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Business landlines vs. cell phones: here’s how to choose

Get the information you need to choose between a business landline or cell phone for your business.

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More options for communication become available every day. 

In the face of all that innovation, most small business owners face a simple, but important, decision: whether to use a business landline and a cell phone.

In the past, a landline was the standard for businesses. Now, cell phones are often used by small business owners to communicate with customers and employees.

So, which option should you use?

Here are a few pros and cons to consider as you make your choice between a business landline and cell phone.

The pros of cell phones

The popularity of cell phones over the years speaks volumes about their value. What, specifically, does a cell phone have to offer? 

Familiar and friendly

Recent data on mobile phone ownership reports that 97% of Americans have one.

We send texts and make calls from our mobile phones every day without a thought. That ease of use can be valuable for new small business owners who don’t have time to devote to setting up a landline. It’s human nature to gravitate toward a system that we’re already comfortable with. 

Comes with internet access

The ability to Google information you need or navigate to a website instantly is an obvious plus.

You can also attend virtual meetings on the go and troubleshoot issues from anywhere and everywhere on your device. 

Graph of the percentage of global mobile traffic from 2011 to 2021

The cons of cell phones 

While most of us feel we can’t live without cell phones in our personal lives, they have flaws when it comes to business communications. Here are three reasons not to use a cell phone in your business.

Blurs your work-life boundaries

As a business owner, the temptation to give clients your cell number for the sake of convenience is strong. 

Beware—this is the fastest route to the end of your work-life balance. If you give your customers and clients 24/7 access to your personal cell, they’ll use it. Drawing boundaries only gets more difficult from there.

Having a little separation from your work life is healthy. If you’ve got the stress of the day on your mind and clients texting and calling you at all hours, you’ll start to feel overwhelmed.

Not only that, but the inability to keep your work and personal life separate can lead to more practical communication issues: 

  • You might miss an important work call by picking up a personal one.
  • It’s easy to get disorganized as work-related and personal messages blend together.
  • You lose out on your privacy unless you get a new phone number.

Limits your company’s growth

Cell phones can also get in the way of your efforts to grow your business. If you need to communicate with more than a handful of people on a regular basis, your cell phone just won’t cut it.

Take texting, for example. Sending out texts to lots of people on a cell phone leaves you with limited options. You can either send separate texts to each individual (which is time-consuming) or lump everyone into a group text (which is impersonal, and can leave a bad impression on your customers). 

Cell phones also limit your bandwidth when they become your one and only hub for incoming and outgoing communication of all kinds. 

If all your calls are being routed through your device, you’re going to have issues and questions thrown at you faster than you can handle them. You’ll eventually start missing calls and messages because you were busy with others, leading to unhappy customers.

Cost can include lots of extras

Cell phones are a big part of our daily lives. It’s why business owners sometimes don’t recognize all the extras needed to make their cell phone the main point of contact within their business. 

A cell phone requires a contract, a certain amount of data from a carrier, and reliable service in the area where you’re using it. 

These requirements can be restrictive. We’ve all dealt with bad coverage or run out of data in the middle of the month. If you rely on your cell to keep your business moving forward, issues like these can turn into a big stumbling block.

The pros of landlines

There are more than a few good reasons why business owners have relied on landline phones for so long.

Keeps personal and work texts separate

Contrary to popular belief, sticking with your landline doesn’t mean you can’t text customers. 

It’s easy to text-enable your landline and help your customers reach you in an instant on the same number you already have, and that number recognition also makes customers more likely to trust and engage with your messages. You can organize the messages you receive and respond from whichever device you prefer. 

SimpleTexting’s text-to-landline service allows users to send out texts to large groups with no hassle. You can personalize your messages for better engagement, schedule texts, assign individual numbers to team members, and much more. 

Text-enabling your landline is the best way to keep your communication method up to date and keep convenience and customer comfort your top priority.

Portrays a professional image

Establishing a reputation for professionalism is important when you run a business. Believe it or not, how your customers reach you is a big part of that reputation. 

The quality of your cell reception and call audio matters when you’re speaking with your customers, investors, or employees. This is a weak point for cell phones. Dropped calls or fuzzy sound quality can give people a bad impression and cause frustrating communication issues.

Landlines come with a more secure connection and solid service. Your customers may feel more confident calling a landline rather than your personal cell.

The cons of landline phones

Landlines have several perks, but there’s a reason they’re no longer as popular.

Physical landlines are outdated technology

If the word “landline” makes you think of the dinosaurs, you’re not alone. 

A landline is often considered outdated tech that isn’t as convenient or mobile as a cell phone.

Part of the drawback with a landline is the bad memories many people have of clunky desk phones, ear-shattering hold music, and voice recordings from the ‘90s. 

Those memories can make your customers more reluctant to work with your business.

graph of the decline of landline phone usage

A VOiP phone system offers the best of both worlds

Choosing between business landlines and cell phones is a dilemma. But there’s one option we haven’t covered: why not combine the benefits of both?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services allow you to make phone calls using an internet connection rather than a traditional analog phone line that uses wires or optical fibers to make a connection. VoIP is transmitted through various methods including traditional phones, smartphone apps, computer software, and specific VoIP-enabled phones.

Why choose a VoIP system?

With a VoIP system and a virtual phone number, you get a ton of benefits, including:

  • The ability to make calls from a phone number separate from your cell phone
  • No need to install physical hardware, because VoIP runs over the Internet
  • VoIP numbers can stay the same even if your business changes locations or you travel.
  • There are plenty of possible add-on features like call transferring and virtual receptionists.
  • You can use VoIP texting to send texts from your computer or an app.

The wrap on cell phones vs. landlines

We hope this crash course on choosing between a cell phone and landline has left you feeling a little more confident in your options. As we’ve stressed, a VoIP system offers the best of both worlds.

If you’d like to learn more about texting for your business, here are some helpful guides: 

Lily Norton
Lily Norton

Lily is a content marketing specialist at SimpleTexting. She specializes in making helpful, entertaining video content and writing blogs that help businesses take advantage of all that texting has to offer. When she’s not writing or making TikToks, you can find Lily at roller derby practice or in a yoga studio in the Seattle area.

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