Choosing the best telephone system for a small business is very important to promote convenience and effectiveness to its services. There are different ways in order to meet the best telephone system in your small business.
Here are the following important keys to remember on how to choose telephone system for a small business
- Consider the literacy of the employees on the telephone system that are going to be implemented in the business and at the same time understanding the need of the employees on the telephone system. This is also important in order to have consistency and will also avoid the possibility of confusion to the system. Furthermore, the key point in the situation is to understand what the users need.
- The need to test the system is also important. Consider it being demonstrated how it works is vital, so that you can be a test to its effectivity. In connection to this, there are companies who offer free trial on the system. With this, testing its quality is achieved. On the other hand, the quality of the phones, speaker and its accessibility is also assessed.
- Nowadays, there are a lot of selling companies, who sells their product with a package deal, thus, it is very important to ask about the needed equipment in the system and at the same time their purchasing condition. Like for instance, Voice over IP technology (VoIP) providers requires the customer to purchase the equipment directly through their company. In line with this, planning to have the equipment with the other sellers should be negotiated or if have plans on recycling equipment at your company should be ask to the direct concern, so that it will be easy to purchase and have it install.
- Another important thing to consider is the compatibility of the voicemail. There are a lot of companies who has third party voicemail systems, thus ensuring the compatibility of the telephone system not only on the present system but also on the future system that will be use in the company is essential.
- To choose the best telephone that will run in the business is also done with looking into a trusted advisor that will guide you on how to choose the best and or excellent telephone system in your small business.
- Consider the functionality of the system, whether it can be use for a short term or can be use for a long run.
A business phone is a key towards a greater success and convenience in the world of business. The types of business phone systems are the following, Key (KSU) Systems, PBX (Private Branch Exchange) Systems, Key-less Systems and Voice over IP (VoIP) Systems. These were just the commonly used telephone system to most of the business companies. Each one of them has its own features and is preferably use to a specific business type. On the other hand, the use of the system is also influenced and affected by the number of employees present in a certain business. In addition to that, since its usage differ on the number of employees present, it is also important to acknowledge its benefit as the most essential tool to have progressive and or profitable business in the world.
To site an example, key phone system is controlled by key system unit or what is known as KSU. The phone system has the unique features that not an ordinary phone can offer. In small and or medium size business, key phone system is preferably used because the phone system can accommodate from five to forty extensions. The key phone system has the ability to make a call to another in office extension and will allow the user to hold the line. This is just one of the incredible offers on the phone system. The price of the phone system may differ according to its features. On the other hand, if the company is looking into a more advance and as well as can accommodate to more than forty extensions, PBX (Private Branch Exchange) Systems is the preferable business phone. Since private branch exchange (PBX) can provide more than forty extensions, it is best use to business facilities that has more than one hundred employees or with medium and large business.
Another type of business phone used in business telephone system is the key-less system or known as KSU-less phone system. The type of business phones can accommodate to a maximum of ten extensions unlike to PBX that can accommodate up to forty extensions. The KSU-less phone system can be move from one place to another since this is not permanently wired in the office. Since KSU-less can only accommodate up to ten extensions it is only best suited for small business with only a few employees or workers. On the other hand, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is another type of business phones. VoIP is the latest type of phone system in the business. VoIP is not only limited to large business but were also widely used in small and medium size business.
VOIP is becoming more and more popular these days. It reduces the cost of calls compared to the regular telephone systems. It is now one of the growing businesses not just in UK but in the whole world; no wonder why there are many new as well as old VOIP providers for business in UK.
How to choose a good VOIP Service
Know what you need. The first thing to consider before choosing a good VOIP service provider is to know which company can provide you the exact type of service that you need. Knowing what type of services you need will tell you who the best provider for that service is. Definitely, one company can provide a better service than the other and this is what you need to know.
On top of the services that you need, you also need to consider the price. How much can you afford for a VOIP service. Find a VOIP provider that meets your need while making sure that they are also providing it a reasonable price that you can afford.
