As a small business, particularly if you are fairly new or growing quickly, you’ll need some sort of communications solution in place. In most cases, personal mobile phones probably won’t be adequate forever.
At this point prioritise your email, internet and telephone wants and needs. The small business communications solution you choose should reflect these priorities. Many companies can provide integrated systems that cover all three and will work in synch and possibly with mobile phones as well. This is worth considering as it will probably involve less hassle than if you selected 3 individual solutions.
When you are considering introducing a phone system to your workplace there are a number of options to think about. These include the following:
1. Line extension requirements. 2. Handset requirements. 3. Telephone number (e.g. local, or 0845). 4. Direct extension requirements
As far as internet goes, consider things like connection speed – don’t pay for more than you need but allow for expansion / extra staff etc. It’s becoming more and more cost effective as far as small business communication goes, to have an efficient internet and email system in place; since it will undoubtedly cut down on postage and telephone costs – though it’s unlikely to cut them out entirely so be realistic when budgeting.
Internet is everywhere these days, so you’ll need good reason not to be connected – or it could give off a fairly archaic image of your business. Email can also mean staff can use their time more efficiently – without the interruption of so many telephone calls.
For small businesses, communication channels need to be in synch with one–another, and there are companies that can integrate your new phone system with staff members’ mobile phones, as well as internet-based solutions such as Voice over internet protocol and Data networking.
There are other things, worth researching sooner rather than later, which might come in handy after the initial installation of your communication solution. Small businesses often benefit from a maintenance service, staff training and after sales support, as well as expansion advice and services. If you find a company that can provide some / all of these things, you could be on to a winner.
You may look at individual solutions – dividing up telephone, email and internet to see if this works out cheaper. Remember though, cost is not the be all and end all – a synchronised system, maintenance, and quality support might be worth paying a little extra for.