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second phone line

How to Have 2 Phone Numbers with 1 Phone

It’s always good practice to separate your business from your personal life as much as possible.  Getting a second phone line is an easy and effective way to accomplish this.  In this post, I’ll show you the benefits of using a Google Voice phone number for your business and how to set it up.  It’s easy, free, and well worth the effort.

Google Voice is a service that allows you to have two phone numbers that call the same phone.  Anytime somebody calls your business number, it goes directly to your personal phone or whatever phone you have it forward calls to.

The obvious benefit of using Google Voice is you only need to carry one phone.  With the price of smart-phones, who wants to deal with two?  As a handyman, you already have enough tools and equipment to worry about.  By using this free service, you get most of the benefits of having two completely separate phones, without your pockets bulging with electronics.

Filtering Incoming Calls

For me, the ability to filter incoming calls is an absolute must.  Depending on who is calling me, I answer the phone differently, or maybe not at all.  With Google Voice you can set it up so that your caller ID displays your Google Voice number anytime somebody is calling your business line.   This will allow you to immediately recognize that it’s a business call before you even answer the phone.  You can then prepare your professional self for a phone call.

Without this ability, I’d tend to answer every phone call as if it were a business call.  If my friends called from a number I didn’t recognize, they’d get my handyman phone greeting.  Not ideal.

Separate Voicemail Greetings

Google Voice also allows you to setup a separate voicemail greeting for your Google Voice number.  This is an awesome feature for obvious reasons.  This will allow you to make your business greeting as cheesy as you want without having your friends make fun of you every time they leave a voicemail on your personal line.

Separate voicemail greetings also keep customers from hearing a personal voicemail greeting.  Allowing your customers to hear your personal voicemail greeting is about as unprofessional as it gets.  This will turn a lot of customers off or diminish your value as a service provider.  Essentially it will make it more difficult for you to charge a premium for your services.

You Choose Your Phone Number

One of the coolest features of Google Voice is the ability to choose your own number so you can get one that is easily memorable.  However, many of the good numbers have already been taken so it may take some time to choose one that you want.

It’s Free!

As a new business owner it’s hard to find anything business related that doesn’t come at a premium.  At the moment, Google  Voice is completely free.  Enjoy it while it lasts.


Nothing’s perfect and Google Voice is no exception.  Here are a couple of the service’s limitations:

  • Outgoing calls to your customers will show your primary cell phone number on the customers caller ID.  If you call a customer to follow up, they will tend to call you back on your personal number.  This isn’t all that bad, however, because they will usually only call you on that number once.  The next time they call they’ll reference your card or website for your phone number.
  • It’s harder to leave your business behind you when you go on vacation.  I personally don’t like to think about business while on vacation, but when a customer calls I can’t help but to answer.  After all, who wants to lose business?  The only problem is that business calls can spoil a good time.

How to Get It

It’s pretty simple to setup.  If you already have a Gmail account, simply click here and follow the instructions.  If you don’t use Gmail, you’ll need to create an account first.  I recommend getting a Gmail account anyway for all of the amazing features and capabilities it offers for free.

Once you have signed up for a number, your going to want to mess with the settings a bit.  Tweak the settings and ask your friends to call until you get the desired result.

I currently have mine set up so that when somebody calls my google voice number, it displays their phone number on the caller ID, but I have a voice prompt telling me that somebody is calling my google number.  I can then either press “1” to answer or “2” to send to voicemail once I’ve answered.  I always press “1”, but this just gives me a heads up that it is a business call.

Calls to my primary or personal phone number are handled as usual.


When I first set up Google Voice I had a couple of issues that I had to work through and it was a little frustrating.  I’d like to save you the agony.  If you have any questions regarding how to setup a Google Voice number for your handyman business, please ask in the comment section below.

For more tips on running a successful handyman business, be sure to follow me on twitter @bigDhandyman.

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  • Belinda July 5, 2012

    Actually if you have an android or iPhone you can specify which number you’d like to call from rather it be your google number or personal cell number. I’ve been utilizing their services for over 2 years. Also, you can set it up on line for your google voice site to specify groups for your contacts and have various voice mail settings for your callers. I’m in business also to help other small businesses and I teach this information to my clients as well as create marketing kits that include but not limited to: creating a website, business cards, marketing via social media.

    Perhaps there’s an opportunity for us to do business in the future.

