Investing in a small business phone system comes with many benefits.
It not only helps you save money and streamline your communications but also makes your business dealings more efficient.
But let’s face it: Choosing a business phone system can be challenging because your choice will have a tangible impact on your business. A wrong choice, for example, could cost you clients and huge amounts of money.
What’s more? Your choice must be based on your business’s future needs and ambitions, not just your current situation.
Are you facing challenges choosing a phone system for your small business? Here are tips that will help you make the right choice.
The Small Business Phone Systems Available
There are three main types of business phone systems: Traditional PBX, Virtual VoIP, and IP PBX. Yes, there are subdivisions to these options, but these are the main options we shall discuss in this piece.
This system runs through phone lines. If you go for this option, your communications will largely rely on traditional phones.
You’ll also be required to make more room in your office because the PBX server will be housed in your office.
This phone system lacks flexibility and is very heavy. However, it’s more stable and reliable because it’ll never be affected by internet blackouts.
This system runs through the internet rather than telephone lines.
You can either keep and maintain an IP PBX server in your offices or access it remotely through a service provider.
Your communications will be happening through SIP-enabled hard phones. This technology is getting better and better with each passing day, and there is hope for advanced features in the near future.
However, this type of phone system still relies on internet connections to function.
Virtual VoIP System
A virtual VoIP system is a software solution and, therefore, doesn’t require specific hardware. Your communications take place through the app designed by your provider or the browser on your computer.
If you opt for this option, you won’t need to spend money buying traditional or SIP phones.
Virtual VoIP servers are usually housed and maintained by your service provider. This system requires a strong internet connection to function.
Before you settle for any of them, take some time and study each option. Ensure you choose a phone system that complements your business needs.
You should also go for an office phone system that will save you money and transform your small business into a future-ready venture.
Consider Your Current Setup
Is your company new or you’ve been in the game for some years now? Do you have an existing setup and you are planning to upgrade it?
These are essential questions that you should ask yourself. If you are new in the game, PBX may not be a good choice because you are not equipped with the necessary infrastructure.
You can go for an IP PBX system. However, you’ll be required to spend huge amounts of money buying equipment, not to mention a lot of time required for applying for licenses.
A virtual setup is the best phone solution for new ventures. You can click here to learn more about innovative small business communication services.
If you have hard phones and landlines, however, go for an office phone system that will help you make use of the existing resources.
How Many Calls Do You Handle?
How many calls, both inbound and outbound, do you handle?
If you handle large amounts of calls or anticipate that you’ll be answering many calls in future, go for an analog solution, PBX. It’s more reliable and stable. You can invest in a digital backup in case something goes wrong.
If you handle a few calls, go for a digital solution, IP PBX or virtual VOIP.
A digital system is easy and cheap to implement. It is also flexible, which means you can easily adapt to any changes.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
As a small business owner, you want to ensure that everything you do is within your means. The telephone solution you choose should, therefore, be within your budget.
PBX and IP PBX systems have higher upfront costs since you’ll be required to pay for hardware, licensing and installation.
Virtual solutions are cheap and easy to install.
Go for a solution that will not ruin your budget, and ensure you understand the positives and negatives of pay-as-you-go phones.
What Features Are Essential to Your Business?
To know the features that you need most, ask yourself the following questions:
- What solution do you offer?
- What’s your mission?
- What makes you stand out?
- Who are your clients?
- What’s your company’s culture?
- What are your business needs and ambitions?
- Who are your competitors?
Once you get the answers to these essential questions, you’ll be able to identify the key features of a telephone system that you require. Make sure the phone system you choose has features that will improve customers experience, enhance interactions, and increase productivity.
The features should enable you to transform your small business to an indomitable force in your industry.
How Will Your Phone System Mesh with Other Tools?
To transform your small business to a giant, you have to choose a phone system that will interact with the tools and devices you use daily, whether analog or digital.
PBX and IP PBX systems can interact with analog tools but don’t interact with digital tools. A virtual system, on the other hand, integrates with all the tools that you and your team use daily.
Going for a phone system that’s compatible with your tools will make you more productive and efficient, which will, in turn, lead to more satisfied and happy customers.
How Do Your Employees Work?
If your employees spend most of their time on their desks, you can invest in PBX or IP PBX. If they work on their mobile phones or move from one location to another, you’ll need a phone system that is more flexible and mobile.
IP PBX is flexible and mobile but they will still need to be connected to your server for it to work.
A virtual VoIP system is the best choice for a workforce that often works from mobile phones or always on the go. Unlike the other options, a virtual VoIP system can be accessed from any device, anywhere.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a business phone system is not easy, but this should not scare you.
Follow the tips discussed above and you will choose a reliable small business phone system.
With a good office phone system, you’ll certainly meet your business needs, improve customer service, and increase profit.
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