Anybody gone all cellular with business phone?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tpirobert, Jan 9, 2001.

  1. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Here's my current phone set-up:
    $85/month for phone and fax.
    $65/month for 2 cell phones.
    $22/month for aol/email
    ( also have residential phone line )

    I'm thinking of going to just cell phone, and fax hooked up to personal line. This would eliminate $85/month($1020/year) expense of business line. The cell phone has voice mail and other goodies and is always with me. I get zero calls from phone book listing. Word of mouth and mailings bring in new customers. When working in my home office I can use my personal line to make calls. I'll be putting new signage on my truck and enclosed trailer....so that could be my "yellow page ad". I know other landscape contractors in my area doing $350k plus a year with no business phone/ad or truck signage! All thoughts,comments are welcome and appreciated.


     
  2. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 437

    All I use is the cell phone. When I sign up a new customer I give them my home number for emergencies. Although my business card does have my home number which goes through a answering machine with options ( press 1 for etc. and press 2 for etc.) May not be the most professional way but business is great.
     
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I would caution against that for now for a few reasons. For one, you may find that later on you will REALLY want to change your number. Case in point, last year I had a cell phone with Qwest. They give me a great deal (unlimited minutes for $79 per month, no kidding, unlimited minutes. I can talk all day every day if I want.) So I almost went to cell phones exclusively.

    Good thing I didn't. Because after about 6 months with that phone I was running into problems with circuits being busy all the time. Mostly when people were trying to reach me. But it also happened when I would dial out. I called Qwest. It took me going through several brainless CSRs before I finally found someone who actually knew what was causing this. She informed me that my prefix, 891, was getting full of numbers. All the people on that prefix use the same "switch" or something like that. So when there are a lot of people on one prefix, sometimes the lines get tied up. Just as our land lines get tied up once in a while, "All circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later...."

    I REALLY wanted to keep the deal I had with this company. I didn't want to switch to another provider. So she told me that if I just got a new number (in another prefix)that I should not have any more problems for a while. I did that. And it's been a good 6-8 months since then and no problems. But if I had put that number on business cards, fliers, gave it to clients, etc. I would have had to stick with that number or potentially lose business.

    Second reason is that technology is changing so rapidly. Heck, I've gone through 4 different cell phone companies in the last 11 years or so. Are you sure you want to be tied in to the same provider indefinitely?

    Look, if you want to get rid of your land line, fine. But get a permenant number some how. That is, a number that you can forward to anywhere you want. I have a few of those. The best is with Easytel. ( http://www.easytel.net ). It's like a permenant number for life. If you ever move to another city, you can still keep the same number. If you change cell phone companies, you can change the forwarding to go to your new cell phone. Or you can program it to call you at home from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am and at your cell during the day. Whatever.

    Of course, this adds another cost. But it also has some benefits.

    Personally I wouldn't give up my business number for anything. And if I ever move out of this area I plan on buying this number as a stand alone number and having it forwarded to my new number. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there with this number because of a flier, business card, Advertisement, etc. they have of mine. I still get calls every once in a while from an old yellow pages ad or from someone we did work for years ago.
     
  4. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    We use Nextel for every thing they are a greate service but are very expensive. I love the two-way radio thing on it. have not had a problem with them yet. On my personal phone i have two lines one for business and one for personal calls. That is what i use and could not live with out it!

    Matt
     
  5. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Hmmmm. I knew I would get something to think about here.

    I have had same cell phone number since '92 with same provider(us cellular). My exchange is the first for this area, so most users have different exchange and it's rare that I have signal or busy problems. If I'm on the cell phone, callers get my voice mail and I get alerted of message.
    Yes, I have flyers and postcards out there in desk drawers and on kitchen counters that still generate the occasional call. But, the life span seems to be about a year on these items. I currently need new vehicle/trailer signage as well as business cards, so I want to make decision on phone # before spending money. I know I can cut out seperate fax # which is about a third of my bill. I hope to add a web site sometime this Spring, so this too will help with advertising. I just want every dollar spent to be generating income in some way and not be wasted. I'm evauluating all aspects of my business for waste and lost income potential.

    Anyway, these decisions take carefull consideration and your help is greatly appreciated.
     
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Nextel Communications. Quite expensive but worth every .01

    Kris
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Ya know that people with nothing better to do have radio scanners that pick up cell phone conversations. Someone out there (maybe your neighbor) can be listening to you at any time. The US government has sattelites that listen for certain keywords in cell phone conversations and they may monitor you at any time. Doesn't anyone beside me watch 60 minutes? LOL. If you want a private conversation sometime you need a land line or go to a pay phone etc.
    I might add that this goes for Babe Monitors and wireless phones. Anything that sends out a signal can and is probably being listened to

    [Edited by Charles on 01-10-2001 at 08:46 AM]
     
  8. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    OK Charles now your sounding like my brother in law. He thinks the govt has cameras everywhere watching us. Now I am a big Republican because I want the govt to stay out of our lives. But can you imagine the man power needed to listen to 1/10th of the cel phone conversations? Anyways I'm not too scared of what I say on the phone. I'm not setting up drug deals or hiring hitmen.

    Now on to another topic: I too have considered dropping the business # simply because my cel phone # is soooo easy to remember. Its 274-1000. Can't get much easier than that huh?
     
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    Unlike a landline, a cell phone number can (and will) be changed on you with almost no prior notice so if having a number with some permanence is high on the list, keep the wired line.
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Lawnguy, I said these sattellites listen for keywords. How you think they here this Bin ladin guy make plans around the world? The pick him out of the zillions through a super high speed computer. That can sort through zillions or words per second. The US government doesnt hide the fact that it does this. England recently complained that we were learning trade secrets and spying on them through this technique and they thought it was not good for an ally to be spying on them. The government looks for terrorist and crimminal. You could call a girl on the cell phone "da bomb" and the computer will red flag your call. These super computers log all cell phone calls. They looking for a name used they just go back and scan. They looking for a name before hand and the puters will red flag it. He whole system is set up out west with the receiver and 60 minutes took pictures of the set up. Anyway they have many words that they listen for to flag and pick up the coversation. This is a fact.
    And there are thousand of scanner in you city that can scan 100s a channels per second listening to cell phones and other private info. You may have nothing to hide. But if all you had is a cell phone I am sure there are some personal conversations you would not want people to hear
     

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