Running a small business is hard work and requires you to be very budget conscious. One of those monetary decisions that need to be made is whether or not you should invest in a small business phone system.
The simple answer is you definitely need to invest in a separate business phone line. You don't want business calls coming to your personal line, it looks unprofessional not to have one and come tax time you'll want to make sure everything is separate.
However, there's a difference between a small business phone line and an actual telephone system. A small business phone line can be as simple as getting an extra landline or using a Skype number. A small business telephone system, on the other hand, comes with extra features and allows you to transfer calls between lines.
In order to help you determine whether or not you need a business phone system, we've compiled some considerations to keep in mind when making your decision.
Number of Lines Needed
If you need multiple land or VoIP lines (meaning it uses the internet) then you may need a full blown system to be able to handle them all.
For instance, let's say there's a main line which your receptionist answers and then there's a separate line to get to you. In order for your receptionist to transfer the call you would probably need a phone system.
Is it required to have two lines for this? Not really. But some people like to have that extra boundary in place between them and their clients.
Another example is if you have multiple employees who work with separate clients. They would each probably need their own line to do their work.
Special Features For Small Business Phone Systems
Office phone systems come with a myriad of features that can help you and your team be more efficient. One such feature is that of transcribing voicemails.
Transcribing voicemails alone can be a huge time saver because you can get emails with the transcription sent to your employees automatically. This saves them from having to check their voicemail from the phone, write down the message, find the phone number and then call someone back. This is especially useful if several voicemails were left after hours. As a side bar, it's also nice to have this kind of stuff in writing.
Transcribing isn't the only feature that can help your business. Some small business phone systems allow you to record calls, dial-by-name directories, hold music, remote management, etc.
Large Office Phone Systems
Once your company gets to a certain size and has more manpower, you may need a small business phone system. In all fairness this is a loaded question that can only be answered by asking more specific questions.
Do you have multiple departments? How many employees do you have? Do they all handle different things? Do you have different people handling different things, like a customer service rep for inquiries and another person for Accounts Receivable?
The bigger your company gets the more complicated to keep everyone in contact in an organized manner. If this is the case for you then you may need to look into an office phone system.