The Gig Economy

A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The trend toward a gig economy has begun. A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 42 percent of American workers would be independent contractors.

For independent contractors, freelancers and the flexible workforce the benefits of slotting in to this new work trend are obvious including; flexible working hours, working from anywhere, avoiding tedious commutes and even working for multiple clients at once either supplementing or increasing their wages.

As people consider new forms of employment, many organisations are turning toward the growing alternative workforce segment too and seeking to hire more workers off their balance sheets as part of a workforce ecosystem. The economics stack up, with companies able to decrease building and office space, and reduce on overall fixed employee costs and taxation. In addition statistics suggest that a more flexible workforce actually works harder and delivers more, probably in part to being able to dedicate the original daily commute time to actual work, and acheive higher levels of concentration through skipping the office banter.

It's clear that the so-called "gig economy" is here to stay, but we shouldn't assume it's a fixed phenomenon. As more people decide to make a living on their own, other entrepreneurs will seek ways to partner with them and give consumers greater access to their products and services. This can increase convenience for consumers, provide more work for contractors, and offer a level of security and reliability that wouldn't exist without the influence of a third party.

We'll continue to see platforms like Uber transforming this space, and there will be more and more streamlined ways for customers to do business with dedicated contractors - many of whom are doing independent work full-time.

There's no doubt we'll see more mutually beneficial arrangements between independent contractors and companies in the coming years. This will transform a huge range of industries, from driving professions to hospitality and we will begin to see more platforms that connect businesses with these workers.

According to an October 2016 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, there are 162 million people in the U.S. and Europe who did some form of independent work. Despite the perception that many participants in the gig economy are there out of necessity, the report found that 30 percent of independent workers chose to rely on freelancing for most of their income, while 40 percent used it to supplement their primary source of income. In fact only 14 percent were 'reluctantly' earning most of their income from freelancing, while 16 percent were being 'forced' to do independent work because their regular jobs don't pay enough.

What this shows is that people are choosing to accept the risks that come with sidestepping traditional employment. These shifts are also being driven by the availability of technology that makes it much easier for independent workers to connect with clients and market their products and services to customers.

We're entering an era of economic fluidity unlike anything we've seen before. The digital economy has produced unprecedented opportunities for consumers, businesses and independent contractors. The best way to take advantage of those opportunities is to embrace the change and established companies shouldn't fear the gig economy - they should be a part of it.


Riptec embraces the Gig Economy and supports independent contractors, freelancers and the flexible workforce with their communication and technical needs. One way is by allowing them to utilise multiple phone numbers on their one personal phone, allowing them to manage their communications more professionally without the need for additional equipment or staff.



Seven reasons to stop using your personal mobile line for business and opt for a virtual phone number

If you’re in the early stages of starting a business, you’re probably considering using your personal mobile phone number. This is normal - it’s affordable and convenient, and most people prefer it out of habit. It´s a mobile world after all and switching to something new seems alian.

However, “personal” and “business” are very different animals, and they require mutually exclusive approaches. Using your personal number for business is inviting conflict and inefficiency into your life.

There are 4 widely accepted ways to combat this:

  • carry two phones with different numbers
  • get a multi-sim phone
  • add a VoIP desk phone service
  • or get a virtual phone number for your business.

It might not seem it at first glance, but all 4 options are safer and just plain better (to varying degrees) than using your personal mobile number.

Here are the 7 reasons you should consider, when thinking about using your personal mobile number as your business number.

1. You are exposed and vulnerable

Your personal information is under constant threat from hackers, scammers, and pranksters, and everything you put out into the world risks being used the wrong way by the wrong kind of people.With so much risk out there, why would you want to expose yourself to more by advertising your personal number?

Keeping your personal mobile number private will become increasingky more important to you especially as SMS and Spam calls start to increase.

Simply having a second number and keeping your personal number out of the spotlight will significantly decrease the chances hackers target you. This will preserve the safety of your personal data without affecting mobility and convenience.

If you choose a virtual number, any calls to that number will be forwarded to your chosen devices, meaning you only need to have 1 phone on you. A potential cybercriminal cannot target you directly (only the business number is publicly available). Therefore, any threat will be directed at the servers of your virtual service provider, and these providers are much more equipped to deal with such attacks than either the average citizen or company.

