How to Find the Best Telephone System for Your Small Businesss
Staying connected with existing customers, sales leads, and professional associates is only the beginning for small business operators. Entrepreneurs of all kinds also rely on phone communications systems for messaging, in-house communications, and a host of job-specific functions. Fortunately, phone capabilities continue to expand, furnishing comprehensive solutions, custom tailored for each small business.
There are several approaches to managing business communications, including tried and true traditional phone set-ups and cutting edge systems built using 21st century phone technology. Finding the right system for your business is accomplished by identifying key needs and partnering with phone service providers capable of meeting challenges unique to your vertical.
Versatile Systems Serve Small Business Needs
How many employees use your phones? Is call volume steady, or do peak demands call for a system sized for spikes? Is IP telephony your best approach, or do traditional connections meet your needs? Answers to these and other questions help refine your search for the best business phone system. With the help of vendors familiar with the latest features and programs, there is no doubt you’ll find ways to improve efficiency and provide better phone service.
Some things to think about as you compare and contrast feature-rich small business phone systems:
- IP Telephony: Connecting phone calls through the internet saves money for many small businesses, utilizing existing infrastructure, without costly installations. IP telephony, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is an extremely efficient, scalable alternative to traditional phone communications. Solid Internet hook-ups are required for this type of phone system to function flawlessly, but technological advances have made VoIP as reliable as standard lines.Handsets are not required, so the flexible solution fills wide-ranging small business needs, from call centers to intimate office settings. Because connections are “local”, no matter where callers sit, and equipment and software are affordable, using Internet Telephony results in drastic cost reductions for some companies, when compared to traditional phone service. Today’s increasingly remote and mobile workforce also benefits from VoIP, because reliable Internet connections are all that’s needed to do business, as if callers are all under one roof.
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX): Calls can be managed in several different ways, including the commonly used PBX switchboard system. PBX links small business extensions internally, through a network allowing staffers to connect with one another in commercial environments. The system also accommodates inbound volume, using multiple incoming trunk lines to distribute calls between extensions. The proliferation of Cloud services has made it easier than ever to benefit from a PBX, which can now be hosted in-house or managed entirely offsite, by an outside IP PBX specialist. Major provider Cisco, for example, promotes small business VoIP solutions, like the company’s BE6000S, offering: Video and Web Conferencing, Voicemail, Paging, Instant Messaging, VoIP Calling, Calls from Smart Phones and Tablets, and other features.
- Multiline Systems: Business needs vary, so the number of lines and extensions required to handle calls is unique to each venture. Correctly sizing your system facilitates efficiency, but also recognizes near-term growth potential. 4-line business phone systems, for instance, furnish cost-effective solutions for diverse business, including start-ups and small enterprises, with limited capital. Each line accommodates multiple extensions, so 4-line options adapt flexibly, as users change and businesses grow. 10-Line versions expand possibilities for small to mid-size companies needing expanded connectivity. Paired with PBX, state of the art phones turn multiline systems into powerful business tools.
Taking Steps toward Better Communication
Once you’ve measured your needs and become familiar with various communication alternatives, experienced phone vendors can help match specific features to the demands of your small business. Comprehensive telephone service providers are well prepared to measure your small business requirements, weighing the possibilities in these areas:
- IP Telephone Systems
- Cloud Telephone Systems
- VoIP Mobility Solutions
- Phone System Apps
With the right equipment, software, and training, well-conceived phone systems accommodate the diverse needs of small businesses. Whether a dozen staffers use a few incoming lines to manage calls, or thousands of employees access your system daily, custom solutions are available, incorporating the latest features. Hands-on, on-site phone set-ups, for instance, handle the needs of a few users in intimate small business settings, while fully managed cloud telephone systems are effectively deployed for big businesses prepared to delegate communications management responsibilities.
Collaboration with an established phone system vendor gives you a competitive advantage, so it is important to select the right partner. A few of the most important traits shared by effective providers include:
- Competitive Pricing: It is unwise to skimp on communications, but there is no reason to leave money on the table, either. Getting the best value from your system, without sacrificing needed functions, depends upon a measured look at your circumstances. Size, call volume, hardware requirements, and other particulars shape the ultimate cost of phone system installations. The best vendors are able to make the most of your money, while still standing behind their equipment and service.
- Training and Support: Simple systems are easily mastered by small business staffers, but complex operations require follow-up and training. As phones are used during the course of business, adjustments and changes to components may be required, to reach peak performance levels. Reputable phone providers ensure you don’t experience down time as you work together fine-tuning your communications technology.
- Shared Vision: Telecom partners should share your vision, and recommend products capable of growing with your organization. Phone systems represent substantial investments, so whether you buy or lease your program, it should sync with your future plans. For some, hands-off, fully managed systems furnish the best approach, while actively managed alternatives suit the needs of others. Experience serving a diverse client base and proven results in various verticals gives vendors the tools needed to carry-off your vision.
From VoIP phone services to Cloud capabilities beyond the basics, modern phone systems help small businesses succeed. Aided by industry innovators, and cutting edge technology, it is possible to transform small business phone systems, without exceeding budgets. Make the most of your system, by connecting with preferred providers.