Is your business still using an old phone 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. But how do you tell what telephone system will serve your business right? 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
A small business’ needs can vary significantly from those of a big corporation with multiple locations. The the first step you’ll need t take is to evaluate the needs of your business. If you’re upgrading, what are some of the pain points with the current system? What are the new features you need? A few of the features you may require include: call forwarding, voicemail-to-email transcription, extension dialing, conference calling, etc. Remember that the more features needed, the bigger the costs incurred. 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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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? Are you planning on opening several 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.
Pick between a cloud and an on-premises solution
An on-premises solution means buying the PBX hardware and managing the entire phone system in-house. This requires a huge capital investment, but is advantageous in the sense that businesses have total control of the hardware and telephone service. This solution is obviously not suitable for small businesses that do not have a sizeable budget and the IT staff to handle maintenance.
A cloud-based solution on the other hand means the hardware infrastructure as well as the maintenance work are all handled by the phone company. Because you only need to buy IP phones, you’d only need a small investment to get up and running. Most businesses should also find the monthly subscription fee affordable. The disadvantage of this solution is that you’ll not have complete control over you’re the 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.