Small businesses continue to adopt voice over IP (VoIP) technology at robust rates. In fact, more than one-third (36%) of small businesses already have VoIP solutions in place and are using it more than any other type of phone technology. Why? Cost. Estimates vary, but statistics show that switching from a traditional private branch exchange PBX or plain old telephone system (POTS) can cut the telecom bills of small businesses by 40% or more.
What types of small businesses are using VoIP, and why? Here are three situations that are driving businesses to consider VoIP.
1. You want to lower your phone costs.
Small businesses typically don’t have the same resources that can be accessed by their larger counterparts. Most are constantly searching for ways to save money – both in the near and long terms. After all, wouldn’t you rather invest in your business than spend on the technology that supports your business? When your budget is tight, VoIP offers a cost-efficient advantage.
One reason you save money with most hosted VoIP offerings is that you typically aren’t billed on telephone usage like you are with traditional PBXs. Instead, you pay a flat rate per phone per month, so your costs don’t go up if you happen to have a busy month of calling. For example, for one VoIP phone you might pay $20, including both local and long-distance calls. This flat rate not only saves you money, but it gives you predictability on budgeting – something that’s always welcome – so you can plan future investments and opportunities rather than worry about your phone bill rates.
2. You need premium features without the premium price.
One of the best things about VoIP is that within the base price, you have access to a lot of the features that are usually considered “big business” functions. This means that within many vendors’ standard VoIP offerings you have access to features such as call transfer (ability to forward a call to someone else), call hold (ability to place a call on hold), five-way calling (ability to lead a conference call with multiple people) and visual voice mail (ability to read voice mails instead of listening to them). These features are important to many small businesses that are looking to compete against larger enterprises. If you have access to the same premium features, but at a lower rate, you’re getting a greater bang for your buck compared to your larger competitors. When it comes learning which offers are available, ask your provider about the features included with your base phone service as well as those that require a service upgrade to a downloadable mobile application interface.
3. You have employees who work at home, in the field or on the go.
Today, most businesses aren’t run out of a single office. Many employees are scattered across multiple locations, or are constantly working on the go. This remote working presents the challenge of making sure employees are always accessible to you and your customers. With VoIP, all calls made to employees’ office phones can be forwarded to their mobile devices. This feature prevents customers from having to dial two or three different numbers to get in touch with your staff, which provides them with an overall better experience with your business.
If you’re considering transitioning from a traditional PBX or POTS to VoIP, it’s important to evaluate your current business needs. Before you make a purchase, take a step back and consider these three situations. You’ll be glad you did.