Are you growing? If you are, and you are one of the 24% of small businesses still using what the industry calls “plain old telephone service” (POTS), then it’s time for you to join your SMB colleagues and sign up for hosted VoIP.
More small businesses use VoIP service (36%) than any other type of telephone service, according to the latest annual survey of business VoIP adoption by Software Advice. The number one reason? Scalability – hosted VoIP technology can grow as they do, and is compatible with mobile devices. Traditional telephone systems – called “plain old telephone systems” (POTS) in the industry – only account for 24%. The lack of seamless integration between local phone service and the cellular phones everyone uses today creates a barrier between the brick-and-mortar business of the past and the “new normal” of mass mobile-anytime connections. This is one reason why there is such a demand for VoIP systems that are compatible with mobile devices.
Here are some of the ways a hosted VoIP system can help you grow your business.
Conserve Cash: When you’re growing, you need to save your cash for buying or leasing a bigger workspace, building up inventory, hiring employees or other important, cash-intensive actions. The advantage of hosted VoIP is that it eliminates the up-front cost as well as the burden of managing the system on your own. That’s because you’re subscribing to the service from an experienced vendor. You don’t have to pay up front for a dedicated business voice system. Nor do you have to maintain the software and upgrades for that system. This is ideal for smaller but growing organizations that typically lack large communications budgets and dedicated IT staff to oversee voice technology. And because you only pay for what you need at a given point in time, you can grow at your own pace, adding more employees with a predictable cost model.
Get up and Running Faster: Additionally, most business VoIP buyers have a short time frame to deploy a new voice system. Sixty-four percent of SMBs wanted to have a new system in place within 30 days or less, according to the Software Advice survey mentioned earlier. As a hosted solution does not require installation of an on-premises voice system, the setup time is dramatically curtailed. This means you don’t need to wait to support the telephony needs of your growing business. If you anticipate hiring new people a month out because of expanding business, you can have a new hosted VoIP system in place before they go through new-employee orientation.
Flexibility: Above all, growing businesses require flexibility. What if you outgrow your new quarters within a year? With hosted VoIP, this isn’t a problem. For example, if a business moves from location A to location B, with a hosted VoIP phone system you simply unplug phones at location A, load them in your car and plug them in at location B. Everything fires up – including individual employee extensions – without paying one cent more or employing a staff of IT folks to handle it. This is music to the ears of growing businesses in need of more space.
Stay in Touch with Customers: It’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence for businesses with a mobile workforce to adopt hosted VoIP systems. Whether these employees run the programs in question through their cell phones via an app or through their computers, the benefits remain the same. You can be available when the customer calls, without having to give out your cell phone number. That is especially important in certain industries where they may call you, the call goes to voice mail, they don’t leave a message and then call your competitor. With “find me, follow me” capabilities of hosted VoIP you get these calls routed immediately so they can be answered live. To be more efficient at handling customer calls is essential as your business grows. The last thing you want is for customers to fall between the cracks because you’re expanding too fast. Keep in mind that voice quality reflects on your business. There’s nothing more annoying than being on an important call but struggling to have a conversation due to dropped words or muffled voices. Consider choosing a hosted VoIP provider that owns and manages the network connection for you. This will save you the headache of the “blame game” if you experience any issues with the quality of your VoIP connection.
Smart and savvy entrepreneurs and business executives spend a good portion of their day trying to grow their businesses. They are willing to listen to new ideas and try new things. By following their example and deploying hosted VoIP, you’ll get all the advantages and none of the drawbacks of plain old telephone systems – a win-win for a growing business.