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turfsup
03-04-2002, 06:56 PM
Do you guys use your home phone, cell phone or both for your biz. I want my accounts to be able to get ahold me but I'm afraid of getting calls at all hours of the night and morning. I was planning on using the cell phone for the biz. Is this a good or bad idea. Also, is 500,000 enough for g/l insurance for a solo operation on residential accounts. Thanks much!

stslawncare
03-04-2002, 07:10 PM
i use my cell phone mainly however i do have a business line but its also my internet connection.

beck
03-04-2002, 07:13 PM
I strictly use a cell phone for my business phone.
I use nextel with a free incoming plan, that way your minutes do not count when people call you.

By using the cell phone you can shut it off at night so you do not have to worry about them calling you at all hours of the night.
The worst I have had is 6am, unfortunately I did not have it turned off.

Problems you may encounter is if you are unsatisfied with your cell phone company it is tough to switch, since you will be changing #s.

LoneStarLawn
03-04-2002, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by beck
Problems you may encounter is if you are unsatisfied with your cell phone company it is tough to switch, since you will be changing #s.

That won't be a problem in a year or two.


We use a cell ofr our business line. With us being a small business it is the best method for us.

AL Inc
03-04-2002, 07:41 PM
I have cell phones to communicate with my men, my fiancee and my friends. Occasionally I will give this number to clients who I know won't abuse it. I also have a phone for my house that is in my fiancees name. Absolutely will not give this number to clients. The other line I have in my house is for the business, and it rings from 6 a.m. all the way to midnight. I turn the ringer down at night and try to answer as many calls as I can when I'm in the office. I have to say I am good with returning phone calls I miss, though.Mike

Cleve
03-04-2002, 08:04 PM
Just a suggestion and it won't work for some people.
My phone at home allows me to forward calls when I want to. Just have to dial a code and give the number to forward to. Make that the cell phone. Then when at home just take the forwarding off.
Mine also will automatically forward when it is busy or no answer. That way I can use the home phone for the computer without worrying about missing any calls. Just make sure the cell phone is turned on.
Cleve.

RB
03-04-2002, 08:12 PM
Dedicated business number that customers get. Home phone that customers don't get. Don't have a cell or pager. With only 50 customers I don't get too many calls. When I get off work at 5 p.m. I'll spend about an 1/2 hour or less on the phone before I mark my work and call it a day.

Ron

landscaper3
03-04-2002, 11:31 PM
On all of our contracts there is a office number from 8am-7pm leave all non emergency messages here, for emergency calls a cell number and fax number is also listed on contracts. We are a maintenance service company so we are on call 24/7 do to our location (snow)

roscioli
03-04-2002, 11:32 PM
Have used a cell my first 2 years, now I am finally getting a land line. We have an extra line in the house that we would be cancelling, since we are switching to cable internet, so I just took it over for the business. It will be $25 a month for me (no long distance) in added expenses, but I feel that it will be a bonus for people to see a local # on my ads, rather than oh, where the hell is "(508) 450 -XXXX". The cell was tough because it was my personal cell phone before, and I would never know when to answer with "Hello" or "Roscioli Landscaping, How may I help you" I think the separate business line (which now also has a fax) will be good. The crappy part? the phone number is 5290... 5296 would spell L-A-W-N. DOAH! (and yeah, i checked with the phone company about the availability of 5296, and a whole host of others, nothing was available..)

walker-talker
03-05-2002, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Cleve
Just a suggestion and it won't work for some people.
My phone at home allows me to forward calls when I want to. Just have to dial a code and give the number to forward to. Make that the cell phone. Then when at home just take the forwarding off.
Mine also will automatically forward when it is busy or no answer. That way I can use the home phone for the computer without worrying about missing any calls. Just make sure the cell phone is turned on.
Cleve.

This is EXACTLY how I operate!

MATT

outrunjason
03-05-2002, 06:18 PM
Well, If I didn't have bad credit I would use a cell phone. But, I use a voicemail system. $10 a month. Up to 100 calls a day with pager notification.

Jason

LawnLad
03-05-2002, 07:34 PM
When I first started I lived at home with the parents. Used our home phone number. Then I got tired of my secretaries (mom/brother/sister/dad, etc) taking bad messages. So I set up a land line for the business early on - this number will never change (most likely). Have been in business for 10 years with it. Fax line too (used to use as modem line until we got DSL). The business incoming line is a "buisness" line - lists the name of the company in the phone book - which you don't get with a personal line or a cell phone. The fax is a personal line, and we make all of our going calls on it (funny when someone calls back with caller id). Problem with cell phones - if you switch providers - your number will change. Now you're reprinting stationary, cards, etc.