On top of the service that you are buying, is there any other service that they provide whether as a bonus or simply just something that you might avail in the future? Although this is not a major factor, considering this can help you decide what you can do about your business in the future.
- Track Record and Feedback
What do other companies say about them? Definitely, a good VOIP provider will always stand out. Read some feedbacks about the company so that you will have an idea of the type of service that the company can provide. If you will be able to find some negative feedbacks, be sure that you will be prepared for it in case the same situation (as stated in the feedback) happens to you.
Below is a list of VOIP providers that are available in UK. These companies were not arranged in a particular order.
Good VOIP Providers in UK
Top 8 Most Popular VOIP Providers in UK (based on website traffic)
- Vonage UK
- Sipgate – UK
Voice over IP is the latest advancement in the history of telephonic call methodologies. It is a means of communication using SMS, voice and fax which is carried out over the internet. Voice over IP can also be classified as Internet Telephony where the calls take place over Internet Protocol system/network. What the VoIP system does is that it changes telephonic calls into a digital form of information which is then transferred to an internet network and delivered to other devices using the versatile capabilities of the internet. The VoIP systems are much cheaper and more practical if compared to the conventional phone line system of communicating as the calls are inclusive of no extra charges. As the world has become a highly globalized place to live in, nearly everyone has the facility of internet at their places and so, as the process of sending digital information over internet was easy, the reception of this information is also as simple.
The VoIP system is the perfect way of communication for a business company because the hefty long distance call charges which are usually made to over the seas companies or international clients are cut. Along with this, the VoIP system can be set up for PC to PC calls or PC to Phone calls which are an evidence of its versatility. What more the VoIP business telephone system offers is its ease of setup in new office buildings which proves that it is also cost-effective in this matter and, compared to traditional setting up of phone-lines will help you save on the cost of wiring, which in turn will provide the office building with more space that probably would have been used up by bundles of wires. Putting the cost-effectiveness of the VoIP business telephone system aside, its portability is also a great characteristic. An individual who is constantly on-the-go can easily set up the VoIP system wherever there is a broadband connection available. The modern features such as call forwarding, voicemail and call waiting are also supported by the VoIP business telephone system.
In conclusion, the VoIP business telephone system:
- Is a cost-effective way of communication
- Is a modern way of contacting people
- Is extremely practical as compared to conventional phone-line systems
To sum it all up, technological advancements have made the world look small; the next continent is now as near to you as your neighbor’s doorstep.
Choosing for a business telephone system is an immense task. There are numbers of manufacturers and providers to choose from. There are different main factors to identify first before taking the next step of getting a telephone system. Business owner should know their needs very well.
Count the Users
Get the actual numbers of employee that will need an outside line. Also count numbers of extension needed for modems, fax machine, credit card terminals etc. Off-the-shelf phone is recommended for a smaller office with less than 10 employees which can give the company bigger savings. Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is recommended if your company has more than 40 employees. Private Branch Exchange no longer occupies large space in your office table and system, they can now fit on top of the desk.
Think Ahead of Time
Estimate your company projection within the next five years. Upon choosing a telephone system for the business it is essential for you to examine where your business will be within the next few years. Will you add employee? Will you open another branch of office? Professionals recommend that you double the wiring if your company will most likely expand within the next few years.
Voice over Internet Protocol technology allows business to place and receive calls using the internet that can give your company much more of a savings. If the company has an outside branch, voice over internet protocol can transfer calls without hanging up the line. One phone operator can manage all calls for the entire office.
Make sure that the seller has already established its good reputation in time. Choose the one that can offer you great customer assistance whenever the system goes down. Seller’s job will not going to end with the installation process, it is important that they can also provide you quality down time service.
Compatibility plays a main role in considering a business telephone system. You always must consider all other equipment that your company already have and contract that you won’t have to change. Make sure that new telephone system will be compatible with your conferencing tools, headset etc.
