Are you stuck?
Have you spent ages trying to find the best phone system for your small business?
Still no luck?
Don't give up! I've got you covered.
Because I get it - you're super busy.
You're running a business, after all!
And when my client's small business was in need of a new phone system, I was given the task of researching the top VoIP providers.
But after looking for over 21 hours, I was able to find the best system for them.
And you can too with all the information I'm going to give you in this guide!
Making the right decision can have a hugely positive effect on your business - trust me.
My client noticed that after switching from a traditional landline to a VoIP phone system they were able to save over 60% in costs!
Did you know that VoIP phones are on average 10p cheaper than landlines?
Now you do!
So you see, choosing the best VoIP system for your small business can have a major impact.
Which is why our comprehensive guide is here to help you be as informed as possible.
And, with our help, you'll find the best VoIP phone for you in no time!
You may be wondering...what even is a VoIP phone?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and they allow you to use the power of the internet to communicate.
That's right - say goodbye to the limitations of traditional landlines.
VoIP phone systems give you the ability to make calls from anywhere - your desk, your house, even your favourite coffee shop!
All you need is an internet connection and you're good to go.
And you don't have to worry about a lengthy set-up process - VoIP phones are easy to install and don't require the hardware that landlines do.
Saving you time and space.
And I know just how precious these things are when you have a small business to run.
VoIP phones also come with a whole host of features that will make your life easier.
These include video call services, call queueing and multi-channel integration - meaning you can combine voice call, web chat and email for optimal communication.
And, unlike landlines, VoIP phone systems often provide these useful features at no extra cost!
Most VoIP phone providers offer affordable plans that perfectly cater to the needs of small businesses.
Add that to the fact that calls on VoIP phones only cost on average 5p (GBP) per minute (and are sometimes even free!), you're looking at massive savings.
With all these fantastic benefits, it's no wonder that VoIP phones are fast becoming the go-to communication tools for small businesses.
Read More: Wikipedia on VoIP
VoIP phones are perfect for small businesses like yours.
Here are the top 5 reasons why switching to VoIP systems will benefit your small business:
The amount of features that VoIP phones come with is almost unbelievable.
From video-conferencing to call monitoring, VoIP phones have everything you could possibly want from a communication tool.
For example, call queuing services automatically route inbound calls to the correct line and let the caller know their place in the queue.
This makes your job much easier and leads to higher customer or client satisfaction.
It's a win-win!
If just one feature can have such amazing benefits for your small business, just imagine what all the features VoIP phones come with can do!
2. Saving Money
I know that when you're running a small business, money is a big deal.
So, when you have the opportunity to cut down costs and improve your phone system?
You've hit the jackpot!
Switching to a VoIP phone system can save you over 60% in call costs.
This saving comes alongside the amount of additional features that are practically provided for free.
That's an incredible benefit for your small business!
One of the key advantages of VoIP phones is that they are amazingly flexible.
As they only require an internet connection to work, you can make calls anywhere you want - and at any time you want.
No handset? No problem!
With VoIP phones you can make calls using your mobile and even straight from your computer.
All of this flexibility lets you choose when and where you want to work - you're not limited to an office.
It is also hugely helpful for remote employees and allows them to be more involved in the company.
4. Room to grow
You're a small business now - but you may not always be!
VoIP phone systems are easily adaptable to fit the changing needs of your business.
VoIP providers allow you the opportunity to add more lines whenever you need to.
Some even let you add an unlimited amount!
So as your business grows, you can be sure that your phone system will be able to grow with you.
5. Employee satisfaction
Not only will you customer satisfaction increase with the use of VoIP phones, your employee satisfaction will too.
VoIP phone systems will provide your employees with all the tools they'll need to do their job successfully - and make their lives easier in the process.
And happy employees = thriving business!
Running a small business can be complicated and stressful.
Trust me, I know.
But it doesn't need to be.
Here are my top tips for making sure your small business runs smoothly:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
I cannot stress the importance of having a business plan enough!
Having a well thought out strategy for achieving your business goals is key to keeping you on track.
Start with smaller, more immediate goals such as hiring employees and move on to the long-term goals after.
This way you can think of any potential issues and come up with tactics to deal with them should they occur.
2. Keep Informed
With new or smaller businesses, it is important to always keep up to date with what is happening in the market you're in.
It's also beneficial to keep a close eye on your competitors.
This awareness will help you to stay relevant and at the front of the pack - instead of being left behind.
3. Choose the right employees
Ok, so this may seem like a no-brainer.
But it's super important that small business owners find employees that meet their unique requirements.
It's all well and good to find someone that has the basic qualifications that you are looking for - but you need to look for more than that.
Find people that are motivated, keen to learn and improve and ultimately on your wavelength.
