Before jumping into it, let’s answer the question, what is VoIP exactly, and how does it work? VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an internet-based phone system that allows users to make phone calls using their internet connection instead of through traditional phone lines. Unlike landlines, VoIP phones aren’t connected through gobs of wires in phone closets. Most of them are set up digitally, so scaling and moving desks is substantially easier. This system also allows for calls to occur through more than just a traditional desk phone, but through mobile and computer apps, too, allowing for greater mobility.
So what’s the big reason to switch? There are several benefits of VoIP for small businesses:
- Cost Considerations. Unlike landlines, VoIP doesn’t require the expensive upfront cost to buy your equipment and often includes IT staff support to assist with any problems. Instead, VoIP providers typically charge a monthly, per-user fee. This pricing model allows businesses to receive a consistent monthly invoice with a price you can expect.
- Ease of Use. As most VoIP systems are run through a portal, setting everything up is often a breeze as it’s all in one place. When receiving VoIP through a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) provider, ongoing customer support is often included. That means assistance is available whenever you have a problem. Level365 prides itself on quick and high-quality customer service (that means talking to real experts right away).
- Remote connectivity. Take advantage of one of VoIPs biggest perks: Mobility. As all calls are made through the internet, many VoIP services come with an app. It allows you to make calls from your laptop or mobile phone using your business number. This benefit will enable users the flexibility to work from anywhere without the concern of missing calls.
- Advanced Features. On top of the basic features of a regular landline, VoIP phones set themselves apart with additional features like voicemail transcription, virtual receptionists, mobile calling, and more. Since all calls go through the internet, most VoIP (and all UCaaS) providers are able to integrate SMS, chat, and other forms of digital communication. Some even have video and audio conference calling.
- Scalability and simplified equipment. Landline phones are often difficult to scale because moving desks or adding lines usually require rewiring and much hassle. What would it cost if you outgrew your current system? Most traditional phone systems must upgrade in multiples of 4’s, 8’s, etc. One more employee can cost a lot if you’ve reached your traditional system’s capacity. Most VoIP providers add phones in increments of one, so you only pay for what you need. On the other hand, VoIP phones are pretty easy to set up. Adding new phones is as easy as adding a profile through the portal and plugging the new phone into the Ethernet port. This same concept applies to moving or removing phones/users too.
Is VoIP right for your small business?
We think VoIP systems are great for all of the reasons above. However, there are a few things to consider before signing a contract for any kind of phone system.
One being, what does your business need out of its phone system? VoIP and UCaaS providers have great tools like Virtual Receptionists, Mobile Functionality, Texting/SMS Messaging, On-Hold Music, and more. If you find yourself needing more than basic calling features, you may want to consider switching to VoIP services.
Second, you’d want to confirm you have the proper infrastructure in place (i.e., cabling, switches, etc.) for a phone system at all. Some small companies may not have these already, requiring them to run new cabling and buy new switches, etc., which can become cost-prohibitive. If you are looking to get desk phones, you’re going to want them hard-wired. That said, make sure you have what you need. However, if you already have a desk phone system, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
So, is VoIP right for you?
Well, you’ve got to ask yourself a few questions.
- What features do you need or want in a system? For example, do you see yourself benefitting from having the mobility to make and receive calls from anywhere, the ability to text off of your business number, or have a virtual assistant direct calls to the property person? Or do you expect just to be making and receiving calls from your office?
- Would having mobility help your employees? Landline phones do not have any mobile flexibility. This drawback means employees may start giving out their personal phone numbers if the only way they can answer calls is from their desk. That’s not inherently bad, but it can be if they start needing a bit more work-life separation or no longer work for your company.
- Do you have the time, money, and help when you need to add or move phones? Rewiring takes quite a bit of time and work, so if there’s any chance you’ll be scaling or moving employees’ desks, you should consider it. Furthermore, keeping a traditional landline system can be expensive in terms of ongoing maintenance for onsite equipment. When you’ve reached your traditional system’s capacity, you may require further expensive for onsite equipment
Looking for a VoIP Phone System for your business? Fill out this hassle-free quote request to get more information on how Level365 service goes beyond VoIP to help simplify and improve business communications.
Level365 offers a complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution with voice + collaboration for your business. Our service seamlessly integrates communication among desk phones, computers, and mobile devices to improve efficiency and collaboration. The UC platform extends beyond voice communications with Unified Messaging, Presence, Chat/SMS, Video Collaboration, Cloud Faxing, CRM Integrations, and more.
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