End of the Quarter Sale
Purchase phone set at the end of the quarter. Bargain sales are very good especially when distributors need to hit quotas. Buying used phones are very cost efficient. There are a lot of reasons why companies change their phones, not only because it is outdated or it is damaged. Business often changes their phones when they purchased something from a bargain deal.
Business phone systems have moved its trends from using traditional phone systems comprising of a phone set and a copper wire to a more advanced system known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) business phone system. It is opposite to the traditional ways as you get a phone number specified for your office and instead of linking the number to a copper wire; the calls are routed from the VoIP Company’s switch via an internet connection in your office. The company can receive the calls anywhere if high bandwidth internet connection is available. By this facility a number of calls can be answered without additional wiring as compared to traditional ways.
The VoIP system provides the facility of moving the incoming calls to different extensions that can be pre-recorded. It can even move calls to your home number or cell phone numbers by the VoIP switch. The VoIP business phone system not only provide multiple phone call service it can also make a conference call of numbers within the office or even outside calls, can record voice mails and provide a facility of ringing advertisement or song of your choice when on hold.
PROS of VoIP Business phone system
The VoIP business phone system provides convenience and more efficient in business operations as it makes communication between offices in different localities easier. There are many advantages of using VoIP system in your business as it provides you an opportunity to prioritize the calls, there is no requirement for separate setup, it is easier to manage, the installation process is uncomplicated and the management of such system is hurdle free. You get a wide ranging service with little or no additional charges by using VoIP phone system.
CONS of VoIP Business phone system
With many exciting benefits of VoIP phone system, there are some cons as well. For using this system you must have a high quality and high speed internet otherwise you may face some distortion. In certain areas the system may catch the low quality sound which can be an issue of this system. It is necessary to have electricity and internet source for a VoIP system otherwise this phone system will not work which can stop your business activities.
The VoIP business phone system is beneficial for small as well as large enterprises. There are many companies offering VoIP phone system service but before deciding you must do a little research regarding features, service and the rates offered by different companies.
When you are on the endeavor of searching a business phone system, then you need to keep certain points in your mind, which will in return make you to avail the best business phone system. Here are some chief points or items, which you must never discard.
A scalable phone allows you to remove and add several users. In an organizational environment, recruitment and firing is common so your business phone system must have adaptability with this factor so scalability is the prime factor, moreover If you are serving the cause of cost constraints, then you must deal for the VoIP based phone system because not only it has more features to offer, but it is also quite cheap in comparison to the outdated analogue phone system, that is why VoIP is certainly the best deal. Now as you have decided that you are going to opt for VoIP system, then there are two types of systems available for VoIP. Premise based service is one and the other is hosted VoIP. If you go for hosted based system, then just connect your device to the internet and start the working but in case of premise based system, you need to purchase relatively expensive equipment known as Private branch Exchange (PBX). Small companies do prefer hosted based system of VoIP.
Monthly Costs and the Equipment Prices
You need to keep the monetary factors in consideration as well, because some companies do offer you cheaper monthly packages but they don’t provide excellent phone service. So you must consider such package of a company, who promise you quality as well moreover equipment charges are also important to consider as mentioned earlier that premise based system involves additional cost of equipment but you can reduce it by purchasing a relatively used equipment if it is in proper working condition.
This field of business phone systems is getting diverse day by day and several new features like automatic call distribution, call recording, advanced auto attendant, call reporting etc are allowed by many companies in circuit, so while making decision, you must figure out which features will best suit you and which features are within your budget to attain.
Last but not the least; company’s market reputation is the major factor which can influence the decisions. Go for the company who are having good reputation towards the provision of good quality and long run benefits.
These are some of the brief points, which you must keep in your mind while going to opt for a business phone system for your business.
Installing a business telephone system is simple and it is not that complicated. If you know the basics, you will not have a hard time installing it. Below is a step by step procedure that you can follow when installing a business telephone system. Some steps may vary a little bit depending on the model of business telephone system that you will install.
For the purpose of our discussion, we will be using xBlue x16 business telephone system. Here is the procedure on how to install it.