2. You can´t avoid robocalls

If you use your personal number a lot, chances are you’ve had the infuriating experience of dealing with automated calls.

This isn’t unusual. According to Consumer Reports, 3 out of 10 phone calls in the U.S. are pre-recorded marketing messages. Each month the FTC and FCC receive more than 150,000 complaints attributed to robocalls. Live marketing calls are a point of lesser concern, but they also do exist.

For small business owners, the impact of spam calls can severely drag revenue down. Automated calls will clog your line and nullify your accessibility to customers.

By deploying an automated attendant. Instead of ringing you directly, a robocall will reach a voice menu and get stuck until it times out. Virtual phone systems use cloud technology that allows you to tailor every parameter specifically to your business. This allows you to set up black lists to automatically drop certain calls and to use multiple inbound lines for your virtual number, so if one is blocked, customers can still get through.

3. You are bound to your number

Your phone number is a big part of your life, and most hesitate to change it unless they have to.

Many services ask for your phone number during the registration process, so you may even need it to have access to some things. Mobile numbers are used for two-factor authentication by online banking and digital currency services too, making it even more inconvenient to change your number.

This connection to your number is even worse for business owners. Once it’s widely distributed in marketing, changing it renders previous campaigns useless. That means wasted money and old printed materials in the trash.

Imagine a customer calling an old and inactive number and getting nothing – don’t you think they’d be ticked off, or at least confused? If you tried to call a business and discovered the number had been disconnected, how hard would you hunt for the new one? Probably not very.

If you’re using your personal number for business and decide to change it for any reason, you’re opening up Pandora’s Box.

The best way to prevent this problem is to use different numbers for business and private affairs. Opting for a virtual business number will save you a lot of trouble if you‘re forced to switch mobile carriers/numbers. Once you have a virtual phone number, it stays with you, so the inconvenience of switching mobile carriers or numbers is limited to your private affairs.

4. Your communication capabilities are severely limited

If you’re thinking, “My mobile number will do for now. I’ll come up with something more professional later if the budget allows,” then you’re falling into a trap.

If the time comes to increase your call-processing capability (like adding features designed for business use), you may find it difficult to do with your current phone number.

It may also be too late to switch to a professional solution—if your business is on the rise, the worst thing you can do is change your contact info.

You have basically backed yourself in to a corner.

Cloud phone services are renowned for their flexibility and scalability. You can start with a Virtual Phone Number and a cheap plan with basic features and adjust appropriately. With an advanced virtual phone system you should only pay for what you need.

5. It’s impossible to control employee-customer interaction

If your employees use their personal numbers to deal with customers, you are willingly giving up control over that part of your business. It’s important to keep track of all of your company’s business activities: logistics, sales, customer service, etc. When clients interact with your company through employees’ personal numbers, you don’t know how often and when your employees speak to your customers, how they handle conversations, and what they fail to do.

Even if you wholeheartedly trust your employees, giving them free reign curbs your ability to help and opens up possibilities for your employees to lose customers through ineffectiveness or deceit.

The situation becomes even worse if they leave your employ as the only direct contact youtr customers have with you is via your ex-employees mobile phone.

Any decent virtual phone system solves this problem with ease. All your company’s business interactions are conducted within a consistent communication environment, which gives you full awareness of what’s going on.

You can record calls, monitor detailed call statistics per employee, and much more. With the ability to add Dircet Dial virtual numbers, customers can even still reach particular employees directly, and if tthgey leave you simply re-direcct the calls.

6. It compromises privacy and disrupts work-life balance

Being too accessible to your clients is a real thing. It’s perfectly fine to be able to answer calls promptly during business hours, but customers shouldn’t be able to reach you whenever they want. Entrepreneurs work hard, but you’re entitled to having some sort of a work-life balance.

One of the core ideas behind a business phone number is preserving privacy without compromising accessibility. This idea is mainly embodied through intelligent call routing. You can easily configure the system to forward calls to you and your employees depending on the time, day of the week, and the caller’s number.

You can set the system to forward calls to your cellphone during business hours and to direct calls to voicemail after hours. You can also include a VIP list, allowing for certain people to call you anytime.

7. It puts you in a bottleneck

There are times when you might, lose your phone, leave it at home or worse still have it stolen.In all cases your number one means of communication is lost, and in the case of getting a replacemnet phone and SIM this could be for days.

