Picking out a phone system for your small to medium-sized business can be a real headache. You have to determine what system you’ll go with, the features you need, and what you can afford to pay for it all. This gets complicated and confusing fast.
We thought we’d help you out by covering how you can better connect your business to the future with a comprehensive VoIP phone system.
- Determine if Your Office Internet can Support VoIP
VoIP is probably one of the most obvious cost saving methods a small to medium business can take. Unfortunately, it only works if you have sufficient bandwidth to support IP calling.
If your company is in an older office or one farther outside a major metro area you may be running on an obsolete internet system. A good rule of thumb is 100 Kbps of bandwidth for every VoIP line.
If you need 100 lines you’ll need a minimum of 10 Mbps of upload speed on a consistent basis. Of course, that doesn’t leave you any bandwidth for the many other tasks your business has.
Double check your bandwidth and the features you want before making a purchase.
- Figure out How Many Lines You Need
The most basic question you have to ask yourself when looking at a VoIP service provider is how many users you’ll have. VoIP systems generally charge per line and per minute of use basis. As you scale up the number of lines you need the price will rise with it.
In the past, you would need a physical phone line installed for each user you wanted to have a phone. VoIP is much simpler than that. Don’t stress out too much over how many lines you need as it’s easy to add or remove a few down the line as your requirements change.
- Set a VoIP Budget
VoIP is far less expensive than old school landlines but it can still reach a considerable price for a company with 50+ employees. Sit down and figure out how many users you’ll have, how many calls they make, and where they’re calling.
One VoIP service provider may specialize in advanced features while another offers low-cost long distance calling. Once you know how much you can spend on your VoIP system you’ll have a lot better idea of what extra features you can afford.
- Decide What Features You Need
With VoIP, the calls themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. You can add on all kinds of useful features like video conferencing, app integration, and the ability to let your employees take a single number anywhere they go.
One of the most popular add-ons for a VoIP system is advanced video and voice conferencing. It doesn’t always make sense to bring the whole project team together in one place. VoIP provides effective and low-cost video conferencing that’s highly reliable.
No more dropped calls or fuzzy, laggy pictures.
A really exciting feature of VoIP is the ability to integrate it with your CRM and other applications. This allows you to do things like instantly update client databases while on a call with them.
Go Anywhere Numbers
In the very recent past, lots of people who needed to travel for work found themselves with multiple numbers. There was their desk number, their cell number, and probably their fax number.
This got very confusing for clients and slowed down operations. With VoIP, you can use a single number for all your needs. By downloading an app onto a smartphone your desk number can go with you anywhere in the world.
- Choose the Hardware You’ll be using
The final step is to see what kind of hardware your VoIP service provider offers. Most will include everything from standard desk phones to advanced adapters to let you continue using your existing analog phones.
This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use your VoIP system. They’re also easy for your employees to learn to use.
Find the Right Match
There are literally hundreds of VoIP providers out there. As long as you keep the five points above in mind you’re sure to find the best one for your business’s needs.