Nextells/pagers are for in house use only. All numbers are private. Had customers trapping old cell phone numbers and calling us in the middle of the day at inappropriate times (not that they would know). I want all the calls routed through the office. Just another element of control I guess. I have on some occasions given my pager number to a customer.

Looking into answering service or call forwarding type deal for the business lines. I like some of your guys suggestions. Thanks for the ideas.

SUNSHINE LAWN
03-05-2002, 09:02 PM
As a solo operator with plans to add 1 or 2 employees maybe this year or next I'll stick with the cell phone. Allows me to have a mobil office with only one phone bill per month. I just leave the phone in truck when cutting and check for missed calls when I get back in. I like be able to get back to customer calls quickly and this has worked for me the last few years. Most of my friends and familys phone #'s are stored in the phone so when they call, it pops up on caller id and I will answer accordingly.

KDJ
03-05-2002, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Cleve
Just a suggestion and it won't work for some people.
My phone at home allows me to forward calls when I want to. Just have to dial a code and give the number to forward to. Make that the cell phone. Then when at home just take the forwarding off.
Mine also will automatically forward when it is busy or no answer. That way I can use the home phone for the computer without worrying about missing any calls. Just make sure the cell phone is turned on.
Cleve.

That is how I do it, workes great, also if you're cell service needs to be changed it's no big deal.

65hoss
03-06-2002, 09:47 AM
For a while I had one of my home lines the business line. Everyone had both cell and 1 home #. Got tired of this. Crazy calling hours and then try 1, hang up, call the other. Now, I just use my cell phone. New brochures, flyers, signs, etc have cell # only on it.

G/L insurance for a solo is good at $500k. Check to see if cost is much more for the $1Mil. If you can afford the difference get the Million. I have the Million and just allows you to sleep better at night.

landman
03-06-2002, 01:45 PM
We have all of our #s to the office. No business phone at home, it's bad enough that I work 5:30 am to 7:00 pm. If the secretary has a problem or call that she cannot answer then it's passed on to me and I will call the customer back or she will tell the customer to call between 7 am and 7:30 am to talk to me. Only our commercial customers and other important business business contacts have my pager and a few select have my cell. It's bad enough I spend over 1200 mins. a month on the cell. If I had to talk to all of my customers when they called I would never get any work done. As for the customers that want to be called back at night I have an unlisted # at my house that I call from so that anybody who has caller ID can't get my #.

walker-talker
03-07-2002, 11:12 AM
G/L insurance for a solo is good at $500k. Check to see if cost is much more for the $1Mil. If you can afford the difference get the Million. I have the Million and just allows you to sleep better at night.

I spoke with an agent a couple of days ago and he had thought the difference was only like $15 a month......I have not seen anything in writing yet........next tuesday he will have a quote!

MATT

Sean Adams
03-07-2002, 01:44 PM
Being accessible is a good thing. Having your business run by your phones or your clients is not. If you have set hours that clients can reach you, that can work as well - assuming you are a "one-man-band". People like talking to an actual person when they call.

Sean Adams

lamblawnscaping
03-07-2002, 02:24 PM
We pay $32 a month for a remote call forward number. This is listed in the yellow pages under our companies name. It forwards to either my or my brother's nextel phone (free incoming calls). If you operate more than one crew the direct connect with the nextels are great.

If you are going to have materials (fliers, shirts, truck lettering, letterhead) made up it would be best not to use a cell phone number. You will find that your cell phone carrier will eventually piss you off and when you want to switch you will have to redo everything with your number on it.

Always Green
03-08-2002, 12:35 AM
We have 3 different business line at the office and a fax line,
I used to give my cel # to important customers but that got to be a pain so now only when it's going to snow do we forward the call to my house or cel. I have a office manager in the office from 7:30an till 4:00 and a girl who does telemarketing from 4:00 till 8:00pm, and i'm in the office from 6:00an till 7:30am so if you can't get us and get the manchine too bad.
I DON"T NEED MY WIFE COMPLAINING THAT SOME CUSTOMER WOKE HER UP OR ASKED HER 100 QUESTIONS

JJOHN22042
03-10-2002, 10:43 AM
Use Cellphone here only and works great. Phone has Voice mail so if its midnight they can leave a message. Then when you wake up a 5am you can call them back :).:blob4: :blob4:

John Allin
03-10-2002, 04:39 PM
Check out this site......

It can raise the level of professionalism for you and solve alot of communications problems.....

http://www.esymbiot.com/productInfo.php?productID=teleRunner