Small business owners need to make lithe business choices in this recovering economy, and one of the best choices they can make is changing over to VoIP phone service. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the modern phone technology that allows users to make phone calls over the Internet.
VoIP is an extremely cheap and efficient phone solution for small businesses. All VoIP providers offer many customizable options, like scalable extensions and free calling features, so businesses can choose the best VoIP solution for their business. However, it can be tough to know where to start when looking into this new technology, so here are the top 10 reasons that a small business should choose VoIP service for their business:
Business VoIP providers offer phone service for half the cost that traditional providers offer. Most VoIP providers offer business plans at an average of $20/month per extension. There are often three main options when it comes to extensions: metered extensions, virtual extensions, and unlimited extensions.
A metered extensions plan is a business VoIP plan that charges by the minute. This is a good option for employees that make just a few calls a day.
A virtual extensions plan is excellent for businesses with a remote workforce. Remote extensions allow people to use their cell phones or other remote phones as office extensions so they can still be reached through the central office directory.
An unlimited extensions plan lets an employee make unlimited calls for a flat monthly rate. No matter which plan a small business choses, VoIP is guaranteed to cost less per month than old fashioned phone service.
VoIP providers do not charge long distance fees. Other traditional providers charge all sorts of fees for in-nation calling, like local call fees and out-of-state fees. VoIP technology makes it easy to send calls over the Internet so all of those charges are eliminated from the monthly bill.
VoIP providers have some of the best international prices available. VoIP calls to most major countries cost only pennies a minute, and many providers offer 60 free international minutes each month.
Many VoIP providers also offer several different international packages to chose from with different minute allotments or included countries, so companies can choose a plan with the right rates and international calling amounts for their particular business needs.
Universal Numbers is a feature where a user can pick a number with any area code of their choosing. This means that if you work out of New York, but you have many associates in California, you can get a phone number with a local California area code, so your associates won’t need to make a long distance call to reach you.
A company could also get multiple numbers with remote area codes to establish a better local presence in a wide range of geographic areas. If customers can reach you without having to make a long distance call, they are likely to feel more satisfied with your business.
A PBX (private branch exchange) is the central part of any business telephone system. A PBX connects all office extensions to each other, and to the external phone lines. A traditional PBX is a complex piece of in-house hardware, a switchboard, that requires a technician’s help any time an extension needs to be added or moved.
A hosted PBX is hosted off-site by the business VoIP provider. A hosted PBX directs phone calls to the correct extension number, but it uses the Internet to transfer those calls. One of the best benefits of a hosted PBX over a legacy PBX is that all calls, both incoming and outgoing calls, become cheap Internet calls, which saves the business money.
A hosted PBX is a great choice for any business with multiple lines or extensions, and no in-house tech team to maintain or repair an on-site PBX.
Because hosted PBXs are based on cloud technologies, there are essentially no physical restrictions on the PBX. This means that a single hosted PBX system can provide service for multiple office locations in widespread geographic locations.
And it is easy to add or subtract extensions as you need them. You won’t need a technician to come in and arrange wires for you. All you will need to do is call your provider and set up your phones.
VoIP comes with lots of free extra features that would come at a cost with a traditional phone provider. For instance, most business VoIP providers offer 3-way calling, call forwarding, call blocking, and music on hold.
A small business can use 3-way calling for conference calls between business partners when thinking of new products to create and sale. Calling forwarding is useful when members of the small business team are out of office but still need to take important phone calls. Call blocking is great when the business owner needs to concrete on a new product or conduct a meeting, and music on hold is a pleasant way for customers to wait on the phone before they receive help.
Some business VoIP providers offer 800 numbers. These 800 numbers are free for the customer to call, which encourages customers to call the business. Rates vary by provider, but many basic 800 plans start at about $5/month per line.
Many VoIP providers have softphone apps that allow customers to use their VoIP service on their computers, tablets, or smartphones. This means that employees can take their VoIP service with them when they need to step away from their desks for whatever reason.
Almost all VoIP providers offer 24/7 support, so your network will always have support in the event of any business emergency. Support teams can also help you if you get stuck during setup, need to add or subtract extensions, or need help managing your features.
As small businesses grow, they need phone service that is reliable, cheap, and chalk full of features. Business VoIP phone service is an excellent business partner for any small business looking for big savings, along with impeccable service.
Jennifer Cuellar is a VoIP and technology writer based out of the San Diego, CA area.