These traits are what take an employee from good to great.
4. Always review yourself
It's seriously beneficial to take the time to review your business's progress.
By doing this, you will be able to see what is going well and what isn't.
Then you can work on making the improvements you need to keep your small business running efficiently.
5. Get the best equipment
The equipment you use can really affect how well your business does.
I'm not saying to go out and buy the most expensive products - that would be crazy!
But you should spend time thinking about the best equipment for your business that is in your price range.
Come up with a budget first and work from there.
Now that you've decided that VoIP phones are the way to go, it's time to find the perfect one for you and your small business.
But how?' I hear you ask.
Here, let me help you:
1: 8x8 X Series
8x8 is one of the world's biggest telecommunications companies.
Their X Series is a VoIP system that offers plans tailored specifically for small businesses.
From the X2 to the X6, there is definitely a plan to suit your business.
8x8's X Series key benefits:
- Apps for smartphone, tablet and desktop that give you amazing flexibility
- Easy to install and use
- 8x8 Meetings service lets you host audio and video conferences of up to 100 people
- Fully scalable - add lines and features as you need them
- 8x8 Team Messaging service allows easy communication amongst team members and even gives you the ability to store conversations
2: RingCentral Office
Read More: The Top 10 Best IP Phones
RingCentral Office is built with small businesses in mind and aims to offer big business features for an affordable price.
Their services are used by over 350,000 businesses - impressive!
RingCentral Office's key benefits:
- System is very user-friendly for ease of use
- Has over 50 additional features including multi-channel messaging
- Provide a personalised service that offers you support whenever you need it
- Offers a free trial so you can decide if they work for you
System is protected by seven layers of security so you can always be sure your network is secure
3: Mitel MiCloud Connect
Mitel Network Corporations is a telecommunications business that focuses on VoIP phone systems.
MiCloud Connect is Mitel's cloud communications service and it is perfect for small businesses.
Mitel's MiCloud Connect key benefits:
- Easy installation with the help of their team of experts
- A load of additional features such as audio, web and video conferencing
- Built-in VPN for safety and security
- Built on Google Cloud so there is a high level of dependency and availability
- Apps for your mobile allow flexibility in working environment
4: Vonage Business Cloud
Vonage is a business cloud communications provider that was established in 2001.
Their VoIP system, Vonage Business Cloud, offers a service that has a bunch of benefits.
Vonage Business Cloud's key benefits:
- Easily scalable and completely flexible
- API platform, Nexmo, allows you to communicate with customers effortlessly and using whatever tool they prefer
- Very customisable with over 40 standard features
- VonageTool team messaging and conference systems allows easy collaboration
- Mobile and desktop apps for high levels of flexibility
5: BT Cloud Phone
BT is a leading telecommunications company in the UK.
Their VoIP service has three different options that can be tailored to fit the needs of your small business.
BT Cloud Phone's key benefits:
- Multiple call package options to suit your needs
- Completely flexible and scalable
- Dedicated helpdesk that is available up to 24/7
- Uses highly secure data centres, with backup centres available should there be a problem
- Easy installation either manually or with the help of a technician
So, now you have all the juicy details to help you decide which VoIP phone system is best for your small business.
But there is still one thing left to consider
...how much they all cost!
To make it easy for you, I've created a table comparing prices that you can refer back to whenever you need:
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From ||$||10.32||$|| a month per user (Free trial available)
From ||$||18.07||$|| a month per user
From ||$||11.63||$|| a month per user
From ||$||16.79||$|| a month per user + connection charge
Read More: How to Report Telephone System Faults
I'm used to landlines. Will switching to a VoIP phone system be confusing?
Nope! Switching to a VoIP phone system is super easy.
They don't require any complex hardware or a confusing, long-winded installation.
All you need is a working internet connection and you'll be up and running in no time.
All these features seem complicated. Will they be too much for my small business?
Most providers have options that are perfect for small businesses.
And plans are often customisable, meaning you can choose exactly what you need.
Besides, once you get all your shiny new features you'll wonder what you ever did without them!
How do I choose which plan tier is best?
This depends on you and your business.
Some things to think about:
- How many employees do you have?
- What is your budget?
- How many calls do you expect to make/receive?
- What features must you have?
I don't have an office space yet. Will this be an issue?
Not at all!
The best thing about VoIP phone systems is that they are accessible pretty much anywhere.
So it doesn't matter if you and your employees are all in different locations.
With features such as audio and video conferencing, you can all get together for meetings without having to actually be in the same room!
Read More: The Virtual Landline Buyers Guide
There you have it: the ultimate guide to VoIP phone systems for small business.
Well, that's down to you.
Have you made up your mind?
Do you think you've found the perfect VoIP phone for your small business?