Tips on Choosing the Right Business Telephone System

Is your business still stuck with an old phone system? If that’s the case, then it’s about time to upgrade to a more current solution. Upgrading will not just improve communication; it will also mean saving on maintenance costs. Today’s telephone systems pack many more features that enhance connectivity within the organization, while making it easier to serve customers efficiently. But how do you know what phone system is right for your business? If you’re a small business owner, it’s unlikely you’ll need all the features that are available with these phone systems. Here are a few handy tips on selecting the right business telephone system:

What features do you need?

The needs of a small company can vary markedly from those of a large organization with multiple locations. So the first step you must take is to assess 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? Some of the features you may need include: voicemail-to-email, call forwarding, conference calling, extension dialing, etc. Remember that the more features needed, the bigger the costs incurred. It is thus important to have your staff involved in this process so you can establish what features are really necessary.
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Consider future growth
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Don’t just think about the immediate needs of the business; also remember to consider the growth you expect in the next few years. In two years’ time, how many staff members do you expect to add? Do you plan on opening multiple 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.

Choose between an on-premises system and a cloud-based solution

An on-premises system means purchasing the PBX hardware and managing the entire telephone system within the organization. This requires a huge capital investment, but is advantageous in the sense that businesses have total control of the hardware and telephone service. Obviously, this solution isn’t suited to small businesses without a decent budget as well as IT personnel to do the maintenance work.

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. As you only need to buy IP phones, only a small investment is needed to get up and running. Most businesses should also find the monthly subscription fee affordable. The downside of this solution is that you will not have full control over the system hardware. Whenever there’s a problem with the service, you’ll have to rely on your provider to fix it as soon as possible.