- Remove the contents from the packaged box and check if you have the complete set. It should contain the power transformer and cord, the main control unit and the installation manual. Some other units may or may not have additional items but in most cases the main unit, the manual and power transformer should be included.
- Prepare your telephone unit by plugging its cord into the jack plugs with mark “central office lines”.
central office lines were you plug the phone cord or splitters
- The next step is to power it up. Simply plug the power cord in your power outlet. Your phone will automatically be initialized. A blue blinking light at the back of the main unit must be seen.
- You can add more phone lines by using splitters. Simply plug the splitters into the main unit instead of plugging your phone directly. After plugging the splitters, you may now plug your telephone lines into the slots available in the splitter (your phone line should not reach 500 feet long, otherwise, problems may occur).
Expansion slots where you can add more phone lines
- You can program your main unit to play your own choice of ringing tone (other phone system may not have this option).
A business phone systems plays an important part in business activities. It keeps you in touch with your clients and staff members. Buying the best suitable business phone system is an important investment for your business as it improves the communication between staff members within the office or offices in other regions.
There are number of options you can choose from a telephone system but the most popular are:
- Key systems
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems
- Voice over IP (VoIP)
- KSU- less phones
Out of these the best and most popular option for your business communication is PBX as it connects to more than 40 extensions. It is also known as PABX (private automatic branch exchange) or EPABX (Electronic PABX). PBX system is widely used by small and medium enterprises these days. The modern business phone systems have greatly affected the communication between the businesses. PBX has made business communication very easy and hassle free. PBX system is most widely used as it is accompanied with many features that enhance the efficiency of business. It increases employee productivity by providing well developed communication system within the business.
Advantages of PBX system
PBX provides the following advantages depending upon the requisites of a business:
Transfer of call
By PBX system you should stop worrying about missing a call. This system comes with a feature of transfer of call to different extensions and numbers. Now if you are at home, even them you can get the important calls. This helps a lot in increasing business efficiency.
Call waiting facility
It provides call waiting service if you are busy in other call. Not only the caller will be alerted about the pending call but the user will be constantly alerted about the call. The name and number will be displayed so that the user can decide the preference and importance of upcoming call.
Call conferencing is another exciting feature of PBX as it allows more than two persons to communicate in a single call and discuss the important issues with ease. It is less costly and less time consuming.
Multiple route option
PBX provides a multiple route options for your incoming calls. This means that if you have employees who are always traveling, this option allows them not to miss any calls as the calls will follow them where they are. This facility will help them attend important calls that can benefit their business.
PBX is the best business phone system that is cost effective and comes with many features. The cost of this system depends upon features selected by the customer.
When putting up a business, a telephone system is always a must. The telephone plays an important part in making communications with your customers, partners and other parties that might be involve in your business. Because of this, more and more companies will be using a business telephone system. One of their major concerns however is the length of time to install a business telephone. Here are some interesting statistics that will help you estimate the length of time to install a business telephone system.
- Processing your application
On average, it only takes few minutes in a day to submit your application for a business telephone system but it will take 2 to 3 days before the telephone company processes your application. The length of time actually depends on the number of applicants currently applying for a business telephone system.
- Checking lines availability
Before the company installs a telephone system into your office, they will first check the availability of the line. The companies usually have records of areas that they already cover so this will take on few minutes to be checked. In case your area is not in their record, they will visit your area and verify the availability which may take 1 day.
- Scheduling of installation
After all requirements were met and after all necessary payments for the installation were made, the company will ask you about the schedule of installation. This will happen right after they check the availability of the phone lines in your area.
The actual length of installation will depend on one major factor – the size of the telephone system. On an average it only takes 1 to 2 days to install a telephone system in a small office and it takes 3 to 10 days to install a telephone system in a huge office.
The fastest time that your telephone system can be installed is in 2 working days. The longest time on an average will take 14 working days. Some companies may install phone systems faster while some may do it slower. Other companies may or may not have extra procedures which can affect the length of time to install a business telephone system.