What to consider when choosing phone equipment for your small business

Business phone systems might not be the most exciting aspect of your enterprise, but they are nonetheless one of the most important. Without good communications, you’ll struggle to expand your operations, connect with customers, and work with remote teams.

Phone systems are the backbone of most offices. While chat apps are trendy right now, communicating with customers and colleagues via regular voice interactions is fundamental. You can’t live without it.

Phone Equipment for Small Business

Choosing a phone system, however, isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Landlines are, for instance, no longer the best option. They’ve been superseded by VoIP, the new kid on the block. Instead of taking calls over fixed phone lands, VoIP routes all requests through the internet via a cloud-based service, allowing you to make calls on behalf of your company any time you like.

What you should consider before choosing phone equipment

So, what do you need to consider before choosing phone equipment? Let’s take a look.

1.    How much will you use it?

Businesses vary in the amount that they rely on telephony services. Some companies use it as their primary means of selling services and communicating with customers. Others operate dedicated customer support hotlines and need phone services that they can run throughout the day. Many office-based businesses might only use their lines for a few minutes per day.

Companies with high phone usage may need to provide their colleagues with multiple phone lines, all with call forwarding abilities, should the volume of calls become too great for any single operator. Likewise, those employing interns may just need a primary phone terminal so that they can take the occasional call.

2.    How much flexibility you require

Whenever you invest in new telephone equipment, you’re not just considering your needs right now, but also your requirements in the future. You need to think carefully about how many lines you’ll need and what features might benefit your firm as your employee count rises.

VoIP systems provide you with the ability to quickly and cheaply expand your telephony system without having to invest in new lines. All you do is add and subtract accounts virtually, as and when you need them.

3.    How many functions you require

While voice calls are the leading feature telephony solutions offer, they are by no means the only. Today’s advanced, cloud-based systems provide a host of features that could come in handy, depending on your firm.

Here are some examples of the additional functionality you might consider when installing a new phone system:

  • Speed Dialling
  • Voicemail-to-email
  • Do not disturb greeting
  • Call forwarding
  • Call logging
  • Hands-free devices
  • Hold features
  • Shared message boxes

There are, of course, many more than this that you may wish to consider.

4.    Your existing IT network

The state of your existing IT network is an essential consideration in the system you choose to use. If you have plenty of spare bandwidth, you may want to consider using VoIP. You don’t have to upgrade any of your existing infrastructure, and you can route calls to mobile devices connected via the cloud.