Avoid Common Mistakes with Your Phone System
A well-rounded phone solution is something every small business should have, regardless of its industry, niche, and location. There are few things more important than maintaining efficient communication between your staff and customers. While the individual needs of each company will vary, there are some universal truths that can guide you away from shoddy systems and point you toward those that are most likely to meet your needs. Avoid these problematic phone solutions.
Open Source Phone Systems
Open source phone systems are extremely customizable, but this also gives them a shockingly high degree of complexity. Companies need an extremely knowledgeable and talented tech staff simply to implement an open source phone system. Unlike other solutions which can offer out of the box functionality, open source software is not instantly user-friendly. You’ll need to painstakingly adjust the software to meet your needs and train your staff in the finer points of operating and maintaining a more complicated system.
Open source phone systems are also entirely without warranties and support staff. You can’t simply order an upgrade when you need to support a higher call volume, or place a call to tech support when something isn’t working. You need your own on-site staff to handle these issues, which is beyond the budget of most small businesses.
Scaled Solutions Made for a Bigger Company
You undoubtedly want big things for the future of your company, but you don’t need to pay for solutions that are bigger than you current need. Avoid phone systems that are designed to accommodate a far higher call volume than you currently experience. It’s important to allocate your funds carefully. The old adage to dress for the job you want doesn’t apply to the trappings of your phone system. If you’re paying for a phone solution with more minutes, phone numbers, or features than you could possibly use, it’s time to scale back.
The best small business phone solutions are scalable. This means you can pick a budget option now that’s perfectly sized for your current needs, and upgrade easily when it’s time to expand. Choose a provider that supports a wide range of phone solutions so you can move up seamlessly as your company grows.
Bank-Breaking Premise Systems
One of the most common mistakes that small businesses make is assuming that they need to set up all their tech solutions on the premises. In truth, you can operate a wildly successful small business with only minimal equipment on-site. If you’re working with a tight budget and small office, there’s no need to set up an on premise phone system. In fact, there are many compelling reasons to do just the opposite.
A hosted phone solution will eliminate a significant strain on your time and finances. With a hosted system, operation, security, and back-ups are handled off-site by your system provider. The functionality of the system is available in your office, but the only equipment you need to worry about is a corded or cordless handset. Many hosted systems can even route your calls to a mobile phone so you can eliminate the need for an extensive brick and mortar office entirely and do business effectively while you’re on the road.
Featureless Base Systems
If you’re looking at a phone system that’s virtually useless until you begin upgrading its features, you should move on swiftly. While there’s nothing wrong with upgrading one or two features for enhanced functionality, you’ll find that systems that rely almost entirely on add-ons are deceptively pricey. Each additional feature comes with its own charge, and you can easily lose track of all the minutia cluttering up your bill.
Shop for phone solutions with an extensive suite of features included in the basic plan. Call forwarding, hold, conferencing, transfers, and waiting are essentials. Most reliable providers include features like free directory listings, line hunting, and fax use as well. When you do need to upgrade to advanced features, the best providers will offer comprehensive packages that include a well-rounded suite of upgraded features for each level of their system, so you’re not charged a new fee for every item you include.
With the right phone system, you’ll enjoy both an affordable price and extensive functionality. Avoid these inefficient solutions and set your sights on quality phone systems neatly tailored to your business needs.