Cut the Cord?

Q: I have a small consulting business and my client list is growing. Should I get another landline for my company or choose a cell phone as my second line? 
–T. Allen, Detroit

A: You’ve heard this answer many times before, but I’ll say it again: It depends. While many business people prefer a regular wired phoneline, others find great flexibility in choosing a cell phone as a second line for business.

Is this a good option? It depends on what you do and what your calling patterns are. If you’re an entrepreneur and your business requires you to be out of the office frequently (as yours does), a cell phone makes good sense. Services like Sprint, VoiceStream, and AT&T (among many others) offer a variety of plans to fit your business needs. Are you a good candidate for a new cell phone? Take the test: Does your work require you to be away from the office for most of the day? Are you working solo? Do you travel out of town frequently? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider using a cell phone as your second business line. Another option is a product that links your cell phone to your landline, such as the Vox.Link Cell Phone Base Station from Vox2 (www.vox2.com).

If, on the other hand, your work is limited to a specific area, you have office help, or make and receive calls infrequently; you might opt for a landline. However, if you do get a second wired phone line, it’s still a good idea to have a cell phone for emergency purposes. You need to be able to communicate with your office and clients instantly. And a cell phone makes it that much easier. With features such as Web access, instant messaging, and paging, having a cell phone can only help your business.

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