When you utilise a virtual phone number it is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year and can be forwarded to literally anywhere, even multiple people with just a few clicks. So if your existing phone is inaccessible, simply pull out the spare and make and receive calls on this until you recover the situation.

In a nutshell

Personal numbers aren’t meant for business; they’re inconvenient, inefficient, and potentially damaging.

You can carry two separate mobile phones, try your mobile carrier’s “business” options, or use a virtual phone system to combat this.

Each option has its pluses and minuses, but a separate business number and virtual phone system is the most balanced solution in terms of affordability, convenience, and security. It will effectively protect your personal data from scammers, preserve your work-life balance, and improve your accessibility. What’s more, it will make your company sound professional to potential customers at all times.



Increase Sales

How do you increase your chances of picking up more business?

Use a Local Phone Number to:

1. Present your business as friendly and reliable

2. Boost sales with local customers

3. Establish a local presence anywhere you want

Benefits of a Local Phone Number

A. Inspire Trust in Your Business

Research has shown that consumers often feel more comfortable calling a business that has a local phone number because they believe a local business is more likely to provide personalized service. For example, a real estate agent in London with a local area code may be more attractive to prospects because their business number indicates an understanding of local nuances. Use a local number to reinforce that your business is a neighborhood business that prospects and customers can trust.

B. Compete with Large Companies

If the service your company offers would benefit from appearing as a neighborhood business, like a real estate office in Oxford, then choosing a local phone number can give you a real edge over any non-local or national competitors. 

Similarly, if you have an overseas business like an Estate Agents in Spain, having a local number to your customers like a Manchester number, will increase confidence with your potential clients and make it easier for them to reach you.

C. Save Money While Your Business Grows

It can be expensive to set up brick and mortar stores in all the locations you want to conduct business in. To avoid the expense and inconvenience of opening additional office locations, you can get multiple local numbers with RIPTec. 

Your business can be national or even international but still feel local.



UK 03 Phone Numbers Explained

I recently asked if anyone knew what an 03 number was?

"An 03 number is a number you don´t answer!", came a reply.

In fact UK 03 phone numbers have been in existance since 2007 and were designed to ensure callers were charged a fair price over and above premium rated numbers when calling customer service or suppoprt lines.

03 numbers are non-geographic numbers meaning they are not tied to any particular location – so in that regard they are the same as 0844 or 0845 numbers. But where UK 03 Numbers differ from the 08 ranges in that they are cheaper to call and rates are the same as a local landline call - even from a mobile.

03 numbers were introduced by Ofcom in 2007, as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers, to give consumers the confidence about the cost of calls. Dialling 03 numbers cost no more than a national rated call to an 01 or 02 number, and must count towards inclusive minutes on tariffs.

So in a nutshell 03 numbers are a great way of ensuring that the customer has confidence in the cost of the call.

Legislation enacted on the 13th June, 2016 has made it illegal to use premium rate 084 and 087 phone numbers for customer service and complaint lines. This is part of Ofcom’s Draft Bill on Consumer Rights, which implements the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive.

As a small business you may very well believe that Ofcom’s change is not going to impact you, but with 084 ranges popular for sole traders and tradesmen - many of these businesses are unaware that they risk a fine as they are not providing an alternative to their single point of contact. 

Regarding our original question, 10 years on and there is still huge confusion over 033 numbers, and in fact all the non-geographic numbering in the UK, so whilst it might be good to include an 033 number for customer service or support lines, good old fashioned 01 and 02 local numbers are best for outbound calling with a far greater chnace of pick up.

At Riptec, we can supply numbers from any of the UK number ranges including 033 numbers as well as numbers from any UK city as part of our full range covering over 9000+ cities aroound the world.

Our numbers are low cost and can be used in conjunction with mobile phones and office switchboards, to ensure you never miss a call.


Local Geo Numbers - Portugal

Huge News - We now supply Lisbon (021) and Porto (022) phone numbers.

We have been trying to add Portuguese Local Geographic numbers to our 9000+ list of worldwide city numbers for over 7 years, and they are finally here.

Lisbon and Porto Phone Numbers can used in conjunction with all RIPTec services and for any purpose - want a new number, simply sign up here.

Existing clients wishing to add a number to their account simply contact one of our support team.

Tudo Bem!


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