business phone system will work best for you based on their services, pricing, and whether they work best for Apple or Android devices.

Once you pick the solution that’s best for your business, search for the number you want starting with your area code, and get set up.

1. Google Voice

Google Voice numbers can be used to:

  • Make and receive phone calls
  • Forward calls
  • Send and receive text messages (SMS)
  • Send and receive pictures and videos (MMS)

Google Voice works on both iOS and Android, and can even be used on a desktop (Mac or PC) or tablet as long as you have a microphone and a speaker. If you have a Google account, Google Voice will also work with other apps like Google Calendar and Google Meet as well.

Pricing for businesses starts at $10/month, which makes it an affordable option. However, it’s important to note that the Google Voice app only works using an internet connection. That means that if you’re often in rural areas with no wi-fi, you won’t receive texts or calls until you’re back online.

2. Grasshopper

Grasshopper is another option you have when looking to add additional phone numbers to your cell phone.

Grasshopper can be used to:

  • Make and receive phone calls
  • Forward calls
  • Send and receive text messages
  • Send and receive pictures and videos
  • Add phone extensions
  • Send and receive virtual faxes
  • Handle multiple calls at once
  • Transfer calls

Pricing starts at $26/month for a single mobile number. Unlike Google Voice, Grasshopper doesn’t need an internet connection to work so you can still receive phone calls and texts while out in the field.

3. OpenPhone

OpenPhone is a popular choice for many home service providers. You can use it to:

  • Make and receive phone calls
  • Forward calls
  • Send and receive text messages
  • Send and receive multimedia messages
  • Record calls

Subscriptions start at $10/month for one cell phone number. OpenPhone also integrates with Slack, Zapier, and email.

Like Google Voice, OpenPhone requires an internet connection to facilitate phone calls and text messages.

4. RingCentral

Similar to Grasshopper, RingCentral is a great option for those with advanced needs. RingCentral supports a variety of client and employee communications, such as:

  • Business calls
  • Text messages, including video and picture messaging
  • Team messaging and file sharing
  • Faxes
  • Video meetings

Adding a second line to your phone using RingCentral starts at $29.99/mth ($19.99 per month on an annual plan). Unlike Google Voice and OpenPhone, RingCentral will use your carrier’s data connection when no wi-fi is available.

This means that you’ll still receive text messages and phone calls as long as you’re within your carrier’s service area.

Having two separate phones

You can also choose to have two separate phones. While adding a second line to a single device works for many service providers, it doesn’t always provide as much work-life balance as having two different phones.

Here are some of the benefits of having two separate phones for small business and personal use.

1. It’s easier to separate business communications

Using separate phones means that all of your text messages, phone calls, contacts, and business communications are stored in one device. They’re not mixed in with texts from your kids or friends, making them easier to manage, track, and respond to.

2. You can leave work calls at work

When you have a phone with two numbers, you can usually set your work hours so that you don’t receive calls or texts in your off time. However, it’s still tempting to check in, even if you’re supposed to be enjoying a vacation or relaxing at home.

Using a separate phone for work calls means that you can completely detach when you’re out of the office by leaving it at work or giving it to an employee. Calls are still managed during work hours but you’re not tempted to check your voicemail and you don’t have to worry about changing the settings in your phone to only show personal communications.

3. You don’t have to switch between personal and business

Most of the platforms that allow you to add another line to your mobile device allow you to set personal and business hours. But those may need to be updated depending on whether it’s your busy season, you’re on vacation, or your hours fluctuate.

In these cases, having a separate phone saves you from having to update and adjust your settings all the time. Instead, turn off your work phone when you’re unavailable, and switch it back on when you’re free.

Having one phone with two SIM cards

Your third option is to use two SIM cards. Every phone has a SIM card, which is what stores individual information about your device, like your phone number, contacts, and usage information.

Using multiple SIM cards allows you to have two separate phone numbers and contact lists. It’s essentially like having two separate phones without actually having different devices. Dual SIM cards will allow you to use your phone as normal without requiring a wi-fi connection.

If you want to use one SIM card for your personal contacts and another for your business communications, you have two options.

1. You can swap out your SIM cards each time you want to use them for a different purpose. For example, you can put in your business SIM card during work hours and swap it for your personal SIM card at the end of the day.

2. You can use a dual-SIM phone that can hold both of your SIM cards at once. All you need to do is switch to the profile you want to use.

To set yourself up with two SIM cards, you’ll need to get in touch with your cell phone carrier.

Tips for managing a business phone

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure that your business phone number works for you by:

  • Setting your business hours
  • Recording a professional voicemail message
  • Setting up call forwarding when you’re away
  • Giving access to employees when necessary
  • Including your business number on your websites, business cards, and in ads

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