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More than three-quarters of self-employed working use their personal mobiles for business, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by communications provider Moneypenny, found a further 19% use their own phones during the first few months of starting their business. Interestingly, only 4% set up a work landline when starting their self-employed journey.

The findings also showed that more women use their personal mobile numbers for work than men, with 5% more females choosing to do this than males.

Of those who said they use personal mobiles, nearly all of them said they had found themselves in a situation where they were unable to answer a call. For more than 40% of them, it's a weekly occurrence. Nearly one in five (17%) said it happens at least twice a week, 13% three times a week and 7% more than five times a week.

Although just 4% decide to set up a landline, more than half of those surveyed say they have been asked to supply a landline number.

Nearly a third admitted answering their personal mobile without starting the name of the business. It's the younger self-employed workers, however, that are more likely to change the way they answer the phone to sound more professional. Eighty-two per cent of 18-24 year olds said they make a conscious effort to answer their personal phone in a more professional way compared with just 16% of those over the age of 45.

It appears a lack of professionalism isn't the only drawback of using personal mobiles. More than a third (39%) admitted to not changing their voicemail settings, and nearly half (48%) of those using personal phones have had a friend or family member answer the phone to a customer or potential customer.

Nearly three-quarters of those who have a landline claimed that having a separate business number creates a healthier barrier between their personal and professional lives.

Joanna Swash, global CEO of Moneypenny, said: “Whether you choose to have a landline number or not, the most important factor is the way you manage and conduct your calls.

“Answering the phone in a positive, polite and friendly manner will make the biggest impact on your customers and potential customers. Always state your name and the name of your business when answering calls and if you say you’ll ring back, be sure to do so”.