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Guide to Selecting the Right Phone System for Your Business Does your business still use an old telephone system? If that’s the case, then it’s about time to upgrade to a more current solution. An upgrade will not only enhance communication, but also allow for saving on maintenance costs. Today’s telephone systems pack many more features that enhance connectivity within the organization, while making it easier to serve customers efficiently. How can you tell what phone system suits your business though? If you’re a small business owner, it’s unlikely you’ll need all the features that are available with these phone systems. Here are a few handy tips on selecting the right business telephone system: What features do you need? A small business’ needs can vary significantly from those of a big corporation with multiple locations. So the first step you must take is to assess the needs of your business. What are some of the pain points experienced with the current system, if upgrading? What are the new features you need? A few of the features you may require include: call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, extension dialing, conference calling, etc. Keep in mind that the more features you need, the higher the cost you’ll incur It is thus important to have your staff involved in this process so you can establish what features are really necessary.
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Don’t just think about the immediate needs of the business; also remember to consider the growth you expect in the next few years. How many staff members do you expect to add in two years’ time? Is opening multiple locations across the country part of the plan? Choosing a system that can scale easily to meet the demands of your growing business is important is you anticipate considerable growth. Choose between on-premises and hosted/cloud telephone systems An on-premises system means purchasing the PBX hardware and managing the entire telephone system within the organization. This needs a huge capital expenditure, but comes with the advantage that businesses have full control of their hardware and telephone service. This solution is obviously not suited to smaller businesses, which may not have a sizeable budget as well as the IT personnel to handle maintenance. A hosted or cloud system, on the other hand, is one where all the hardware infrastructure plus maintenance tasks are taken care of by the phone company. Because you only need to buy IP phones, you’d only need a small investment to get up and running. The monthly subscription fee should also be affordable for most businesses. The disadvantage with this setup is that you won’t have total control over the hardware. Whenever there’s a problem with the service, you’ll have to rely on your provider to fix it as soon as possible.