Work is busy. And as a small business owner, work is everything. But is your business phone system working for you?
Your work phone may not be something you stop to think about often. But if you’re using a voice-only legacy phone system, chances are you’re not only losing money, you’re losing out on a slew of features that could make your life, and the life of your employees, a whole lot easier.
You’ve probably heard of VoIP—voice over internet protocol (phone service over the internet)—but you may not be familiar with what it is and how it can improve your business. To help you figure out if your business would be a good candidate for VoIP, we’ve compiled a series of questions for you to answer. (So, yes, it’s a quiz, but we promise it’s easy!)
Here we go!
Do you leave your desk often?
If you answered yes, you probably worry you’ll miss important calls. You probably do miss important calls. You can literally (and we mean literally) never miss a call again with VoIP. Call forwarding lets you direct calls to as many phone numbers as you’d like, anywhere in the world. You can even forward them based on caller ID and time of day. And a nifty feature called Follow Me allows calls to, yes, follow you everywhere. You can have multiple phones ring, one after another, or all at once, which…could get kind of loud. But you sure as heck won’t miss the call.
Is your business growing?
We hope so! If it is, or if you expect it to, VoIP provides unlimited user extensions, with customized settings for every line. You may have different departments now, or you may have them in the future. VoIP gives you the option to present callers with a menu so they can select where they’d like their call to be directed. (e.g. “Press 1 for sales, 2 for customers service,” etc.) And when you have enough employees for it, a dial-by-name directory will let callers find exactly who they’re looking for by punching in their name.
Do you want all the features larger businesses have?
We see you over there, salivating over all the big-company phone features larger businesses get to enjoy. VoIP lets you in on the fun and makes you look like one of the big guys. Not only do you get the menus and the dial-by-name directories we just mentioned, you get queues so you can put callers on hold, call transfer capabilities, and yes, even hold music. If you want a toll-free number, you can score one of those, too. (Even vanity numbers!)
Are you tired of fax machines?
We see you raising your hand. (We are, too!) VoIP lets you enjoy a fax machine-free existence with a fax-to-phone feature that doesn’t just let you send and receive faxes from your phone—including, yes, your cell phone!—but create cover pages and attach documents and photos. Booyah! See ya, fax machine! It’s been real!
Do you have remote workers?
You may! You might be acquiring some. Heck, you may be the remote worker! Whatever the case, VoIP is perfect for off-site employees. Call forwarding ensures they’ll never miss a call. Video conferencing ensures they feel like part of the team with face-to-face meetings. You can also rally the troops with HD audio conference calls anywhere in the world, with absolutely any kind of phone system on the other end.
Does voicemail drive you crazy?
Unless you’re still living in 1995, we’re going to guess this one’s a yes. VoIP makes voicemail a little less painful with a convenient voicemail-to-email feature that sends you an audio file of your messages. If you’d rather skip listening altogether, you can upgrade to voicemail transcription.
Are you on conference calls a lot?
We’re guessing yes on this one, too. VoIP lets you drop the conferencing services you’re juggling with seamless HD conference call integration for up to 300 participants anywhere in the world, plus video conferencing. If you’re moderating an audio conference call, you’ll have over 15 call controls, including mute and name announcements.
Would you like to keep your personal and business phone separate?
This goes out to all small business owners using their cell phones as work phones, which is likely…all of you. There are countless ways VoIP can keep your personal and business lives separate—too many to list here. At the core of it is a magical feature called call handling, which directs different numbers (clients, spouses…moms) different places, at times you set in advance. There’s also text messaging, which keeps your personal and business texts completely and totally separate.
Are you paying way too much for your business landline?
If you’re using a voice-only legacy phone system, this one’s also probably a big yes. And if you don’t realize it now, you’ll realize it when you check out just how completely and totally affordable VoIP can be. Because it’s powered by the internet, VoIP costs just a fraction of what you’re paying for your traditional phone system. Plus you get so much more for your money. And you can set it up totally on your own in just a few minutes (maybe less!).
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you need to explore VoIP and see how it can change everything. It may not be able to change that stain on your shirt (Made you look! Sorry, we couldn’t help it!), but it can sure make the daily grind way less of a grind.