Which telephone system is the best for small businesses?
Deciding on which phone system to use is a big thing, for any business whether that be big or small. It is also quite a difficult decision to make, simply because there is so many different phone systems on offer. They all seem to offer similar things, which only seems to make the decision all that much harder than it has to be.
But, do not worry, this article is here to help you decide which one is the best one for you to use!
Things to consider when choosing telephone systems
Before you even begin to look at the different phone systems that are available for small businesses, there are quite a few things that you do need to consider.
You need to think about things such as how many lines are needed? How many extensions are needed? How much are you willing to pay for line rental? What features do you need? Do you need call redirection to staff members working from home? Does your business require the IT and phone systems to be integrated? Do you need the ability to identify customer details and dial numbers from your computer? How many line provider sockets are required? And so much more.
So, now that you have these things to think about, it will make the process of choosing a phone system a lot easier. Simply because you know exactly what is needed and you can base your decisions around whether the different systems offer these things or not. If they do not, then they can be easily ruled out, narrowing down the search a little bit.
The different types of telephone systems
With how much technology has advanced in recent years, a phone system or phone service is no longer as simple as it once was. In fact, there are more phone systems on offer than ever before, and if you have never used a phone system before this can be rather overwhelming. But fear not, we are going to look at all of the different phone systems and telephone companies that work best with small businesses, and their pros and cons.
First let us take a look at Voice over Internet Protocol system for your business, also known at VoIP. This type of phone system is probably one of the most commonly used systems, amongst all types of businesses, big and small. This particular system uses the internet to send voice signals, rather than landlines like most other systems.
This particular system has a lot of different features which can include cost effective unified communication. Such as click to call, instant messaging, logins from any device, advanced reporting and analytics, call recording, internet fax, video conferencing, virtual phone lines for smartphones, presence management, voice to text transcription, and so much more. So, if you are looking for a system that has so many different features on offer, then this is something that you should be looking at.
There are also quite a few different types of VoIP systems, such as the virtual VoIP. This is a system that is fully virtual, it allows you to take incoming calls and reroute them to any device of your choice. This is typically very beneficial for small businesses, as it is low in cost and can be used wherever.
Another type of VoIP is the hosted VoIP. This is where all of the voice services are hosted by a third-party. This includes the taking and rerouting of calls, voicemails, and other features, all being handled by a third-party company. It can be quite beneficial, as it reduces the complication of doing it all yourself and you don’t have to pay out more money for the installation process, and for the equipment and software.
On-premises VoIP is another type of VoIP that is available. This one is particularly for the businesses who aren’t necessarily comfortable in using a third-party company to handle their calls. It allows the business to install and develop their own VoIP system. This can get quite complicated, so you have to know exactly what you are doing if you choose to use this type of VoIP.
There are also many different pros and cons that come along with using a VoIP phone system instead of a traditional PBX. Firstly, let us take a look at the benefits that come along with using this particular system:
They are very portable. So, if your business is constantly on the go, or you work from home some days and you work in the office, that is no problem at all for this system. As long as you have internet access, and a device that can connect to this then you can take and make calls wherever you are in the world.
Another benefit is the fact that they are very affordable, compared to other phone systems. Especially with the various features that you can get with them, they are excellent value for money.
However, it is not all positives, there are also some downsides to using this system.
The main one being, that while its use of internet can make it stand out from the crowd, it can also be its biggest drawback. Simply because of the fact that, if the internet goes down or for some reason you do not have access to it, then you will not be able to make or take calls. So, if you decide on this system you probably need to make sure that you have a good internet connection at all times.
Also, unlike most other phone systems, it relies on power rather than landline. So, if there is a power outage, then the phone system will simply not work. Just like any other device that relies on power to work.
Overall, a VoIP system or a cloud phone system is typically the cheapest option for small businesses to go with. But the prices can vary depending on many different things such as additional features, the provider, the plan, and how many people are using the system.
For more information about this, head over to this website.
Another phone system that is available is a Private Branch Exchange system, also known as the PBX system. This is a centralised phone network, that connects many people within a specific organisation to each other and lets the organisation then send and receive phone calls. While this particular system is typically used within bigger businesses, it is also an option for small businesses. It is a hub that connects to a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), via a business phone provider, so there is no need to worry about landlines and things like that.
This system has many different features such as call parking, auto-dialling, location-based routing, session initiation, protocol trunking, customer service screen popping, auto attendant, automated call routing, call monitoring and recording, customised call menus, hold music or messaging and so many more.
There are also many different types of BPX systems. Such as a hosted PBX. This is where the system is managed by a service provider or a host. This type of system in particular allows you and your staff to simply just use the phones. You do not have to have great knowledge of the installation and the maintenance of the particular system. if there is a problem with this, you do not have to worry about trying to fix it yourself, you simply have to call customer support and they will solve any and all issues that you may have.
