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Choosing a Telephone System for your Small Business Guide!

Monday 5th August, 2019

It can be daunting when looking for a new telephone system, especially as a small business.

The market is awash with telecom companies offering a multitude of different small business solutions – with different feature sets, at different price points. This guide helps you cut through the noise and decide what telephone system best suits your small business.

Here is our steps for choosing the best telephone systems for your small business:

1. Chose your budget
The daunting task of choosing a telephone system for your small business starts with a simple step: deciding on a budget for your new system.
‍Deciding on a budget will help you narrow down your options and is a great way to ensure you’re getting a cost-effective deal for your business.

A great place to start is to look at your current bills:

  • What are you paying for the system?
  • How much is your line rental?
  • Do you have call charges?
  • Is your system leased or purchased?

‍All of these questions will help break down your current telephony expenditure and gives you a great staring point for choosing your phone system.

TIP: Think about call bundles.
Call bundles are a great way to save money. Especially using VoIP, they can reduce your businesses costs significantly.

2. Think about your system’s size
Choosing the right system is about fulfilling your business requirements in the most cost-effective way possible.

To find the right size system for your small business, calculate how many phones you have in your premises. Then, calculate how many extensions are required.

Typically, we find that most small businesses have between 2 and 50 handsets.

Our telephone systems are all scalable, and can be tailored to fit however many users you require.

TIP: Hosted may be more cost-effective.

Perhaps research into a cloud hosted telephone system. These solutions are ideal for businesses with under 10 extensions or those with many remote workers.

3. Find the most important features to your small business
Every business requires different features from their telephone system, and so selecting the most vital of these features will help you pick a telephone system.

  • Most businesses require at least 2 or 3 of the following features:
  • Auto attendant (IVR menu)
  • Call transferring
  • Voicemail
  • Mobile application
  • Call groups
  • Softphones
  • Real-time wallboards
  • Online chat
  • Call recording
  • CRM integration (screen popping & click-to-dial)
  • Call queues
  • Music on hold
  • Call forwarding

That may look like a long list, but you should pick at least 2 or 3 of the most integral features that you require.

For example, if a lot of your staff work from home, then having mobile applications would be a vital asset.

By finding the most important features for your system, you can further narrow down what options are available to you.

TIP: Look at your current system.
Use your current system for inspiration, are there any features you really like on it that you would like to keep? Are there features that you don’t use and so could save money by removing?

4. Ask your staff what features they would like
When choosing a phone system for your small business, your staff can provide their feedback on what would be best for them and their workflow.

Ask your employees how they use your current telephone system, what they like about it and what they don’t and then use their feedback to add to your list of important features.

When it comes time to install your new system, your staff will be satisfied that their requirements have been met, it will improve their productivity and streamline their workflow, making your business more productive.

TIP: Use the feature list above
Why not print out this article and hand it around to staff, asking what features they would use most?

5. What is your call volume?
One thing that many people forget when choosing a telephone system for their small business is call charges and telephone lines.

Lines and calls are an important part of any communications, and you should look at your current expenditure and call volume when choosing a new system.

By looking at call volume, you can ensure that things like call bundles and number of lines are sufficient for your business operations, but are not over-the-top.

TIP: Look into SIP Trunks & VoIP
SIP Trunks and VoIP may be the best option for you. They’re often cheaper than traditional lines and offer higher call quality – our SIP Trunks also come with some great call bundles.

6. What are your options?
At Commsplus, we supply businesses across the UK with some of the most robust communications solutions possible.

It is important to consider all your options, after deciding on budget, features, size and calls. Commsplus offer a myriad of solutions to get you started, including:

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in giving you some information about how to choose the right phone system for your small business, however, if you would like any more information, you can give us a call for some free, no obligations advice on 01934 882200 or email [email protected]

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