I often consult business owners who are just starting out with a home-based business. They are often unsure whether to use their home phone number, cell phone number, or get an extra phone line. I often recommend a little known service called virtual voice-mail.
With virtual voice-mail, you get a phone number, but it doesn’t ring anywhere. Just like any voice-mail, you record an outgoing message, your callers can leave you messages, and you can retrieve those messages any time by calling into your mailbox. Many services even allow you to log into your account online and listen to your messages on your computer. Plus, they are very affordable at about $10/month, and often don’t require a deposit or start-up fee. Many of these companies even allow you to pay via pay pal, which means you don’t have to worry about giving out your credit card number.
The only drawback I can think of is that it doesn’t connect to an actual phone line, so you can’t answer it if you wanted to, but here are some reasons why I think virtual voice-mail is a great option for many start-ups:
Here’s a good company that offers virtual voice-mail service: http://www.voicemailnumber.com/ You can find more by doing a search for “virtual voice-mail” online. This may be a service that can help you get off the ground!