Choosing a phone system for your small business can be one of the more difficult decisions you have to make. With so many companies, room systems, and features to choose from, selecting the right one can feel like a maze with no end. In fact, this business communication solutions provider in Arlington notes that choosing a system is not as simple as it used to be. Things like VoIP and unified communications have changed the game. This post will discuss the top considerations you’ll want to make when choosing a phone system for your small business.
Make the Staffing Plan
Before you choose a phone system, the first thing you’ll want to do is set up a staffing plan. A well-constructed staffing plan will help you determine how many controllers and supervisors you’ll need, and how many overall employees you’ll need to guarantee that someone is always there when your business needs to get a hold of someone. You will also need to make sure that your employees are properly trained on any new software that might be part of the package you choose, to ensure that they know how to use it to help your business operate more efficiently.
Decide On Essential Features
When it comes to choosing a phone system, there are a few different essential features you’ll want to make sure your business has before you make a final decision. These include things like the voicemail feature that will allow your employees to send and receive voicemails, the ability to transfer calls, and the ability to call people on hold. In addition, small businesses with busy work schedules make it easy for employees to forward their calls and redirect them to coworkers while they’re out of the office. This is a great option for businesses with multiple locations that have employees that work remotely, or even on the road.
Decide On A Cost Model
In addition to staffing plans, you’ll also have to decide on a cost plan or packages and options.Your budget will determine which features you can afford and how much each selection will run.For example, some phone systems offer unlimited minutes for the first few months, after which you’ll be responsible for paying per call or per minute depending on what type of phone system you choose.Determine what a few months of free service would cost your business before making a choice based upon your needs.
Examine Your Company’s Geographic Locations.
If your office has multiple locations, you’ll need to decide how the phone system will work when employees move between locations. For example, you can choose a system where all employees have the same access to all phone lines or choose a localized system that allows employees at certain locations to access others on the network. It may also be possible to set up VoIP so that employees can make and receive calls from home.
Select Your Telecommunications Technology
Technology has changed the way that we communicate, and this applies to phone systems as well. For example, new technologies like VoIP have made it possible to make calls over the Internet rather than through a private or public network. This can save companies money on hidden charges and fees from their traditional phone service provider. It can also make it possible for businesses with employees working remotely to make calls directly through their desktop computers or mobile devices when they’re away from the office. So you’ll want to make sure that any phone system you select is compatible with emerging technologies. This can make it possible for your business to adapt as new technology emerges.
Test Your Options Before Purchasing
The last thing you’ll want to do before choosing your phone system is to test it. You’ll want to see how many employees you need to have on hand for the system to function properly or see what it takes to set up new extensions so you can give yourself ample time before your business needs to be operational again. This will also help you determine how difficult the system is for your employees or supervisors and how much training will be required for them to operate the phone system at any given time.
Consider A Backup Services Provider As Well
Another thing you should think about is what will happen if your business changes providers or the primary provider fails. With a backup provider, you’ll be able to get someone else in place within 24 hours to continue operations even if your main service collapses for some reason.
In conclusion, the key to selecting a small business phone system is to consider your needs and what you might need in terms of features and services before you begin shopping around. The steps to choosing a phone system are not as difficult as they used to be, but more still need to be evaluated before you can make an educated decision about which option would work best for your company.