    • Big D July 6, 2012

      Thanks for the tip Belinda. So how do you set up google voice to choose which phone to call through? I attempted to, but it said “this feature coming soon.” Maybe I missed something?

      • Tom November 15, 2012

        Big D, you probably already figured this out but you can download the Google Voice app for your iphone and use it to make calls from your business.

        • Big D November 15, 2012

          I actually didn’t know that. Now I do! Thanks!

        • Rolly June 14, 2013

          This is too cool! I downloaded GV to my Android and set it up so that I can make calls from my personal number or my GV number.

      • Francesca May 3, 2016

        I’ve been considering using Google Voice now that my contract has finally run out. Here’s my question: sometimes I can’t answer the phone and don’t want it to go to Voice Mail so I have an answering service that will take my business calls. Is there a way to use one phone (iPhone 6) and then easily forward calls to the answering service if they’re coming into one phone? How easy is it to change the call forwarding onto the Answering Service? For example if I’m at Costco and shopping and can’t get into my reservation system while shopping to make a reservation over the phone, my Answering Service can take the call, but I don’t always use the Answering Service to take calls because they’re expensive. Thanks!

  • Sheila May 27, 2013

    Sounds like some good advice-
    Any chance of getting a
    hold of Belinda for some small business advice.

    • Big D May 27, 2013

      Hi Sheila,

      If you click on her name it will take you to her website.

      Big D

  • Troy Smith October 23, 2013

    How did you do this?

    I currently have mine set up so that when somebody calls my google voice number, it displays their phone number on the caller ID, but I have a voice prompt telling me that somebody is calling my google number. I can then either press “1″ to answer or “2″ to send to voicemail once I’ve answered.

    • Dan Perry October 23, 2013

      What are you trying to do, Troy?

      • Kendra Mcqueen January 21, 2017

        Im signed in to google voice and it doesnt give me a option for a 2nd line it shows my phone number thru my carrie twice then shows a vm number that is totally diff but i cant change or edit? How do i pick my phone number PLEASE HELPP

  • Brandon November 10, 2013

    please just save us the time and explain how you did this in detail. I own a business and when a client calls me I want it to show as my business line through google voice like you stated. Then when my friend or brother calls me it shows as my regular verizon number.

    I currently have mine set up so that when somebody calls my google voice number, it displays their phone number on the caller ID, but I have a voice prompt telling me that somebody is calling my google number. I can then either press “1″ to answer or “2″ to send to voicemail once I’ve answered. I always press “1″, but this just gives me a heads up that it is a business call.

    Calls to my primary or personal phone number are handled as usual.

    I want it setup like that.

    • Dan Perry November 11, 2013


      If you want it to show your google voice phone number when somebody calls, here is how you do it.

      Got to google.com/voice and then go to the settings (right side of page and looks like a gear) Then go to the calls tab. From there you will see an option to change your caller ID.


  • Margaret August 26, 2014

    I would like to set up a message that people who want to leave a personal message can press 1 or for my business press 2. Can I do that and if so, how?

    • Dan Perry August 27, 2014

      I’m not sure if that’s possible with google voice.

  • Kiwi June 22, 2015

    How do you set up Separate Voicemail Greetings?
    I have 2 businesses and 1 cell phone. I would like to keep it that way. My phone is really a business phone so I have always had a professional greeting. Now that I have started a new business I need a separate message for the people calling that number. Let’s make this simple and call my first business X and second business Y. If a person calls my original number (X) I would like them to hear greeting X, If a person calls gv number (Y) I would like them to hear greeting Y. I don’t want to use groups because most the people calling will not be contacts.

    • Dan Perry June 22, 2015

      You will have a voicemail for your original phone number (whatever number you got with the phone) and then record a seperate voicemail for your google voice phone number. Your original voicemail will be recorded where you normally do. Your Google voice voicemail is recorded online.

  • JEB July 16, 2015

    I have Google Voice on my iphone for business calls and when someone calls my GV# they get the voice mail I set up for my business. I then set up GV in my daughters phone so she can take my business calss while I am away and when someone calls the GV# they get her personal greeting. She does not have an iphone, is there something I am missing?

  • Harold September 3, 2015

    I have more than one question. I have two cell phones one for personal and one for business. 1) I’d like to keep my two numbers but transfer one as a GV#. Can I do that? Then 2) I will be purchasing another new phone in the near future. How would I transfer both numbers to my new phone when I get it?