On-premises PBX is another type of system, and it is the more traditional of the two types. It includes a network of phone lines, handsets, and supporting equipment, all of which are installed and maintained by the business itself. It also allows employees to be able to make interoffice and outbound calls. Customers can also call into the PBX system and from there they will then be rerouted to the desired destination.
There are so many benefits of this phone system, but along with that also comes negatives. First, let us take a deeper look at some of the benefits that can come from using this system.
One of the main benefits is the fact that through this phone system you are able to the fact that it is able to handle the more complicated calls that your business may face. There is an internal switchboard, which is something that makes the whole process a lot easier for both the caller and the business. Simply because of the fact that, that is the thing that reroutes the calls to the right, person and/or department.
Another benefit that can come from using this telephone system is the fact that there are so many features that are on offer. Also, with the more modern PBX systems, there are even more features that can be used through this particular phone system. So, if the availability of many features, is something that you are looking for then it is probably important for you to keep this in mind.
However, it is not all benefits that come along with using this particular system. There are also some negatives that you might want to keep an eye out for. For example, the main negatives that can come from using this phone system, is the fact that this system costs more than a VoIP system. So, if you are looking for something on the cheaper side, then you may want to look at the VoIP system before looking into a PBX system.
Another negative that comes from using this system is the fact that upgrading can become a very complicated process. Not to mention the fact that it can also become quite expensive. So, this is also something that should be kept in mind, when thinking about the different phone systems to use for your business.
For more information on PBX telephone systems, head over to this page.
The last phone system that we are going to look at is a multi-line telephone system. This is quite an old system to use, but it is effective. They rely on the use of landlines rather than the internet such as a VoIP. Multi-line phone systems use the public switched telephone network also known as PSTN. It is very important to keep in mind when looking at a phone system such as this, is the fact that this specific technology is being phased out, globally. Even by 2030, there is a very big chance that they will no longer be around.
But, they do offer a range of different features such as, directory and speed dial, conference/call joining, speakerphone, voicemail, connections to headsets/computers/fax machines, handsets, and screen displays for caller ID.
With this system you also need to decide how many lines you need for your business. If you only have a small office, maybe with a receptionist, then you should probably go for a two-line system. To allow one line to remain open for calls, and the other line to remain open for other features.
But, if you have several employees who plan on making more than one call at a time then you should have more lines, the four-line system could work for that. As it allows for more lines to be open for calls to be made/received, and other lines to remain open for other tasks to be carried out.
If your business has a high volume of calls, with a quite a few employees, then you will probably need to go for six or more lines. Simply to allow the calls to be made and to also allow employees to the other features that are available on the phone system.
Just like anything else, this phone system has quite a few pros and cons that come along with it. Let us take a look at the pros of using this system first of all.
The main benefit of using this system is the fact that it does not rely on power or the internet. It simply relies on the landline. So, you do not have to worry about not being able to use the phone system if the power cuts out or the internet stops working.
While this system can fall on the more expensive side, it is still cheaper than other systems that are on offer, such as PBX.
However, while, there are a couple of benefits that can come from this using this telephone system the negatives seem to outweigh them.
One of the main cons of the multi-line telephone system is the fact that the features that are available with this system are very limited and most of the time are absolutely not up to date. Especially compared to other phone systems that are on offer. So, if you are looking for a very modernised phone system then this one is probably not for you.
It also has next to no flexibility; you are limited to one place when using it. So, if you are business who moves around a lot, or your employees work from home sometimes, then this phone system will make it quite difficult. As it cannot just be accessed anywhere.
Overall, if you are looking for a system that feels a little more on the modern side, then this is definitely not the one for you, and you should absolutely look at the other systems available. Especially because of the fact that they are expected to be phased out of use, then you will probably have to end up finding a different phone system to use at a later date anyway.
For more information on this, head over to this website.
Business comparison sites for Business Telephone Systems
However, if you do not have the time to do all of this research, or you simply do not want to then you can use a comparison site. These sites will do most of the work for you so that you do not have to do so much research. However, it is still a good idea (if you have the time and/or energy to do so), because this will allow you to understand it all a little better. Simply because you will know exactly what certain things mean and how they can benefit your business specifically.
But, businesses comparison sites can make it so much quicker and simpler for you to compare and contrast the different prices and benefits, all without having to know everything that there is to know about the systems. As they take all of the latest prices and put them into one place so that you can easily see them beside one another. Therefore, you do not have to do this step by yourself, as the best price will be presented to you in a very clear and simple way.
Not only do they make the choice a lot easier for you. Comparison websites also have very simple processes to get a hold of the information; and one of the best websites to use, to help compare business suppliers and their pros, cons, and their costs, is compareyourbusinesscosts.co.uk.
To begin the phone system comparison process, simply head over to this page.
From here it is a very simple process.
You just have to fill out an online form. With your current information such as how many phone systems you need, and once that is complete, you will then receive an email that includes the different quotes that you will allow you to clearly see which is the best and cheapest for you; but also which company is the best one for you to choose from.
For more information on business phone systems, visit the pages below: