If you’ve ever looked to find quick and easy ways to cut your business’ costs, then we have good news for you: investing in a VoIP system will do just that.
Yes, really: utilizing the power of the internet, as well as the lack of excessive extra hardware (as with landlines), VoIP users consistently save as much as 75% of costs, just when switching to VoIP:
As everything quickly becomes more digital, investing in a VoIP system makes much more sense – but how do you know which one is right for you?
Let VoIP.Guide take you through it step-by-step, in our Business Buyer’s VoIP Guide.
Step 1: Figure out your business needs
VoIP systems are packed with loads of features that can leave you mind-boggled initially, but graciously satisfied over time. But before we get into the features, plans and pricing we need to get a good look at your requirements. What does your business need?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- How many staff members will be using the VoIP system?
- Will my business be expanding in the coming months?
- What’s my budget?
- Are there any particular communications features that my business really needs such as video calls, voicemails or call forwarding?
It’s understandably overwhelming to answer all these questions in one go. Take your time and think about the future direction your business is headed. If you think there is a possibility your business might shrink in the next couple of months or so, try estimating a smaller number of users for the VoIP.
You don’t have to be accurate, just practical. Knowing what your business needs will lead you to the best possible buying decision.
Step 2: Do Your Research—Part A
You can’t possibly make a wise purchase without having done your research. The first element of your research involves narrowing down your hunt for a VoIP provider. This means you need to know what types of VoIP systems are available on the market.
There are 3 main types of systems you should be on the look-out for:
Hosted systems – your VoIP service provider will rent the line to you, but they will continue to own the software and platform. The good thing is that you do not need to worry about installing or maintaining the system; your provider will take care of that.
All you need to do is duly pay your subscription fees which includes almost all the services your provider lends you. A hosted system is usually the cheapest option.
Managed systems – is a mix of both the hosted and On-Premise System, which explains the slight bump in pricing. Your business will own the VoIP software and lines but the provider will remain responsible for installation and maintenance. They will charge you separately for it.
On-Premise system – is usually the most expensive of the three options. However, this is the most customization-friendly VoIP option. Your business will own the VoIP hardware and software. But this means that you will have to bear all installation and system maintenance costs.
Before choosing a system, remember the following:
What is your current internet plan? VoIP systems are largely dependent on the internet so the strength, stability and speed of your network will make all the difference to its quality.
What is your budget? Each system comes with a distinct price tag so be sure the VoIP you’re looking to buy is affordable.
How much freedom do you want to customize your system? If you’re looking for an independent system that is tweaked to suit very specific needs, an on-premise system would be a wise option. If you’re not too worried about any particular features or add-ons then a hosted system would work best for you.
Step 3: Do Your Research—Part B
Each VoIP provider has its own set of strengths and weaknesses; pick which one suits your business most aptly. Here are some tips on how to do your research:
Check out our list of recommended VoIP service providers. We’ve hand-picked the best partners for your business and have an easy-to-read chart to supplement your search.
Go through our comprehensive reviews. Each VoIP service provider has been tried and tested by us, so you don’t need to spend any time or money doing so.
Compare price plans and features. For instance, if your budget only allows you to spend $20–$25 for each user, then you automatically eliminate many providers that go above that range. Likewise if you’re looking to make conference calls and really want that voicemail transcription service then you know which providers to go for.
Step 4: Contact Your Selected VoIP service providers
Once you’ve done your research and picked out a handful of providers that meet your business needs, you need to set them side-by-side and compare them. In the case that your shortlisted providers offer similar services, you need to go with your priorities. Here’s how to go about it:
- Compare the costs for the current and potential number of VoIP users.
- Compare price plans and see if there any add-on features you get within a package.
- Check what their cancellation and service renewal policies are.
- Are there any hidden fees? Check costs thoroughly so you’re not met with a surprise later on.
If none of this seems to be working for you and now your head is spinning, just contact the service providers themselves. Check what their customer support is like and ask them any questions you have.
Final Word: There’s a wide range of Business VoIP services out there
No one VoIP service provider is exactly like the other. You’ll find many great options that fit your business criteria but you’ll also find plenty that don’t. Take the time to evaluate what prices, features and plans you need from your service provider.
Find yourself the perfect business VoIP now!
Running a business is no mean task. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to save up on costs, then a Voice over Internet Protocol system is your best bet. A VoIP is a useful investment that pays out in the long term.
Users that have made the switch from landline networks to VoIP are already saving as much as 75% in costs. But how do you know which service provider works best for you? We’ll help you sort that out in our Business Buyers’ VoIP guide below!