Do you own or operate a small business? Then you know that every last dollar counts. Check out this guide to phone systems for small business before you invest.
Did you know that there are over 27 million small businesses in the United States?
This means you’re probably competing with well over 27 million companies in your pursuit to capture the attention of increasingly hard to engage consumers.
How can you cut through the clutter and build traction as a small but growing organization?
There are a lot of answers to that question, but one of the ways we advocate is by communicating better and saving money so you can invest in the things that matter most.
The best way to do that is to upgrade your phone systems for small business.
There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when picking the best phone service. To help you filter through all of your options, we’ve compiled a quick list of things to keep in mind.
VoIP or Traditional
The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself when picking a phone service for your business is whether you’ll be getting a VoIP or standard phone line.
Standard phone lines are traditional copper wire phones that operate by plugging your receiver into a jack in your wall. These types of phones are reliable but haven’t had much to offer in the way of innovation since their inception in the late 1800’s.
VoIP phones, which stand for voice over internet protocol, are a new kind of phone line that runs over the Internet. Given its flexibility, price point, and constant improvement, many businesses prefer going with a VoIP line.
After you’ve decided on VoIP or traditional phone systems, your next step will be to try and find a good service provider that offers the best price. The good news with VoIP phone systems is that, in comparison to traditional phone lines, they’re extremely cheap.
Given that VoIP service providers don’t need to lay physical cable in order to offer their services, infrastructure costs are low. That low infrastructure cost means more savings for you and more competition among VoIP service providers.
Know when comparing providers that some VoIP phone systems for small business will offer introductory pricing upfront that will then skyrocket after a year. Be sure to read the terms surrounding your service agreement closely so you’re not caught by surprise.
One of the best features of VOIP is the flexibility it offers.
For example, with VOIP phones, you can take calls at your desk like you would with a traditional phone line. You can also have your calls forwarded to your cell phone when you’re on the move.
That means that no matter where you are, there is never a barrier placed between you and your clients.
If you’re going with VoIP phone services, make sure you’re getting the most out of your phone’s inherent flexibility.
Your VoIP service provider should make it easy to take your calls anywhere and add lines to your plan effortlessly so your service can reliably scale with your business.
With VoIP phone systems for small business, your calls will get a lot smarter.
You can automatically get your voicemails transcribed to email, have a virtual assistant screen and direct calls, leverage hold music, and more.
When picking the best phone systems for small business, you’ll want to assess the features that they’ll make available to you. That way, you can make sure you do business with the most robust provider.
If feature overload scares you as a business owner, take a deep breath. With VoIP phones, you can leverage all of their bells and whistles, or forgo them and just use your phone like you would with a traditional landline.
VoIP gives you choices.
If you’re in a rush to get your phone system up and running, you’ll want to pick a system provider that makes it easy to get everything set up.
Some VoIP providers can get your service started in just a few minutes. You’d just need to plug in the VoIP phone receiver you purchased, or set up an application on your cell phone — and you’ll be ready to go.
Other VoIP phone systems can take a couple of days to get your service started, and may cause even more delays if they require you to use their headsets.
Read the information in regard to the deployment timeline of the VoIP provider you’re considering prior to signing on with them. If the information seems unclear online, call customer support teams and ask how you can get your service started in the shortest time possible.
The one advantage traditional phones get cited as having over VOIP is that they have higher reliability. But as Internet service providers get faster, VoIP phone service is quickly closing that gap.
To make sure your VoIP system is going to give you the consistency you need, read reviews from current customers. See if any of them complain frequently of service outages.
Find and Compare Phone Systems for Small Business
There you have it! Seven key considerations when comparing different phone systems for small business.
Once you decide whether traditional or VOIP lines are best for your company, you’ll want to consider their features. Things like pricing, deployment, and reliability will help you figure out which provider will best serve your needs.
Want more help comparing and contrasting what phone service packages are available to your business? If so, use our tools on Vision One Click to see what your options are!