    • Dan Perry September 4, 2015

      HI Harold,

      Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to those questions. It’s going to take some reading on Google Voice and potentially talking to your phone company.

    • Bruce December 12, 2015

      You can port an existing number to Google Voice for a cost of $20, which you’ll need Google Wallet to pay. All phone service providers charge for porting. Search “port number to Google Voice” and you should find out how it works. I’ll be doing this for my wife soon.

  • Cindy October 30, 2015

    If I have GV can also send and receive separate text messages and/or emails in this feature?

  • SN November 7, 2015

    Is this a feature only available in the US? I’m in the UK and no matter what link I click on, it just gives more blurb rather than an option set set up a google voice number. I already have gmail accounts. ?????

  • Rich November 11, 2015

    Hi Dan,

    Great info. Thanks! Question.. I have a personal number and a business number. I currently have two phones but want to get rid of one and have both numbers ring to pne phone with separate voicemail greetings. Seems simple enough but I’m confused about the potential third number, the Google Voice number. Do I have to have/use a Google Voice number? In other words, I don’t want to have to change one of my current phone numbers.

    • Jamie May 6, 2016

      Rich, read a few comments above; it looks like to keep your existing number for you business, you would need to port it over to GV. That way you would still have your personal number like always and GV would be your same business number, no third line. It’s the same thing I’m thinking about doing.

  • Joel December 22, 2015

    Can you also receive text messages on this new Google service?

    • Dan Perry December 22, 2015


  • Mitch December 29, 2015


    I recently moved from Ohio to California for a new job. My new job provided us with cell phones that we can use for personal use as well. I’m actually getting rid of my Verizon account which means my Ohio number would be gone. I would like to still keep my Ohio number since I’ve had it for so long but I don’t know what to do. I called AT&T and they said it’s possible to change my work number completely to my Ohio number but it would be some work/i don’t know if my company would allow that. I tried Google Voice but they can’t port my number at this time from my area in Ohio. I have Google Lite now but I didn’t know that once my Ohio Verizon account is cancelled, my Ohio number won’t work on there anymore. If you can help, that would be great! I know there’s probably not many more options hah. Thanks

  • Jaclynn January 5, 2016

    Is there a way to have Call Screening ask for a persons name every time even from a familiar number? Where I work, no matter what building you call from, it is always the same number calling so unfortunately every time someone calls me from my job it now only says the recording name of the first person who has ever called me from that number it is horribly annoying. I would like Call Screening to ask for a persons name every single call, familiar number or not. Please help me!!

    • Dan Perry January 7, 2016

      Yes, I’m 90% sure you can do that.

  • dirk February 2, 2016

    I just moved to Canada. Can I get a Google second number that’s Canadian, while keeping my old American phone number on the same phone?

  • Janine Hoffman Reyes February 24, 2016

    Can I have a Google call go to a separate greeting for business and if my primary number calls go directly to my personal greeting? I need a special long greeting for all business calls and automatic personal greeting for personal calls depending on which number is dialed the

    • Dan Perry February 24, 2016


  • Mallory March 14, 2016

    Hello, I have been logging too much time trying to figure out how to set up a voicemail greeting for people calling my google number, and a separate greeting for when people call my cell phone number… I don’t understand!
    I understand how to create a greeting for certain contacts or groups or circles, but obviously I don’t know the phone numbers of the customers calling my google number, so I can’t add them to a certain group.
    Also, I have another side hustle of customers/strangers who would be calling my personal cell phone number, so they need to hear a different greeting than my google number greeting. Help!?
    I also tried activated and deactivated voicemail for my personal number, that doesn’t work because then when people call my google number they get my personal greeting, not my professional greeting. and when it is activated all calls get my google voice greeting instead of my personal number getting a personal greeting.

    • Mallory March 14, 2016

      I also tried to create my second side hustle business voicemail greeting as the greeting on my cell phone, not through google voice, but it didnt work after i activated the google voicemail, then even personal calls got my google voice mail greeting instead of my cell phones greeting. and without activating google voicemail then my google number went to my personal cell phones greeting.

  • Julie April 7, 2016

    Can I set up Google Voice to press 1 to go to one phone number and press 2 for another number?

  • Ephy April 19, 2016

    Most of my business is done via text, as opposed to voice calls. Would this work the same way?
    My business phone is such a brick, it would be great not to have to carry it around!

