As VoIP technology develops, more and more of its functionalities become affordable making it a viable solution for small businesses. VoIP is no longer limited to large enterprises and there is a growing amount of small businesses that are opting for VoIP phones over landlines.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that enables you to make calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular phone line. It works by converting analogue voice calls into packets of data and sending them over the internet and/or any private Internet Protocol (IP) Network. You can make calls to any landline or mobile phones and will be able to receive calls using landline telephones as long as an analogue telephone adaptor is connected to your network.
What does this mean for small businesses?
There are a number of advantages with VoIP services including the following:
Remote Accessibility & Control
VoIP is a cloud based system that allows you to work anywhere and access any data from the system remotely. This includes access to your voicemail, call history and contact information. Calls will always be answered even when you’re out of the office. You and your staff will be able to set your VoIP service to ring your mobile phones at the same time when receiving phone calls on your landline. This gives flexibility for workers constantly on the move.
Depending on your VoIP solution, there will be additional functionality to your service which can include voicemail, caller ID, voicemail to email service and added extensions for individual employees & departments. You can set up auto attendants that can route inbound calls to extensions automatically by using voice menus giving you a presence of a much larger business. Another big functionality that VoIP has over landline is the ability to have unified communications. This means that different modes of communication can be integrated into the system like chat, video, email, conference calls and video calling. This makes it easier to access and organise all forms of communication anywhere and anytime.
Growing with your business
VoIP can scale with the expansion of your business and can easily keep up with increasing call volume. It is an easy and cost-effective way to add, remove or modify users in the system. VoIP can support businesses that experience an increase in employees during certain times of the year such as tax season. It can be extended for any additional employee as long as there are phones provided and after the season is over you can scale back to your normal business size.
A VoIP system can be installed on business premises, but a hosted VoIP solution will be a better option for smaller businesses. A hosted VoIP service eliminates the work of managing and securing the PBX system and the provider will assist with the configuration and will be responsible for system updates and maintenance. There is no need for your own IT staff and ongoing technical support can be provided depending on your hosted solution and provider.
Small businesses can encounter the same challenges and opportunities as larger businesses but without the extra staff and resources. A VoIP phone system can help your small business give the presence of a much larger enterprise and can help you level the playing field when competing against larger businesses. The system can also help you establish a presence anywhere and can optimise the resources you have available while also planning for future business growth and development.