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How to Buy a Small Business Phone System?


Before you invest in a small business phone system, you should be aware of the terminology and different types of systems. This article briefly explains some features and terms you have to be aware of before investing in a small business phone system.

Key Services Units

With key services units, your ordinary phone can handle multiple lines. It allows calls to other in-office extensions. If there are fewer than ten employees in your company and you want to save money then you can use KSU-less systems. 

Private Branch Exchange

If your company has more than 40 employees then a PBX phone system can address your needs. It is an advanced, customizable and technically enhanced phone system. The newer models of the PBX phone system can easily fit on a desk or a shelf. You can get the PBX phone system as a part of a unified communications system. Unified communications integrate enterprise communication services such as video chat, fax service and instant messaging.

Voice Over Internet Protocol 

With VoIP, you don’t need traditional phone lines. You need broadband internet services and your computer network with a standard phone. A VoIP phone system uses dedicated equipment that routes your calls over the computer network.  

On-Premise vs Cloud-based VoIP 

If you are considering a VoIP phone system then you have two options including a hosted VoIP system or on-site hardware. The on-site option offers you more control. However, you would like to avoid set-up and maintenance costs. You also need to hire well-trained IT professionals for maintenance. Cloud-based VoIP requires very little set-up and maintenance costs. This option comes with monthly charges. You can upgrade your plan to access more features. 

Virtual Phone Systems 

This small business phone system requires no equipment. This system consists of high-tech call-forwarding services. Your employees can make and receive calls from any smartphone or desktop. 

Traditional Landlines 

This phone system uses telephone wires to transmit sound waves. You can buy a telephone, plug it into the jack, and you can start making and receiving calls using the phone number assigned by your carrier. 

System Features 

  1. You want a system that allows your employees to work faster and smarter. No important call should be missed. The small business phone system should also allow you to respond to a message via email or text. 
  2. Voicemail allows you to receive detailed messages. The caller can leave a digital voice message when you are unable to pick up the call.
  3. Voice-to-text, voicemail transcription and voicemail-to-email provide a transcribed version of the conversation. You can also use voice-to-email and transcription services to send transcribed messages to employees.
  4. Call queues and call forwarding are also priority features. Call forwarding feature directs inbound calls to a designated cell phone. Call queue feature allows the small business phone system to search for the next available person to receive the call. 
  5. Call recording feature records the conversation in a digital audio file.
  6. If you do business out of the country or out of the state, it is critical to have local and toll-free numbers. A local number makes you a part of the community. A toll-free number allows people to call you free of cost. 
  7. The interactive voice response system allows you to create menus callers can use to navigate by pressing keys. 
  8. Conference calling is critical for virtual meetings.
  9. With extension dialling, both inside and outside callers can reach employees. The number of each employee is extended with a dedicated set of two or three digits. 

Other key features you may like to have in your small business phone system include:

  • Ring Groups 
  • Directory Assistance    
  • Call Transferring 
  • Internet Faxing 
  • Call Reports 
  • Call Monitoring 
  • Missed call notification

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