Whether your business is a one-man operation or a larger company, you need to have the right phone system. With so many different types of systems to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what you need. You should understand the various systems and what they are used for.
There are three main things that you need to look at when choosing a business phone system:
- Full System – Do you need to have a complete system that uses both physical and mobile telephones, or do you simply need a system that will allow you to work via mobile phones?
- Type of Service – If you need actual office phones, you need to decide the type of service you need. This can be a
Types of Business Phone Systems
Every company is vying for your business, but not every company has what you need. One thing you need to do is to check out reviews about the various services and the companies that offer them.
Before you can choose the type of phone system you are going to use for your business, you need to understand the various systems and have a pretty good idea of how they work. That way, you will be able to make the best choice for your business. The following are your business telephone system options:
Virtual Phone System
This type of system connects a business phone line to your workers via their mobile or home phones. There is a great call forwarding system that allows calls to be transferred to individual employee personal phones, even when clients call the main company number. There are loads of features, including voicemail, call forwarding, call screening, online faxing, and automated receptionists. This type of phone system is best for businesses that rely on remote workers, or for sole-proprietor businesses.
- Pros – One of the biggest advantages to this type of business telephone system is that your team members can work from just about anywhere. This means that you don’t actually need a physical business location in many cases, and you can save a lot of money on rent, utilities, etc.
- Cons – The biggest drawback to a virtual phone system is that you don’t get a complete business phone system. Your calls are processed through either your home or your mobile network, so you will be charged for calls and use all of you mobile phone minutes.
Most people are familiar with this type of phone system, and it is still widely used by many businesses. These systems are supported by your local telephone service provider, and they are referred to as public switched telephone networks (PTSN). These systems are analog, and operate through the use of regular copper wiring that you will find in homes with landline phone systems.
You will need to have PBX hardware onsite, which will let you have many different extensions as well as a variety of phone features, including call directories and call transferring. This type of system is best for larger businesses that have bigger budgets for this type of service.
- Pros – This is a reliable type of phone solution that can be used easily by any company.
- Cons – The downside to this type of phone system is that it requires a lot of maintenance. It can also be quite costly when compared with other types of business telephone systems.
VoIP Phone Systems
Instead of using regular copper wires that the landlines use, a VoIP system will work off the Internet connection that your company already uses. There are loads of great features that are ideal for large businesses, including automated attendants, call queues, and even integration that lets voicemail messages be sent to laptops, desktop computers, and email inboxes, so even computers can be used as telephones.
A VoIP system will let you and your team have mobile options, so no one has to be tied to their desk all day and can actually get things done. This type of system is best for all types of businesses, specifically smaller businesses that need a multi-faceted phone system but don’t have large budgets.
- Pros – If you are looking for features, you are going to get them with VoIP systems. They are easy to set up and use, and less expensive than a landline.
- Cons – You must have an Internet connection to be able to make and receive phone calls.
Self-Hosted VoIP Systems
With this type of phone system, you will pay for your own equipment, and you will own it outright. This includes the PBX (Private Branch Exchange) hardware that you will need to have in order to ensure that the system continues to run. This hardware allows for circuit switching throughout your business phone system. If you aren’t ready to start using the cloud, but you still want to have complete control over your business phone system, this is definitely a system to consider.
- Pros – You are in total control over your phone system, so you can configure it just the way you want.
- Cons – You have to pay for all of the equipment, service, and maintenance.
Cloud-Based VoIP Systems
One of the best things about cloud-based VoIP systems is that you never have to worry about hardware or maintenance. The provider takes care of all of the technology, so you don’t even have to think about it. This is a great type of phone system for business that are growing and may want to add more phone lines in the future. You pay monthly, per user, for this type of service, and it is best for businesses that are growing but that also have fixed budgets.
- Pros – You don’t need to buy hardware or worry about maintenance, and you can set everything up from your own computer.
- Cons – You have no control over the hardware, so if the system goes down, there is nothing you can do about it but wait until the provider solves the problem.
What type of phone system works best for you and your business?
Images: “Office Phone Icon. / Shutterstock.com“
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