How to Choose a Small Business Phone System
Are you looking to set up a business phone system for your new venture? Or, perhaps intend to switch from one system to another? See, excellent communication is a vital component of business success. Telephony has been revolutionized greatly from use of copper cables to the internet and so on, in a bid to cater for growing communication demands and emerging trends. As a result, many companies have come up offering small business phone system services. It is therefore critical that you familiarise yourself with the available options to make an informed decision.
Key factors to consider
While the business size, needs and budget are key determining factors when choosing a business phone system, you may want to consider something that is also highly developed. A system with specialised competencies to tackle evolving business and customer needs. What are we talking about?
How adaptable to growth is your system of choice? As you grow and expand so should your lines, extensions, bandwidth or storage. Simply put, the system you choose must be scalable. It should be flexible as per the business requirement.
- Cost effectiveness
What is the ultimate price of a system in terms of installation fees, assets required, call charges and upkeep costs? Is it within your budget? It is imperative that you calculate the long term cost of a system and not just the superficial start up or short term obligation.
You may want to consider the portability of a phone system if you intend to operate the business from remote locations. Same goes for entities that are run by virtual employees.
Customers have varied preferences and it would be great if you could give them a range of options. This is only possible through versatile small business phone systems that support calling, texting, file sharing and video conferencing.
- Modern outlook
Your phone system says a lot about your brand and it could make or break your business image. Even with a few rigid analogue individuals, the rest of the world has gone with the digital wave. It would therefore be more beneficial to your business reputation to pick something automated with a more modern outlook.
Last but not least, the ease of Installation, personalisation and management of a business phone system is key. Particular attention should be paid to the length of time it will take the installation process to be completed, hardware requirements and if there is need for a special in-house technician to maintain it.
Types of small business phone systems
- PBX landline
This is the typical good old landline telephone system that utilizes cables for voice transmission otherwise known as analogue telephone. It is installed with a PBX (private branch exchange) hardware to be able to hold several extension lines and enable call holding and transferring.
PBX landline is pretty basic and fits well in a very small office set-up probably with very few users. Nonetheless, this system is quite traditional. You do not want to invest heavily on something that is likely to become obsolete in future. Besides it is lacking in mobility, flexibility, versatility and the appeal of a modern mode of communication.
- On-site VoIP
A VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone system is the digital mode of telephony. It uses IP to transmit voice that has been formatted into data packets across internet networks. Once it gets to the recipient, it rearranges back into sound. Data is stored in an on-site server.
VoIP phone systems are more popular now that we are in a digital era. It has more advanced features, installation is not difficult and comes with a much lower price tag. VoIP phone systems fulfil all the factors you want to consider when choosing a small business phone system: budget friendly, scalable, flexible, portable, versatile. It only becomes unreliable when there’s internet downtime.
- Hosted PBX (Virtual PBX)
This is a cloud based phone system where the server is hosted in the cloud (virtually) as opposed to having a physical server on-site. VoIP phone systems that are hosted virtually also fall in this category. Besides possessing all the good stuff of an On-site VoIP phone system, this option saves a business space where the physical server would have been, saves time and costs associated with maintenance and offers a solid automated data back-up system.
So which is best for you?
Unless you are truly rigid to change or already in possession of the PBX landline phone system with all its hardware and infrastructure, there’s absolutely no reason to go for something that has a high initial cost, high maintenance cost and far less features. The internet and the cloud are the future. Go for something more affordable that can grow with you. Or better yet, book a consultation with Multum Tech and find out what small business phone system suits your needs.