Phone System For Small Business: Everything You Need To Know

No matter how large or small your business is, or if it is new or old, you need a business phone system that will allow customers and clients to contact you when needed. This can be for work in a corporate office setting or remote work.

Phone systems for small businesses should be affordable to purchase and maintain. They also need to be reliable and have a warranty that is guaranteed. Furthermore, they need to be compatible with a landline telephone, VoIP Cloud Phone Service, or a SIP Trunk. This service should allow phone calls to be transferred to cell phones while supporting home and mobile office employees. Finally, essentials needed to run a business, such as an IVR, voicemail to email, music on hold, call forward, transfer, and an automated attendant call tree menus.

Why Do I Need a Phone System For My Small Business?

If you want your small business to succeed, there will come a time when you need to let go of personal phone lines and switch to a phone system. By obtaining a phone system for your small business, you can make your work life much easier.

These phone systems can save you time and money- something that small businesses ever seem to have enough of.

phone system can grow with your business, has an easy setup, and has features that are way more affordable and flexible than you imagined. Not only can you answer incoming calls, but you can also hold video meetings, have video conferencing, chat through conference calls, and improve the customer experience! And when customer satisfaction is increased, you can make sure that your organization is on top of the leader board! This, in turn, will boost employee morale and performance, which makes management quite happy.

How Much Does a Phone System Cost?

Depending upon your company and what phone system you pick will determine what your cost is. A lower-end phone system that does not have a lot of add ons may only cost about $200 per handset.

If you have more money to spend, you can look into a mid-range phone system that will run between $400 to $600 per handset. And for a fully loaded, top-of-the-line handset, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 per handset.

It is also important to realize that some extras will be charged upfront, while others will only be charged if you use them. There are also “Per user, per month” plan costs that your phone system may charge.

Related: Upfront And Ongoing Costs Of An IP Business Phone System

Business Phone System Buying Options

There are three different buying options for small business phones: outright purchase, rental purchase, and lease purchase. Every company will have an option that suits them best.

Outright Purchase

Some companies will decide that outright purchases are best for their business. With an outright purchase, you will save on finance charges as everything will be paid for upfront.

Rental Purchase

A phone system rental may be beneficial to your company as you might be able to claim 100% tax-deductible monthly payments. There could be an interest charge that is built into this cost.

Lease-Purchase 

A lease buying option is similar to renting the phony system. At the end of your term agreement, your company will be responsible for paying a fixed amount.

Different Types of Phone Systems

There are two different types of phone systems.

  • Hosted Business Phone system – This is a cloud-based telephone system that works through your internet connection and technology. All calls will be connected to a VoIP phone systems centre. Any of your data will be securely stored. You will be able to access this via the server. Staff will be able to work anywhere they can access the internet. There is an opportunity for the company to see significant cost savings when using a hosted business phone system.Many features are included at no extra cost. With a hosted business phone system, you will see an easy setup. Since it is entirely online, you will not need a technician to come out and set it up for you. A huge plus is that you can use the equipment you already have on hand. This may include softphones, desk phones, cell phones, mobile devices, and VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) handsets.
  • Traditional Business Phone System – Often referred to as a legacy system, the traditional business phone system has a box that is considered to the phone’s brain. A local or regional phone company often supports these. The landline is an analog that is run using traditional copper wires. To have landline service, you will need PBX (private branch exchange) hardware.

Some landline systems may be recognized as hybrids with VoIP systems. There’s a traditional phone line that attaches to a business’s data network, which it utilizes to unite every phone.

If a company has more than one location, another brainbox may be needed. As the business grows and more phone lines are needed, a technician must set up new users manually. This will be set up at the company’s office, and wires will connect to each individual phone. More than likely, you will be expected to pay for each additional feature. While the monthly payments may be smaller, you may be required to pay more upfront.

Related: Hosted Phone System vs On-Premise Phone System

Must-Have Features of Business Phone Systems

There are many must-have features of business phone systems that many business owners should utilize. There are several other optional features that your company can look into, such as real-time call analytics, call parking, call forwarding, calling queue, desk phones, line extensions, and managed caller ID.

  • Auto Attendants– This voice menu system enables callers to be transferred to an extension without the need of having a telephone operator or a receptionist. Commonly referred to as AAs or a digital receptionist, this is a common way for a business to cut costs by eliminating hiring someone to answer the phones. If you have heard “press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish”, you have had an experience with an auto attendant.
  • Voicemail– With voicemail, users are allowed to leave messages for the intended recipient. A recorded audio message is heard by the caller that prompts the user to leave a message. Most modern voicemail systems utilize digital storage and are generally stored on computer data storage.
  • Hunt Group– With Hunt Group, a company can distribute phone calls from a single number to a group of numbers. Businesses use hunt groups to determine who the call is for and who they should be speaking with. This is another money-saving tactic companies use as there is no need for a person to direct the calls where they need to go as this feature will take care of it.
  • Music / Messages On Hold– With this feature, a caller can be placed on hold while listening to a message or music. If this feature is not added to a phone system, the caller will not hear anything. Your callers will feel that they have been on hold for less time when this feature is added to your phone plan. This will increase caller retention while reducing frustrations. Music has also been known to increase sales and decrease support inquires.
  • Mobility– Mobility will allow a person to answer calls from a landline phone system on their cell phone. Therefore, business calls can be answered anywhere.
  • Conference Calling– This feature allows many individuals to be on a phone call at once. The calling party may call all the individuals taking part in the call, or those individuals may also be provided with a phone number with a conference bridge connected to it. This will allow all the phone calls to be linked together. Generally, many businesses will use this calling daily to communicate with others within and outside the company.
  • Call Recording– This feature allows your business to record a conversation over an audio source. This is then stored to be used to generate a transcript or for playback later.
  • Voicemail To Email– With this feature, a company can send messages directly to an email with a .WAV file. Messages may also be directly saved on servers, which are then accessed through a web portal.

Related: Business Phone System & NBN Migration: What You Need To Know

Final Thoughts

If your business is starting or looking to grow your company, a phone system for small businesses is a must! A Cloud-based phone system can enable your business phone to have additional features that promote growth within the company.

With so many great features needed, your company deserves the opportunity to reach out to others and make the most of their phone lines. Not only will you see more productivity within your team, but a business phone solution will allow more communications with others in and out of your network!

Want more information? Contact My FoneTel or book an appointment for a telecommunications audit.

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