More and more businesses are jumping on the VoIP bandwagon. They find VoIP services more affordable and flexible which helps increase their productivity at low long-term costs. With more users on the market, the VoIP service providers have become more innovative with their features and more competitive with their pricing.
In this article, we will discuss everything that will determine your choice of VoIP services for your business along with their pricing models.
Breakdown of Costs with VoIP Plans
There are a number of variables that make up the total cost of your VoIP service connection. For any standard VoIP network, cost of equipment and installation, monthly base price, additional costs, and services will be factored in.
This will give you a rough idea of what you will be dealing with before you sign up for any plan. You can thus decide on the plan that covers all these costs and still fits in your budget. Let’s find more about these variables:
Where VoIP proves cost-effective in the long run, the initial costs can be high, depending on the size of your business. Some of them include:
- Cables– To start off, you’ll need wiring. You may already have sufficient data cables for each phone line; however, if you don’t, it might cost you an additional $75 to $250 per setup, depending on your run and usage.
- Phones– You might need new handsets as well. Even if they’re included in your VoIP plan, their costs will be adjusted in your monthly payments. You need to be extra careful about the terms and conditions.
- Power– Business VoIP phones run on external power and you’ll have to purchase a new unit to replace your existing Ethernet switch, so it can provide POE (Power Over Ethernet).
- Router– You may have to invest in a new and better internet router as all VoIP solutions are carried over the internet and without a strong internet connection, your Business VoIP will not run smoothly.
Installation and Setup
Although installation services and assistance are provided free of cost by most VoIP service providers, given you already have all the equipment required, the cost of all the new equipment is still a blow to your bank account. For a small business, it can range anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 and can vary depending on the business type.
Monthly Plan and Additional Costs
Most VoIP service providers offer plans starting as low as $15 per user per month. Normally, there’s a range of plans to choose from which you can then customize to your preferences. But each plan starts with a base price and offers limited features like, limited call minutes and extensions.
Usually, you can add more features with an additional charge to your base price; sometimes your provider will charge you a higher base price and offer unlimited features. In any case, your monthly payment plan is something you need to consider before signing on for any plan or you might have to incur additional charges later on.
When working with high-end technology like VoIP, you need quality customer service and assistance 24×7.
Customer service is usually included in your monthly fixed cost so it’s your right to ask for assistance if need be! This can be done through telephone, mail or even live chat support. There’s almost always an FAQ page on your provider’s website.
In addition to that, you have access to online guides who can assist you on the go. In case there’s a problem with your hardware, some VoIP providers also offer an exchange policy so you can get it replaced with a new one to ensure an error-free system.
More than the Monthly Fee
Switching to VoIP services is a long-term commitment therefore your choice of service provider should be based on more than your monthly base fee. Many businesses make the mistake of signing up for a service plan with a low base fee and suffer in the long run.
A low base fee doesn’t mean the plan is the best fit for your business. In fact, it may end up costing you more than you had initially planned.
A low base fee plan might not include features that are essential to run your business or are the reason why you switched to VoIP in the first place. You will end up paying additional costs for every feature that is not included in your base fee plan, making it costlier than the plan that has a high base fee but includes all the features.
Therefore, it’s important that you go through the terms and conditions of any plans that spike your interest to see if it falls in line with what you require. If you make the decision before having assessed all your options, you might end up signing up on a plan that is out of your budget and doesn’t even fulfill your business requirements.
Another thing to consider here is the quality of customer service that comes with your plan. For first time users, this is a necessity. From understanding how VoIP works to setting up your system to running it, you will require constant assistance and if your service plan doesn’t include 24×7 quality customer services, it might be difficult for your business to function. So consider all of this and more to get your money’s worth.
Bottom Line: The Cost of VoIP for Businesses
VoIP for businesses caters to businesses of all types and sizes. Whether you are a small enterprise just starting from the ground up or a multinational cooperation, there’s a VoIP service plan for everyone.
Having said that, it is important to evaluate the needs of your business and your budget before you start looking for VoIP service providers and their plans.
Once you have a ballpark figure of what you need and what you can afford, you can decide on a plan that’s not only cost-effective in the short-run, but also rewarding in the long-run.
You can use Top 5 Business VoIP’s guide to compare costs and features of the top VoIP service providers and go through our comprehensive customer reviews to make a sound and informed decision for your business.