When choosing a phone system for your small business it is important to ensure that communication can take place at work and remotely to facilitate hybrid working. It is important to take a number of considerations into account when choosing a phone system for your small business. To find the right phone system consider the following steps to give you a better idea of the type of phone system that will meet your small business needs.
Assess Current Phone System
By assessing your current phone communications setup, you should reach a conclusion about what you like and don’t like about it. Look at call quality, how outdated the system is and if it is expensive to maintain. Also look at the functions it is has and the ones that you need but do not have access to. This will create a starting point for a phone system that will meet all your business needs.
Review Business Requirements
It is important that you take the size of your business and your sector as well as your business structure into account when deciding which features of a new phone system are the most important. This will ensure that you incorporate the type of devices you need, what your call flow is like, if you support more than one location as well as remote workers into your decision.
It is inevitable that some features will be more important to your business than others. To help you select the most important ones, it is important to analyse and prioritise your business goals in terms of a phone system. This will highlight which features and type of phone system will help meet these goals. Consider customer interactions, flexibility, managing missed calls, security and how important an easy-to-use phone system is to your business.
When you have decided on the features and type of phone system you will require to meet your business needs, you need to determine your budget. Note that cost is normally related to the features included in the phone system and the number of users. However, installation and administrative charges also need to be factored in as well as extra charges that might be specific to the phone system you choose. You will also need to decide whether a monthly contract or a flexible contract would suit your budget.
There are many phone system options on the market. The two most popular solutions are the traditional landline or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Although landlines have been used for many decades, they are being phased out by BT Openreach by 2025. They are very easy to use and very reliable however they are expensive and hard to scale up. VoIP uses the internet to transfer phone calls over the broadband, making it flexible, cost-effective and easy to use and maintain. The only drawback is that it does rely on the quality of the internet connection. Find out more about VoIP and what options are available to your small business.
Understand Deployment Options
As far as VoIP is concerned, there are two deployment options. VoIP can be deployed on-site or cloud based. Choosing the right option for your small business will depend on how much control you want to have over the system. The amount of expertise you have in-house will also affect your decision as they will have to manage the system on-site. Choosing to host the VoIP on-site will require hardware and a specific space to host it.
Specify User Group
By specifying the users of the phone system, you will ensure that a phone system is chosen that will aid the productivity and efficiency of your staff. It is important to note if extra training needs to be arranged for these users and the cost of this. Determine which users work remotely or use a hybrid mode of work or if you have lots of temporary staff. If you envisage that your team will grow quickly, then a solution needs to be put in place for this in advance.
Evaluation of providers should focus on the factors deemed as most important in the steps identified above. There are however a couple of extra considerations that should be explored. Look at whether you can keep your existing phone number, contract length, if 24/7 support is offered and if a guarantee of quality of service is given. Also check how quickly the system can be installed.
Ask for a Demo
Once you have decided which providers you would like to explore further, ask them for a demo of their product. This will give you greater insight as to whether this will suit your business needs and suit your users.
For more information and an obligation free discussion about how 4s Systems can help your small business choose the right phone system please call us now on 0203 92 66 999 or click here