When you run a small business you need to make sure people can actually contact you via a separate business phone line. This not only makes it easier for your potential clients and customers, it also helps you avoid any co-mingling of business and personal when tax time comes around.
With so many options out there for business telephone systems, it can be difficult to narrow down the one that will work best for you. Use our guide to help you determine which small office phone system suits your needs.
What's your budget?
Budget is a valid concern when it comes to purchasing a business telephone system. The more complicated the phone system, the more expensive it may be.
That's why it's critical to decide which features are absolutely essential to your business and which ones you can live without for now. For example, do you just need a landline? Do you need a landline at all? Or would you also like to have your phone system run via an internet connection?
What's the size of your company?
Company size will also play a big role in determining not only which phone system you use, but now many business phone lines you need.
How many employees do you have? Do they each need their own extension? Do you need the capability to put calls on hold and transfer to another line?
Do you want to deal with hardware?
Some telephone systems for business require hardware while others don't because they are hosted on a cloud. If you don't want to deal with hardware other than a phone, such as private branch exchange (PBX) hardware, or simply don't have use for the extra stuff, then a Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone system may be your best bet.
Note, however, that nowadays you can also have companies host the PBX on their cloud system and have them maintain it for you. More on this in the next section.
Do you want an on-premise system?
Sometimes business owners prefer to own the hardware used in order to run their small business phone system. This would mean that they have an on-premise telephone system, so all the hardware can be found in the office. Furthermore, the hardware is owned and maintained by the business owner.
Over time, business owners are said to pay less for their small business phone system if they own the equipment. You would also get more of a say on the kind of hardware you want to use.
Truth be told there is no right or wrong when deciding between an on-site phone system or a cloud based one. It mostly depends on how much control the business owner wants and how much money they think they can save over time.
What features would you like?
Feature rich systems used to only be available for big companies. Well, times have changed. Now business phone lines can also come with mobile capabilities, the ability to transcribe voicemails and record phone calls.