  • Randy May 6, 2016

    Is it possible to set up a GV number that goes to voicemail and multiple people can pick up the voicemail?

  • Brian - onoff May 19, 2016

    Hi Dan,

    I just came across your blog post and figured I could address some of the disadvantages of this setup and in the process tell you about a new service we just launched in the UK that could solve many of them. Google voice is a great free setup especially as a means of replacing a fixed line but as you point out it’s still very hard to become completely independent of your original number when people can see your personal number.

    Basically at onoff app we have created an app that lets you have multiple real mobile phone numbers on one device and with calls routed through your sim card over GSM you don’t suffer any of the usual constraints that come with VOIP services like google voice, Each new number is a separate independent entity, with independent voicemail, caller ID, phonebook and you can even turn off calls or sms when you don’t wish to be contacted (for example after hours you can route all calls to voicemail by the flick of a switch)

    Just this week we have launched our product in the UK so I’d very much welcome if you wish to try the product out for yourself, you can fund us at http://www.onoffapp.com/

  • Rhonda smith July 10, 2016

    Have question on GV I am an assistant to a manger -loan officer. She has been in business 30 years. We are trying to grow business. Most of our business is Referal. Problem is agents give her personal cell number because she has used for years. And she is usually with someone. So I was wanting to know if we get GV can it be used on multiple phone lines. Such as they call and if she don’t answer after 2 rings will go to my phone and if I am on the phone it will forward to main front office desk. If no answer there will forward to vm and message can be left. And it will text us both the message plus email? Also can GV be used for text. And if so can it be used by multiple people. Meaning me and her use so we know where one left off on last conversation.

  • Greg July 25, 2016

    Hey Dan,

    Came across your website and i read in your small bio that you escaped the 9-5! which is great. and which is something that im trying to do as well. and hopefully do. I would love some great tips if possible! thanks/

    • Dan Perry July 25, 2016

      Ya, working a 9-5 is something I will never go back to. It’s just not for some people.

      If you want to escape, by best advice is this: If you have enough money saved to support yourself for year, just quit. You’ll be able to figure something out by then and you’ll make a lot more progress learning business.

      If you don’t, then you could build a business part time doing something like handyman services until you feel a little more confident and have some income coming in.

      I’ve actually written a blog post on this topic – http://www.handymanstartup.com/how-to-start-and-grow-a-business-while-working-a-full-time-job/

  • john September 9, 2016

    Hi, found this chat thread online trying to figure out google voice. Thanks everyone for their input… Couple of questions:

    Is there a way that I can see the number that is calling in, but know that it’s calling my google voice #? Seems like the only option is to set it up to either display my google # when a call comes in, which helps to identify what # is being called, (so I can answer the phone appropriately), but then I miss having access to that persons phone # if I need it. It seems pretty old school to have to ask someone for their phone #.

    The other option is to set it to display the callers number, but then I have no idea which number they are calling, so then I have no idea how I’m supposed to answer the phone. This seems like a pretty big oversight. Am I missing something?

    Or can I set a separate ring tone for google voice calls?


    • Danielle Dryden February 9, 2017

      John, did you ever get an answer to your question? I have the same one and I’ve been searching for hours.

  • Heather McGuirk September 20, 2016

    I am attempting to set up this service prior to printing business cards, etc. My phone number is assigned but when I called it to check how it answers it says Google Voice will attempt to contact, then my name. This is not what I want. I prefer the line to answer directly to my voice message greeting or to see which line to call is coming in on. Help?? TY

  • Steve September 25, 2016

    I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with GV but then discovered that you can buy mobile phones with two sim card slots. Only on android but for me at least it turned out to be a superb solution.

  • Amanda November 11, 2016

    GV does not have the zip code/area for the phone number I need 🙁

  • Mary Cooper December 4, 2016

    Can we down load a record of all calls?
    Thank you

  • Nicole January 27, 2017

    Thank you for this easy read with great basic information. I set-up my own Google Voice from the link you provided and it took less than 5 minutes. I look forward to utilizing my new business line.

    • Karen February 22, 2017

      Great information, but I was disappointed to learn there are no more numbers in my area code of choice. Do you know of other similar services? Thank you.

  • Geddy February 25, 2017

    I see this article is a few yrs old but it’s my first time here and I have questions. I hope you’re still answering them.

