What Exactly is a Small Business Phone System
Over the years, emails and social media have gained immense popularity, especially for businesses and clients to be able to reach out to each other and connect effectively. However, the ability to pick up your phone, dial a number, and have a chat is still a vital line of communication, the importance of which cannot be undermined.
A small business phone system basically means having a dedicated phone system and a phone number for your company, which offers you the flexibility, features, and functionalities that are vital to carrying out your business. Whether you invest in a phone system or plan to upgrade, you must keep certain aspects in mind. With that said, here are some points worth considering when you’re on the lookout for the right phone system for your small business.
Common Small Business Phone System Types
Traditional small business phone systems were nothing like what we see now— and thanks to the internet— when you’re picking a phone system for your business, you have options that come with great flexibility. There are three basic types of business phone systems, which are as follows-
- Private Branch Exchange – A closer-to-conventional business phone system that uses fixed lines and hard phones.
- Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – A system with hard phones that are SIP-enabled and use VoIP for receiving and making phone calls.
- Cloud-Based – Utilizing VoIP technology as well, cloud-based telephones rather use apps or the internet on your computer for making and receiving calls.
Best Practices to Pick the Best Small Business Phone System
When considering a new phone system for your small business, it helps when you weigh your options based on certain criteria. This will help you find what best fits your requirements. Here are some such aspects you can consider when buying a new phone system-
- Understand Why You Need to Upgrade or Install a Business Phone System
If you’ve already been using a phone system and intend to upgrade, you need to first determine why exactly you plan to switch. One of the most common reasons, especially for smaller businesses, is the cost. Additionally, some may need an upgrade when moving offices, or the phone system not fitting their requirements.
Take note of the size of your existing phone system, the number of active users, and how the system is used. This will help you find a phone system that is useful to you. Likewise, knowing your needs and the number of users will help you find the right phone system if you’re a first-time user.
- Consider How Your Business Uses its Telephone System
The phone system you purchase for your business largely depends on your usage and factors pertaining to it, such as the volume of incoming calls, whether you take international calls, and how frequently your teams connect via the phone system. For small businesses that essentially look for cost savings, greater flexibility, and increased control with VoIP, a cloud-based system may work best for you. Therefore, knowing your usage is critical to making the right decision.
- Go Through the Platforms and Technology Stack You Need
When exploring your options, you must go through the technology stacks and assess your suppliers based on certain parameters. Before anything, you need to consider the current technology you utilize and see what you require in addition to that. Once you know what you have and what you need, it is of great importance for you to opt for a reliable provider so that you can expect quality services. Additionally, check for the ease of installation and whether the supplier has a reputation for providing expert onboarding solutions to make the transition easier for you.
- Decide an Affordable Budget for the Phone System
Budget is a factor that no small business can ignore. As a small business, you must ensure that you find a quality product without splurging. The phone system you choose should suffice your requirements while also being affordable. In most cases, cloud-based VoIP makes for a better choice than traditional phones. However, the decision should entail other factors, such as your usage, as well.
- Request For Demos
The only way to make a confident decision when it comes to finding a phone system compatible with your needs is by testing the system. Therefore, make it a point to request demos when you contact suppliers. This gives you the opportunity to check if the phone system will work for you practically.
- Consider Your Staff and Understand Their Needs
Since your staff are the direct users of the phone system, communicating with them about their usage and requirements will help you derive the insights needed for making a decision. Therefore, it is vital that you speak to your staff before engaging suppliers. Since changing the phone system or introducing a new phone system to your day-to-day operations will have a major impact on how your teams function, it is best to take your teams along with you through this transition right from the beginning.
Pick Your Phone System Match for Your Small Business
Every phone system, be it a traditional landline or VoIP—both on-premise and cloud-based—has its specific uses and benefits. However, your specific requirements will dictate the choice you make. So, while researching the different phone systems and knowing more about their pros and cons is worth your time, your analysis should be focused on whether a particular phone system matches the needs of your small business.
Having a phone system for the first time and upgrading from one phone system to another— both involve changes— especially in how your staff operates. When the phone system you choose makes for a perfect fit for your small business, it contributes to added efficiency in your daily operations and communications within the teams and with clients or customers. This is why the decision to opt for a small business phone system is one that you make after careful consideration.