Every business owner knows (or should know) that communication is the key to success. So, when you’re setting up a new business, your communications system should be your number one priority.
In the ‘good old days’ this meant spending a fortune on analog phones, wiring them in to the various extensions, hiring and training a switchboard operator or receptionist on a PABX system, paying a fortune to have all the hardware installed, and even more for the calls. It also meant making sure that the receptionist was in the office all day, and having a recorded message ready to play your office hours if she had to take a lunch break. How times have changed since then, communication technology has evolved.
Now with new communication technology you can do away with much of the upfront expense, manage your calls yourself, even when you’re not in the office, and even send text messages on the go. The simplest, cheapest way of doing this, is via an internet app. Every teenager is doing it.
The problem with this though, is that an internet search revealing that your business only has a mobile phone number is a red flag to cautious clients. It marks you as not properly established and even potentially dodgy, able to uproot and take off as soon as you have received a payment from them.
How to get the best of both worlds
The answer lies in a VoIP powered phone system. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. While the telephone dates back to Alexander Graham Bell’s invention in 1920, VoIP was first made commercially available in 1996, and it has this communication technology has grown in leaps and bounds since then.
Approximately one third of all businesses use VoIP today, testament to its success. It offers loads of great benefits to the small start up business. Here’s a list of the top 5 reasons why your business should not get left behind with communication technology:
1. You’re too small to have one employee dedicated to answering the phone.
As a one or two-person business starting out, you will probably find the cost of employing someone just to answer calls will be prohibitive. With a VoIP communication system, you will have a fixed number, giving your business credibility, and can answer calls via the internet wherever you are.
Because the system is internet based, you can answer on your mobile phone or tablet. You can even use the same device for both your business and personal calls instead of having to juggle two devices.
2. It’s easy to scale
You won’t want to change from your mobile number to a fixed line number later on when your business grows, so start out right. It’s easy to add more lines yourself, without even calling in a technician as your business gets busier and you start to employ more staff. And still without having to employ someone to forward calls – you can program the system to hunt for the first available employee. It is even possible for customers to interact via IVR (Interactive Voice Response). This is remarkable technology responds in audio to keypad actions, allowing your client’s calls to be forwarded to the right person and creating the impression of a sophisticated business.
3. Calls cost less
Not only will you save on the salary of a receptionist or switchboard operator, but your outgoing calls will cost less than on a fixed line system. App to app calls are generally free. Because VoIP uses data it doesn’t differentiate between long distance and local calls so you won’t have the burden of paying huge bills for long distance or even international calls. Unlike many other apps over the internet you are not limited to only communicating with others that have the same App – you can call a normal landline using VoIP.
4. Fantastic features
VoIP has many great features, but four definitely warrant a special mention here for a start-up business.
- With VoIP you have to be the ability to set up conference calls without having to pay extra to host them.
- You can also hold online meetings face to face with your clients using video.
- You can programme the system so that if the number dialled is not answered within a certain number of rings, it automatically call-forwards to an alternative number of your choice.
- As your business grows, you will be able to speak to employees on the system for free, no matter where in the country or world they are.
All of your VoIP calls can be recorded, giving you a record of discussions, and even better, because the system is cloud based, even in the event of a fire, flood or system failure, you will be able to access your data and recordings remotely.
It’s a no-brainer
With fantastic savings, huge flexibility, scalability and security, there’s no reason to consider anything other than a VoIP business telephone system. You need never miss another call again and save yourself the time and trouble of listening to half a dozen voice messages when you get back to the office. By giving your client prompt and efficient service, you will be giving your start up the edge over its competition.