Keep Your Company Connected: The Best Phone Solution for Small Business

Small businesses need cost-effective and reliable telephone systems. However, more than one system type exists – so which is the best phone solution for small business?

Types of Small Business Telephone Systems

There are two main types of telephone systems for small business, each of which has its own advantages:

1. Traditional On-Site Telephone Systems

If you choose a traditional on-site system, such as Avaya IP Office, you’ll need to have a physical telephone system installed at your company's premises. You can buy or lease this type of system.

On-site telephone systems can use analogue, digital or internet-based SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) lines. However, digital lines are rapidly being replaced by SIP lines in UK businesses. BT, for example, plans to replace its digital lines with SIP alternatives by 2025.

This type of phone system (which is also known as a “pbx”) is initially the more expensive of the two main types of small business telephone systems, due to the cost of the physical equipment that you need.

However, once it has been installed, you only need to pay for your monthly telephone line rental and the calls you make. Therefore, it can be the cheaper option in the long-run, particularly for larger firms.

2. Hosted VoIP Telephone Systems

A hosted VoIP phone system for small business is provided via the Internet, so it’s hosted off-site by the service provider. Therefore, you’ll only need to buy enough telephone handsets and hosted VoIP licences (also sometimes referred to as seats, extensions or users) to suit your business’s needs.

One of the biggest advantages of a VoIP phone system for small business is that it involves a more modest initial outlay than an on-site system. When you choose this service type, you’ll get access to a telephone system which would have cost you a substantial amount of money to install.

However, use of a hosted VoIP phone system for small business becomes less cost-effective the more users that you have.

Small Business Telephone Systems – Which Type Should You Choose?

When it comes to the question of identifying the best phone solution for small business, there isn’t a definitive answer; different companies have different needs. There are some things that you should consider when choosing a small business telephone system, however.

Employee Numbers

The long-term cost-effectiveness of these telephone systems for small business will depend on the number of users that you have. Generally, if you have more than 30 users, an on-site system, such as Avaya IP Office, may be your best solution. If you have fewer users, a hosted VoIP system may be more suitable.

Remote Workers

If you have high numbers of remote workers, it may be better for you to choose a hosted VoIP system. It can be very expensive to add remote workers to a traditional on-site system.

Maintenance and Flexibility

Sometimes, on-site equipment can develop faults, so some maintenance may be required if you select a traditional phone system. It can also be more difficult to make changes to traditional systems than it is to VoIP systems. However, the robustness of the equipment and the amount of flexibility you have will depend on the specific system purchased.

While there isn’t ultimately a best phone solution for small business, you certainly need a system that’s reliable. We pride ourselves on the reliability of the systems we provide.

To find out more about our BT-hosted VoIP system, or our Avaya onsite telephone systems for small business, contact us using the enquiry form at the bottom of the page or call us on 01252 241000 for some friendly advice and guidence today.