A business phone system is usually an integral part of any company’s voice network. As such, the service it delivers, and the quality and availability of that service, can make or break a business. Many businesses are finding that the best way to accommodate their needs is to install a business phone system in their office. One of the biggest reasons business phone systems are great is their flexibility. They’re able to handle different numbers with ease, can be used by teams in different locations, and allow you to add and remove extensions to your business as needed. Best of all, it’s easy to add more than just phones to your business’s system.
Nearly 10 million business phone lines are purchased each year, each with the ability to do more than make calls. This is because PBX or “Private Branch Exchange” systems allow businesses of any size to use their phones in multiple ways. With the right commercial phone system, an employee’s desk-bound PC can become a workstation that controls costs, expands communications capabilities and grows revenue.
Business owners are more dependent on using phones nowadays than ever before. Whether they are calling customers for more purchases, asking employees to do more work, or having internal meetings with team members, phones are an integral part of their livelihood. This leads to the question “How much does it cost to purchase a phone system for a small business? “
To answer that question will require some basic knowledge of what systems are available for purchase and what they can do. That’s exactly what this article offers.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of A Business Phone System
For many entrepreneurs, finding the right business phone system can seem like a daunting task. Telecommunications options are diverse and can include everything from voice and fax services to multimedia and wireless bells and whistles.
While most businesses today need a new phone system to keep up with increasing communications needs, some standard factors impact business phone pricing.
Number of Phone Users
As you plan and design the telecommunications system for your business, you’ll need to estimate how many people will use or require a phone at their workstation. This estimate will help determine the number and type of phones and accessories you’ll need to purchase.
There are some questions you must answer:
- How many phone users are within your organisation?
- What is the maximum capacity of your existing infrastructure to support additional users?
- Will they be in the office all day?
- Will they be in the field all day?
- How many phone lines will you need?
- Will you have a dedicated phone line for each user?
- Will you have a shared phone line?
If you have multiple offices, you’ll need one phone line for every office. You’ll need to consider all of these factors when you determine the number of phones you’ll need.
Some providers, accept the cost of a phone system for a given number of users. After that, each new user added to the system costs extra money. This is called additional capacity. The added capacity is calculated by computing how many more extensions can be added to a single system before reaching a maximum number of lines per group or a maximum number of endpoints per group.
Number of Office Locations
If you run a small business, most of your employees likely work from different locations. Your business probably won’t have a centralised office. This is the case for many businesses today, thanks to modern technology and business models. The problem is that with an office spread out across the country, expenses can be high. For most small businesses, a commercial phone system is a must-have expense. But installing a business phone system in each location means more cost. So, you should bear in mind that having multiple office locations may have a significant impact on how much you pay for a business phone.
The Type Of Phone System You Select
The type of phone system you choose also affects the cost of a commercial phone system. The most basic systems have low call prices, but you can’t transfer calls or forward your call over to different people in case you are away from your desk.
The more advanced phone systems allow crucial features like web-based dialling, extensions, call forwarding, voicemail, call transfer and more. This can make a huge difference in how much you pay for your phone system.
Before you do anything else, find out if you have to purchase special equipment or hire an outside consultant to help you with your phone system installation. Even if your phone system is not that complex, there is still an expense involved in getting it installed. If you have the skills to install it yourself, that will save you a significant amount of money.
Feature and Functionality Additions
While the business phone system ‘hardware’ is important; perhaps even essential; more important is the software. It matters more because features and functionality are what gives the system its true value.
Features make it pleasant to use or enable critical new capabilities like call recording.
Functionality makes the whole thing efficient and cost-effective by allowing seamless transfer of calls, integrating messaging, enabling meaningful call-routing patterns, automating workflows, and distributing communications resources throughout the organisation.
When you are distinguishing between various phone system features, you should also take into consideration the special added features that are only available through your preferred dealer. All three of these factors play a role in installation charges, but the first thing you’ll want to ask about is which additional features are included with the type of phone system you are choosing.
Aspects of Redundancy
There are three main areas of redundancy. The first is the network. A good-quality commercial system has at least two physical connections to the same provider. So if one line fails, the other is still available. This is known as ‘line’ redundancy. Unless all your systems are wireless, you should also consider having two separate backup. The second layer of redundancy is what you use to communicate from your office to different parts of your business. This could be satellite phones, mobile phones, two-way radios or just a computer+LAN adapter+LAN cable combination.
Redundancy has become the thing it makes sense to use when building a commercial phone system. You can’t do much to enhance the quality of your system without introducing redundancy. This isn’t perfect because it’s not possible to eliminate all possibilities of failure, but it’s close to achieving perfection.
Choosing The Right Phone System
In addition to the things mentioned, other factors have a bearing on the cost of a digital phone system. The type of system selected will affect this a lot. Choosing the right system for your company can be challenging. The range of systems that are available to you are so diverse, you need to ask yourself some important questions to ensure you are getting the perfect solution for your company.
There are two main types of modern phone systems available for businesses. IP-PBX and VoIP. Both systems use voice over IP to transfer data, but there are some fundamental differences in how they operate. IP-PBX systems are more complex than VoIP since they include more components such as an integrated PBX and multiple devices such as a Manager/Director Console or a Phone Adapter. An IP-PBX system works by converting analogue audio signals to digital signals before transmitting it via data link to the VoIP provider’s central office (CO).
Training in Systems Usage
The required training programme for phone system users will vary from location to location. This is because different companies have different needs. If you are looking for a good training programme, you should first look at the skills of the people who are going to use the phone system the most.
What it means is that you should look at all of your incoming calls and see which people are answering them the most. The people who answer these calls best are then going to be put into what is called a required training programme. This means that they will be taken through all of the features of the phone system, whereas other employees may not need this treatment after their first time getting acquainted with the phone system.
Phone systems are expensive, and as you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how much a business phone system will end up costing your business. But spending the cash to provide your business with a reliable phone solution is just as important. Phone systems are used for more than just sales calls. They can be used for conference calls, Webinars, recording business voicemails, and many other applications which make investing in a system worth the expense.
To get a proper idea of your expected expenditure, request a quote from our sales department and get an estimate that is tailored just for your business.