If you have been looking at buying a business phone system or business phone line, you naturally would want to know what budget you need to make available for it. Typing that into google will leave you inundated with prices & responses, the top result being written in 2011 casts some doubt on the accuracy. We will explain what we know about business phone line costs & some tips on how to reduce your expenditure.
Naturally, costs can vary depending on the type of line you want, how many extensions, what features & what business phone line provider you use. If you are looking at VoIP lines or internet based systems its important that you understand you need a high quality business broadband package for any internet based phone system. If you have the budget you would be better getting a leased line as these can prioritise voice data over your connection & is the most stable connection.
Business Phone System Features.
Many small businesses will expect “out the box” pricing for their phone services, like you get with business broadband. However, many of the UK’s best business phone line providers will always quote tailored service to ensure you are not paying for anything you don’t need or use. Prices can be as low as £7 per user, per month, for the most basic call packages.
The more calling features you need the more the monthly cost will be, although its usually by a few pounds. Its good to have an idea of what features you need before you purchase any business phone system, some of the most common feature are:
- Call Waiting – usually comes as standard & lets you know when another call is trying to get through while you are on a call.
- Voicemail services – Another standard feature for most business phone lines is answerphones services. Will allow you to access your mailbox & record a greeting etc.
- Caller Display Screens – Depending on the type of hardware & software you opt for this can be as basic as displaying the callers number or as technical as showing you what customer is calling & display their details.
- Call Diversion – Diverts your calls to any number so if you are working out of office you can have you office phone calls routed to your mobile. This feature has become more popular in 2019 than ever before.
- 3-way calling – Allows you to set up a conference call with two others without needed to have one of them annoying meetings where no one can hear whats being said.
- Free Internal calls – Many small businesses won’t need this because we just shout across the small office we have! However, if your business has multiple sites or lots of remote workers this can save you a lot of money.
- Hunt Group Numbers – This allows you to set an amount of numbers that can all handle a certain type of call or calls to a certain number. Once programmed into the hunt group is a customer calls it will go through to whoever is free to answer first. Great for customer experience means no more ringing out.
Types of Business Phone Lines Available
UK Landlines & mobiles have seen dramatic shifts in the past couple of decades & that translates directly into business too. In this article we will be looking at physical office landline phone & the types available so you can pick whats right for you.
There are 3 main types of business phone systems, although one is basically on its last legs. So we will start with that.
Analogue Business Phone Lines.
You probably know this dinosaur phone type better than any, Its been around longer than most of us have but since VoIP & PBX has been dying out. Running on the old copper analogue business phone lines are a legacy service now & because of the higher cost and lower functionality I don’t know any business who actively looks for this type.
It simply can’t keep up with business now & if you still have a copper broadband service then its going to cause you problems. Our honest advice would be to avoid it.
PBX Business phone lines.
PBX phone lines are the most popular UK based physical desk-based phones and enable you to connect all your business phones, even if they are in different locations. Business phone providers will usually be able to offer both hosted & non-hosted PBX Phone lines.
Hosted PBX just means that the provider would host it at their location & you get access using the cloud. Non-Hosted means you set it all up at your location. Non hosted does have a higher set up cost but over the years can work out saving you money. However, the cost means most small businesses will often choose a hosted PBX.
PBX are a good choice for small businesses because of all the additional features you get :
- Calling your colleagues for free
- Adding more business phone lines without having to drill or mess around with complex installs
- Enjoy additional features like call recording, transfers, voicemail etc.
VoIP Business phone lines.
VoIP phone lines run over your internet connection and one of the cheapest and most popular systems for start ups and small business owners. You can read more about VoIP business phone systems here.
How long does a business phone line installation take?
The time it takes to install a business phone line depends on the types of phone line you order & which provider you order it from and we would recommend you discuss with your provider, generally speaking it can be anything from 1 hour to 6 weeks – often more if you are getting a PBX installed at your site.. It can also be subject to engineers availability so if its a particularly busy time of year there can be a delay because of that.
If you are using Internet based phone like VoIP or hosted PBX you will also need to ensure you have good connectivity- fibre broadband would be the absolute minimum requirement, although we would suggest dedicated internet like a leased line. You can look at broadband and phone services together from the same provider which may give you a slight reduction in your line rental or call charges.
Should I get a BT business phone line?
Many businesses in the UK will instantly think of BT (British Telecom) first when considering any type of phone service. The telecoms giant has dominated the market for decades & still has the majority share. However, that does not mean they are the most suitable – often the most expensive with lower customer service reviews than other providers – It can pay to move away.
Many people get a line with BT & just stay with them for years paying £25 a month for a product you can get for £8 per month. If you look at the standard 24 month contract term you can save yourself over £200 per year just by comparing the market & using a more competitive provider.
We work with the UK’s highest rated & most trusted business phone line providers & would love to help save you some money by comparing your options. Simply click on the button below or get in touch on 01923 594060.