Be Your Own Competition with VoIP Business Phone Service

Lately, we’ve been sharing tips on using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone service to manage multiple businesses in these two posts, VoIP Phone Service: Run Two Businesses Out Of One Office for Less and Use Your Business Phone Service to Masquerade for Fun and Profit.

This next tip is extremely controversial, but it’s also my favorite. Not only because I was impressed with the idea, but when it happened, I was in the last day of a sales competition to see who could book the most businesses in a month. I was trailing the leader by two businesses. Then I got this call from a cunning entrepreneur:

“Listen, my name is ‘Al,’ and I run seven different online print companies out of my office on a single phone system. That system is failing as we speak. I’ll give you my credit card right now and won’t argue about price if you can promise me the following:

  1. Your system will let me have seven main numbers.
  2. The main numbers can each go to a different auto attendant, with different messages.
  3. I can have my agents use the same six phones to answer for all seven companies on the fly, so we know when someone is trying to price-shop us.
  4. You can have me up and running in 24 hours.”

We did the deal, I rushed the phones out to him and we got his seven businesses up and running on his new 8×8 phone system in less than 24 hours. He was ecstatic, and I won the sales contest. But more importantly, I gained insight into a new business strategy I’d never even heard of before.

Since then I’ve had many business owners tell me they switched to VoIP phone service because they like the freedom it gives them to manage the business equivalent of “multiple personalities.” People like Avyzo’s CEO, Robert Heller.

“8×8 allows my four small businesses to operate with the highest level of flexibility,” says Heller. “As the head of these businesses, I understand more than most the critical need for this type of flexibility and the empowerment it provides me and my employees. With 8×8 we can respond to opportunities with speed and agility, giving us the necessary advantage in this competitive environment.”

And of course, some entrepreneurs use VoIP business phone service to look much bigger and nationally dispersed than they really are. “I run two small Internet-based businesses from my home in La Verne, California using two 8×8 Polycom Internet phones,” says Bob Sheridan. “My first business,, uses a 302 area code from Delaware, while my second business,, uses a 213 area code from Los Angeles, California. 8×8 phone services have allowed me to appear as though my two companies are on East and West coasts.”

On one hand, this might strike some as a little, well, sneaky. But not me. I call it “entrepreneurship.” I have to hand it to them for their ingenuity; I’m just glad they’re not my competition!