Does your business still use an old telephone system? If that’s the case, then it’s high time you upgraded to a more modern solution. An upgrade will not only enhance communication, but also allow for saving on maintenance costs. Today’s phone systems come with lots of features for enhancing communication within the organization, while also making efficient customer service a breeze. How can you tell what phone system suits your business though? If you own a small business, you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles available with these systems. Check out these handy tips on choosing the right phone system for your business:
Find out what features are required
The needs of a small company can vary markedly from those of a large organization with multiple locations. So assessing your business’ needs is the first step you’ll have to take. If upgrading, can you identify some of the pain points with the existing system? What are the new features you need? Some of the features you might need include: call forwarding, extension dialing, conference calling, voicemail-to-email, etc. Keep in mind that the more features you need, the higher the cost you’ll incur It’s thus vital that you involve your staff in this process, so you can determine what features are actually needed.
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Consider future expansion plans
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Don’t just look at the business’ immediate needs; remember to think about the kind of growth you anticipate in the next few years. How many staff members do you expect to add in two years’ time? Do you plan on opening multiple locations across the country? If you expect significant growth, it’s vital that you go with a system that will scale easily to meet the demands of your growing business.
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 requires a huge capital investment, but is advantageous in the sense that businesses have total control of the hardware and telephone service. Obviously, this solution isn’t suited to small businesses without a decent budget as well as IT personnel to do the maintenance work.
A cloud or hosted solution, on the other hand, means that all the hardware plus the maintenance work is handled by the telephone company. Only a small initial investment is required to get up and running, as you only need to purchase the IP phones. The monthly subscription fee should also be affordable for most businesses. The downside of this solution is that you will not have full control over the system hardware. Whenever there’s an issue with the telephone service, you’ll have to rely on the provider to sort it out as quickly as possible.