Before we start, ask yourself this question: Does Your Small Business Actually Need a Phone System?
Read this article to find more information or read our next post on how a phone system works for your small business.
Only a short time ago, phone systems for small businesses were fairly limited in their functions and capabilities, but have since changed immensely. Small business owners can now expect plenty more in terms of their phone systems, apart from the typical inbound and outbound call functions. Now, many small business owners are questioning if their current platforms are working well enough to get them ahead of the competition.
Table of Contents
Do you really need a business phone system?
If this is the case, small businesses need to look at their current phone system and gain some additional knowledge on all the advancements that are out there. Even if your phone system is efficient enough for the here and now, scalability is important when planning for any future growth. If you wish to move forward, it’s important to really consider what your business is really looking for in terms of features and productivity down the line. Learn more on how a business phone system can help grow your business.
The Differences That Small Business Phone Systems Can Offer Users
A small business phone system is considered a system of telephones that are connected with each other, while offering businesses some features like call handling, voice mail, call transferring, and even conference calling. All these features are carried out by using desk phones. Depending on the size of your small business, these phone systems will provide access from one phone to a few phones. Here are a few of the most common small business phone systems that users can obtain.
- Analog- This type of phone system, which is also known as POTS (plain old telephone system) is a phone system that uses cables and copper wires to transmit voice messages. All is done through a Public Switched Telephone Network.
- PBX- PBX stands for a private branch exchange, which consists of offering users multiple line options. These lines can have the capability for at least 23 channels, which can run as a separate extension to each office and employee.
- IP PBX- Just a step up from that of the average PBX system, this type of system is one that can transmit voice messages via data packets. This is done across the internet, which is a huge step up from transferring data between copper lines.
- VoIP- A VoIP system, Voice over Internet Protocol, is a system that makes it possible for voice and data networks to connect and work together all over a stable internet connection. With this type of system, it’s possible for small businesses to have the same capabilities as a large business would, which is important to take into consideration when choosing a system upgrade.
Business Phone System Features That are Offered to Small Businesses
If you have ever wished that your phone system could do more than just make and receive calls, it’s about time to make an upgrade in terms of your provider. A VoIP system might be able to streamline call management, improve customer experiences and enhance collaboration for small businesses, which is why there are many advantages to choosing this type of system.
- Cost and Pricing- When your business is looking into utilizing a business phone system, it’s common to review all costs involved in making the change. Upfront costs, membership costs, and continued maintenance costs should all be taken into account when making a decision. It’s no secret that the cost of a traditional landline can cost plenty, and between the costs of installing the hardware, adding lines, keeping it maintained, and choosing additional features, make these phone systems outrageously expensive for small businesses. Alternative phone systems can cost a fraction in comparison to traditional phone systems, simply by using a pre-established internet connection. Another plus of switching to this type of system is that most costs will all be upfront, and any maintenance or upgrades needed in the future will be free of charge, as long as you have a VoIP package.
- Features that are Most Useful for Small Businesses- Of course, all phone systems allow users to make and receive calls, but it’s in the features that really make certain phone systems stand out. A VoIP system is a type of system that really stands out in terms of all the features offered. Some popular features that VoIP systems offer are interactive voice responses, analytics, skill-based routing, call recording, power dialers, call transferring, helpdesk, and desktop notifications. These features will make any small business stand out, and allow employees to perform to the best of their abilities while utilizing these modern features. CTI technology is also an added benefit offered from VoIP systems, which will allow your phone to be connected to your internet and desktop functions.
- Reliability- Just as previously stated, customer satisfaction is the most important aspect for many businesses. VoIP systems offer businesses the most effective forms of communication, making it seamless for all customer interactions. With all calls and features being carried out over the internet, weather issues and power outages won’t pose as big of a risk as they have in the past.
- The Ease of Installation and Needed Maintenance- Like other PBX systems that small businesses used in the past, installation, maintenance, and software upgrades were common and costly. Updated business phone systems will allow small businesses easy integration and almost no installation. There is no need to have specialists come in and run phone wiring throughout the office, or request upkeep. Most business phones are easily set up by a simple plugin. All of the simplicity means that maintenance is straightforward and done from the comfort of your own office.
- Worldwide Access- As most small businesses grow, it may be more common to have employees and customers located in different parts of the country, or even in different parts of the world. Not only will VoIP business systems allow users to communicate, but they also offer effective communication for voice, video, data, and fax services. Along with this large benefit of new business phone systems, its portability worldwide is monumental. Employees can travel for work, or move to different places in the country, while still being able to access the businesses network.
Evaluating Your Current Business Phone System
Now that your small business has more knowledge in terms of the different and more advanced phone systems available for use, you can decide what your budding business really needs. By looking at scalability, and evaluating each system’s ability to climb up or down depending on business needs is important to start with. Usability levels will help your business evaluate if the system in question is intuitive and easy to use for all employees and even some clients. The main consideration needs to be when functionality is looked at. By determining if each new phone system can perform all functions it needs to, including inbound and outbound calls, along with all the advanced features needed, is vital.
Most small businesses will find that the benefits of VoIP systems, or cloud-based systems, will surpass the functions that their basic phone system is offering them. Not only gaining access to the added features, but the lower-priced hardware, software, and ongoing costs are very attractive for small businesses. If you are looking for systems that are able to grow as your small business is, then making an educated choice is a key to the success or downfall of your business efforts. Read our price guide on how much a business phone system will actually cost you.
- “Do I Need a Business Phone System for My Small Business?”
https://www.ltnow.com/do-i-need-a-business-phone-system-for-my-small-business/ Accessed September 15, 2021.
- “Here is our guide to the three main types of business telephone system.”
https://www.commsplus.co.uk/blog/what-are-the-different-types-of-telephone-systems Accessed September 15, 2021.
- “Five steps to evaluating if your business phone system is ready for an upgrade.”
https://www.rogers.com/business/blog/en/five-steps-to-evaluating-if-your-business-phone-system-is-ready-for-an-upgrade Accessed September 15, 2021.