    1. How do I get to choose which number people see on their caller ID as I call them? I set up Google Voice today at work and now my personal contacts see my Google Voice number when I call.

    2. This one is really important. Will Google Voice eat up my data? I only get 2 GB for the entire month and it needs to last.

    3. How do I set up a separate voicemail for people that call my Google Voice number?

  • Bob February 26, 2017

    I have numbers for business and personal that I don’t want to change. Can I use GV and keep the present numbers? I want to carry the business iPhone and have the personal calls (from my existing number) come to the same phone. Will GV allow me to do this?

  • Meghan March 25, 2017

    Unfortunately Google Voice isn’t (yet) available in Canada. Do you have any other suggestions for us Canadians? Thanks in advance!

  • Shamaila March 31, 2017

    Hello! I’m trying to find a solution to my current google voice issue and I stumbled upon your article.

    I’ve been using google voice for my business number for 2.5 years. It used to work perfectly! I could receive business calls and personal calls on the same phone but with 2 different numbers and I also had a specific voicemail for each number.

    Something changed very recently and now the google voice is simply being forwarded to my personal number or the other way around, so all of my calls either get my personal voicemail OR my business voicemail (depending on which I pick) regardless of which number you call. How do I get it to go back to 2 separate voicemails specific to the number you called?


    • Paula Brooks February 3, 2018

      I have successfully used Google Voice for the past 3 years where my business number rang on both my husband’s and my iPhone. I recently upgraded to iPhone 8 Plus. Now, when personal contacts call either my personal number or my husband’s personal number and we do not answer they hear the business voicemail greeting. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • mack April 6, 2017

    Hey I moved from Sc to Ga, so I added a GA 404 number as my google voice.
    Now 3 years later I don’t use SC nearly as much as GA
    Do you have any idea how to make my google voice number my primary phone number and port my SC number my google voice?

  • Dinah May 7, 2017

    I looked at the reviews for the GV app on iPhone, and they are all awful. Seems there was just an update to the GV app and all sorts of things are going wrong. Has anyone had good/bad experiences with the recent update? Thanks!

  • Charles May 28, 2017

    Wow, what a waste of time, this whole Q&A forum led to nothing, the writer of this post never answered any of the questions and there are still problems with Google Voice.

    For starters, 1.) YOU CAN’T setup a separate voicemail in Google Voice for your business so it doesn’t go to your personal voicemail. Google needs to fix that, otherwise, why have a 2nd line, doesn’t make sense. Your googleVoice goes right to personal voicemail.

    2. Also the writer never answered the question about how his/her personal Google Voice number appeared in caller ID when receiving calls, on my iPhone 7 plus, I do not know if it’s personal friends that are calling me or business. I do have caller ID, but I still don’t know whether Google Voice or my personal cell phone that is being contacted. Google Voice needs to fix this…

    3. Google voice is not great. If they ever fix this, then I will give 5 stars hands up, but right now, it’s dumb.

    • Dan Perry June 2, 2017


      You can setup a different voicemail. You’ll have to mess with the settings, but it’s relatively straight forward.

      To your second point, you get one or the other – caller ID or knowing if the call is business or not. You can setup your account so it displays your Google Voice number when somebody calls your business, that way you know it’s a business call and you can answer it differently. But, when you do this, you lose caller ID for business calls (but not personal calls). It’s a tradeoff.

  • Tiffany June 16, 2017

    Quick question;

    Is there an option to avoid the Virtual Assistant that asks for the person’s name prior to transferring the call directly to you? I don’t want each caller to have to go through the Virtual Assistant with each call especially if the Caller ID will distinguish that the Incoming Call is a Google Voice call. Has anyone else encountered this issue?

    Has texting and calling within the Google Voice App improved without displaying my Personal Number rather than my displaying my Google Voice number?

    Thank you for all of the posts.

  • Crystal June 29, 2017

    I have the GV app on my phone and i also have 2 gmail accounts can i use different cell phone for each of the accounts with jst 1 app or do u need to have it with each phone?

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  • Matt February 14, 2018

    Can the number be a 1 800 number?

  • Barbara Gable February 15, 2018

    My car has Bluetooth calling…my problem is that I can’t use the voice commands to call a contact…the phone wants to know which number I want to use..
    Is there a setting that makes my device number the default calling number, rather than having the phone ask which number I would prefer to use…
    This situation negates any advantage to using the Bluetooth setu..😢

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