The telephone system that you use for your business is a lifeline to your suppliers, customers and the entire world. Even today, with the vast array of technology available, the telephone is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to communicate within your business, as well as beyond the business’s walls. The business phone system you choose needs to match the needs and demands of daily operations. If the wrong system is selected, it can have serious operational and financial repercussions. Selecting the right phone system will also require a business owner to get a telecommunication expense management program in place to reduce the money they spend each month.
Evaluate Your Staffing Plan
The first step in selecting the right phone system for your business is to determine your staffing plan. Determine the number of staff members who will need a phone three years from the date of purchase. While a simple two line phone that is available at any mass merchandiser can easily accommodate four or five staff members, if you have plans to hire more people, this will not be an acceptable solution. In this situation you will need a more sophisticated phone system, designed for multiple users.
Select Phone Features
You have to decide how the phone system will be operated. Will you have a receptionist or will your callers use an automated menu to reach the desired person? Also, do you need call forwarding or call conferencing capabilities? Is voice mail for each staff member needed?
Evaluate Your Business’s Geographic Locations
If your business operates from a number of different solutions, then you will have much different business phone needs than if you operate from one single office. If you have multiple physical locations then your phone system will have to have expensive hardware for each one. Additionally, if your locations are different sizes, then you may have to purchase a different system for each office.
Select the Telecommunications Technology You want to Use
There are several options to choose from, which include:
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX): These systems will be based on a single piece of hardware that will accept the phone lines from the phone utility. When someone calls you, the PBX system will route the call to the proper individual or department
- Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP): This does not require a main piece of equipment of differ phone lines. Each of the handsets is a small computer that will plug into the business internet connection.
Be sure to test the system you decide to use to ensure it will work for your business needs. This is the best way to find the right business phone system for your needs.