As a small business owner, your business could be made or broken by your telecom system or provider. Sales are lost because of a dropped call or a missed voicemail. And since all businesses, big and small, depend on working phones and computers the decision about which kind of system and which provider to go with are big ones.
There’s a lot more to take into consideration when choosing a telecom system, because cost is only one factor. So what are the considerations when choosing a telecom system and provider? Let’s take a look.
The first step in choosing a telecom system is looking at what you are at risk of losing if your system fails or has a glitch. Is there a dollar amount you can name if this happens? Number of customers lost? Frustrated employees? Taking a really good look at what’s at stake is a good starting point for making a decision.
The next step would be to look at your current system and figure out why it was chosen in the first place. Did that system meet the needs and goals of the business? Is it still meeting the needs and goals? If not, it’s time to look for a new system or provider.
Designing a Master Plan According to the Requirements
Since getting a telecom system is a major task for any business, irrespective of its magnitude, you need to sit down and devise a strategy about the number of connections you need and the features that should come with each connection. Owing to the varying nature of their work, some members of your staff will need phones with all the features while some will simply need the basic connections. List down their requirements and make a cost-effective decision.
Number of Connections or Lines You Need
The number of lines that you may need depends strictly on the nature of your business. If we are talking about a call center, you will need a 1:1 ratio of phone lines. However it can be less for businesses in a different line of work.
Features that Your Employees Will Require
With advancement in modern telecommunication technology, the list of features that come with phone connections has become very long. Out of such a wide range of services, it is a daunting task to pick out the services that you will need at your workplace. Think thoroughly about the diverse nature of work that your employees are required to do; it will make it easier for you to decide which phone line will need which features.
Streamlining Your Systems
Once you have figured out the number of phone lines and the range of features that will be required by your employees, the next most important task is of streamlining your systems to minimize the monthly cost of communications. Tony Campbell, founder and managing partner of WhichVoip suggests, “Sit down with your service provider to discuss your options. If your service provider cannot give you what you need, you’ll need to shop around to check provider comparisons, user reviews, and educational materials.”
Saving the Cost of Communication
Analyze new ways to minimize your bills; some of the ways to do so include decreasing the number of connections or lines you have at your workplace, point-to-point circuit retirement, using IP trunks so you can cut back on long distance usage, making use of smart dialing options and getting periodic hardware or software upgrades of your system.
Misconception About VoIP System and IP Phones
A number of people who are looking for affordable phone connections wrongly assume that a system of IP phones need to have VoIP phones that come on the connection. This conception is wrong, if most of the users of your company phone need a basic connection to get on with their work, you can simply get analog phones where required and save the cost of additional features.
In addition to the above mentioned tips for choosing a telecom system, you also need to make sure that the equipment that you have bought is compatible with your phone connection. It is critical that you make this sure, owing to the cost involved in replacing or upgrading the systems.
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