Choosing an office phone system is often a major decision for a business because of the major investment it requires, especially for small to medium-sized companies. Here are a few guidelines and suggestions to help you find the right solution for your business.
Things You Will NeedGive yourself plenty of time to research various phone systems; finding the right one for your business may take longer than you think!
Step 1Speak with other business owners that have a business similar in size to see what phone solutions they use; ask how much it costs and if they're satisfied with it. This will give you a good feel for what vendors and options are available within your budget.
Step 2Just because you're installing a new phone system doesn't necessarily mean you need to invest in all new equipment. Explore options that allow you to use your existing phone equipment and assets. For example, some VoIP service providers utilize an adapter that allows you to use existing equipment.
Step 3If you're looking to save money (who isn't?) when it comes to an office phone system, considering buying used equipment, not new. Used or refurbished systems are a fraction of the cost of new ones, the only difference being they're slightly used. Most equipment is engineered to last for years and if you purchase through a company (as opposed to a private seller), they're often covered under warranties.
Step 4Determine what your needs are and prioritize them; do you need multiple extensions or call forwarding? Do you have mobile employees that will need remote voicemail or do you need a scalable system to account for growth over the next few years? Decide which features you need and which ones you can forgo before you begin shopping for a system.
Step 5Another consideration to keep in mind when selecting a system is how much phone traffic your business handles daily; are you taking hundreds of customer service calls each or just a handful of calls from existing clients? The greater the volume of calls, the more you'll likely need from the system.