How you communicate with your internal teams and customers matters to your bottom line.
Whether you’re installing a new phone system, replacing an existing one, or upgrading,
As a small business owner, you want the best phone system for your company – one that meets your business needs, budget, and grows with you.
So where do you start?
[If you’re ready now, we a Quote, or call Broadvoice to start talking business phone systems.]
In this primer on business phone systems, you’ll learn:
- The Definition of Business Phone Systems
- The Options Available for Small and Medium Size Businesses
- How to Determine Your Business Phone Needs
With the information above, this brief guide will help you choose the best business phone system for your company’s needs and budget.
Business Phone Systems Explained
A business phone system is a communications network used by companies to communicate with their internal teams and external customers. With more than just phone lines, today’s systems are designed to meet advanced business needs with features such as voicemail, call hold, call forwarding, conferencing, and more.
Types of Business Phone Systems for Small Businesses
As a small or medium size business, you have your choice of four different types of business phone systems: multi-line systems, PBX phones, VoIP communications, and Cloud business phone systems.
In general, it’s safe to assume you can get the same basic features and functionalities with each type of system.
However, cost, ease of setup, and advanced features (including remote features ) all vary – and these are the details that matter most to your business.
Here is the breakdown of the four types of business phone systems:
Multi-line Phone System
This is the most basic business phone system for small companies. If you want to talk to more than one customer at a time, you can choose from a multi-line system that fits your number of users you have and the number of lines you need. Options include two-line systems, four-line systems, and five or more lines.
PBX Phone System
Unlike a multi-line phone system, a private branch exchange (PBX) phone system is a private phone network that processes call switching and routing through a centralized location within the organization.
With a PBX phone system, you don’t need a new line for every new phone. This makes it easier for most small businesses that usually need fewer lines than phones. With a PBX system, you can have a single number along with extensions for different phones.
PBX phone systems can work via a traditional landline, or through the internet – also known as an IP PBX. An IP PBX handles VoIP (voice over internet protocol) calls. You can also have a PBX hosted in the Cloud, also called a host PBX.
VoIP Business Phone System
Instead of traditional phone lines, VoIP phone systems transmit voice and media over internet protocol (IP) networks. VoIP phones are easy to install, flexible, affordable, and offer advanced features, including virtual call centers.
For VoIP calls to go smoothly, you do need a good internet connection and a few other software and hardware considerations.
Cloud-based Business Phone System
With a cloud-based business phone, the infrastructure is off-site. Cloud phone systems can be VoIP systems or PBX systems. For example, Broadvoice offers b-hive, a cloud-based PBX platform that combines telephony, UC, collaboration, and virtual call center features in one platform.
Small businesses turn to cloud-based phone systems because they help save money upfront, and in the long run. You don’t have to house an on-site setup or worry about equipment to install or upgrade.
How to Determine Your Business Phone Needs
By asking the right questions, Broadvoice helps small and medium size businesses find a phone system that’s tailored to their needs.
As you start thinking about your business phone needs, ask yourself: How many employees do you have? How many phones lines do you need? How many phone numbers do you have? What type of features and functionalities do you need and want? Do you have remote employees? These questions, plus more, can help you determine the best system for your business.
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