Polycom SIP phone for hosted VoIP.

Under 10 employees? Then choose business VoIP, cloud based phone service for 2018.

Hosted VoIP and network salesperson.published 1/25/2018 Small companies with under ten employees should look at business VoIP as their first option. Hosted business VoIP or cloud based phone services offer fast and easy setup, quick easy number portability, if required, and/or new local numbers, virtual numbers and toll free numbers. Virtual numbers offered by VoIP providers provide a "local" presence and can expand a businesses' footprint quickly. Business VoIP is the best way to have a complete advanced communications service up and running in a day or two. Most small companies today are choosing Internet packages that offer plenty of bandwidth, enough for numerous lines, certainly enough for the number of employees and calls that their business requires, plus other cloud services like backup, storage and CRM apps. Instead of installing an on-premise phone solution (PBX), that will require more time on installation, configuration and on-going service, a hosted VoIP service already is designed to add new customers with the features that they need through their provisioning web interface.  A good reliable VoIP provider should have everything done for a new customer in a matter of days or sooner.

 Top 5 Reasons for small business VoIP in 2018.

  1. Cost Savings- Save money over traditional services with cheaper local, long distance and International rates.
  2. Feature Sets- Plenty of advanced features built-in at no extra cost.
  3. Mobility - Connect, make calls and manage the system from anywhere. Connect to mobile devices.  Overwhelmingly, businesses have said their mobile devices make them more efficient.
  4. Service and Support- Providers make sure their services have the latest features, latest updates and that any issues receive their attention.
  5. Control & Scalability- Add or reduce services easily. If you need to add an extension or other service it can be done with the click of a mouse.

These types of businesses are made for VoIP.

  • A new small business or start up. Use the savings to invest in other essentials.
  • Businesses that have one or more remote or home working employees.
  • Companies which need quick flexibility to increase or decrease services or other communication essentials.
  • Companies with multiple locations that want to link communications.
  • Professional firms like real estate, doctor's offices, attorneys, wealth managers, construction firms, project managers, home inspectors and surveyors.
  • Companies that might need to relocate soon or move locations on a somewhat regular basis.
  • Companies that call other countries and have a significant amount of International calls.

However some particular small businesses need to examine costs when considering VoIP service and compare specific extra add-on features that could drive up the expense.  Two in particular are call centers, regardless of the size, and businesses that require conversations to be recorded. Each of these scenarios have specific demands that need to be addressed. In some cases an on-premise IP-PBX may end up costing less over time.

Additional related articles:

     Explanations of Business Phone Service          Benefits of a Premise Based Phone System

The number of lines to consider?

One question that seems to come up more than any other is; How many lines will my business need?. The answer depends on what a line is considered. Most people think of a line as the number of concurrent calls, although there are different ways to define a line, especially when dealing with VoIP rather than traditional copper phone lines. So for ease, let's say a line is a call in progress.

Typical business offices have a phone on a desk per employee. Some providers refer to this as the number of seats in your office. Staying with this approach each user or seat has a phone, a unique extension and the option of additional features like a voicemail box and call forwarding. In today's business environment almost everyone has a cell phone and their cell phone has become indispensible, especially when in sales, marketing or a job that requires important customers have immediate access. So this needs to added into the factor. Some small offices can actually see scenarios where almost everyone in the office might be on the phone at the same time, however, typically (not call centers regardless of the size) ten employees should be OK with 6 lines.

Some business VoIP providers offer as part of their normal service charge the ability to have multiple registered devices on one extension at no additional cost. Pay for the extension and you can use up to three different phones on the same extension, like your desk phone at work, one at home and a softphone on your smartphone or laptop. Vonage Business offers this service and it can be a big advantage for any small business.

When hosted VoIP is best.

For most businesses hosted VoIP service is an excellent choice, especially for small offices. Not only will the average business save money and reduce their costs, in many cases the advanced feature sets and flexibility allow for more creative ways to contact and manage customers, increasing business productivity. Today's Internet business environment has already moved to the cloud and phone service is well on its way. Internet pipes are bigger with less latency, more stability and have lower costs in 2018 than ever before. Coupling phone services with a CRM package is a way to instantly improve profitability and is a feature offered by many VoIP providers, Using apps to pull up a customer's information instantly allows even the smallest of businesses to save time and compete on higher levels.

Service providers typically have a standard service that includes many advanced features, but before deciding on a provider it is prudent to make sure that any particular need is included. Some features may require a separate fee. The features that should be checked are:

  • Call Recording
  • Call Queues
  • Call Reporting
  • Voicemail to Text
  • Audio or Video Conferencing