It’s important to find ways to reduce costs while running a small business. And communication is key. You’ll have a great team who all want to push the business forward and collaborate effectively. So, you must find the best communication tools to help them.
Much of business communication is done via phone calls. Business VoIP systems are becoming increasingly popular among small businesses to handle those calls. Why? They’re cheaper than landlines and require no additional onsite hardware. They provide a more streamlined service, helping you to compete with larger names.
The following guide provides useful information on VoIP systems, and will help determine whether they’re right for your small business.
What is a VoIP service for small businesses?
Before going into details, it’s important to know exactly what a VoIP phone service is. It’s a pretty simple concept. Standing for Voice over Internet Protocol, it’s technology that allows businesses to make calls using the internet instead of over phone lines as with a traditional phone system.
How does it work? Business VoIP systems take your analogue voice signals and convert them to digital data. That digital data gets sent through a server before connecting with the internet. It then arrives at its destination, and is transformed back to analogue audio. You can make and receive calls, alongside video conferencing, SMS and instant messaging, and call recording. With a VoIP system, you have everything you need all under one system. All you need is an internet connection.
There are two types of VoIP systems: business VoIP and consumer VoIP. While they’re similar, there are a few key differences. Consumer VoIP has minimal features, including the following:
- Basic virtual phone number
- Caller ID
A VoIP business phone system has additional features, making for a more streamlined service. These include:
- Conference calling
- Call forwarding
- Phone directories
- Interactive voice response
- Presence information
Benefits of a VoIP service for small business
As a small business owner, you need all the help and support you can get to boost your business and compete with the big brands. VoIP for business has many benefits and is certainly worth considering.
So, what are some of the main benefits of small business VoIP?
1. Great features.
First and foremost, business VoIP systems offer great features with high functionalities. Not only do you get everything you would expect from a calling service, such as video calling, messaging, and call routing, you get high tech features that improve the way your business operates. These include customisable caller IDs, online meetings, and even faxing from a computer or mobile device.
Not sure which you might need yet? VoIP systems can grow with your business. While you might only need basic services to begin with, as your business grows so can your VoIP capabilities. You can easily integrate extra phones and devices for new employees, for example, which may be complex when using a landline.
Business VoIP service providers know that your business is never static. The best businesses are always growing and moving - and a VoIP system caters to your success.
2. Remote working and mobility.
Remote working is becoming increasingly popular. Up until recently, the opportunity to work from home was reserved for one-off occasions or special circumstances.
However, as the business world evolves, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that employees don’t necessarily need to sit under one roof together. People can work just as efficiently in their own homes. This sense of freedom creates a better, more trusting relationship between employers and employees. Everyone wants to feel valued and respected.
One of the biggest challenges for remote working is connectivity - especially in a role where employees are required to make a lot of phone calls. A VoIP system eases this process and allows employees to work from home.
How does this work? All an employee needs is internet access, and they will be able to get onto the VoIP system. With the relevant software on their PC or laptop, they can have a softphone at their fingertips. VoIP also integrates with mobile devices - Android, iOS, or otherwise - so employees can continue making calls on the go. It’s great for when employees are on client meetings or travelling for work.
3. Saving money.
All businesses, big or small, want to save money where possible. A VoIP system can benefit your business hugely, as it’s cheaper than traditional phone lines. How? There are a number of factors that make the service cheaper than old-fashioned telecoms setups, such as:
- VoIP doesn’t use costly hardware. You are using an existing broadband system that doesn’t need to be set up or run separately. All you may need is an office phone or other handsets
- Call costs are generally lower as you have no line rental or other similar expenses
- VoIP users aren’t tied down to locations, so you avoid extortionate international charges - and many long-distance calls are toll-free
- Employees have more flexibility to work from home, reducing the costs spent on office supplies and bills
- You pay less for providers as you can combine all office, mobile, and data services into one unified communications solution
- IT and technical support burdens are lessened as these will be managed by your VoIP provider
Generally, all business owners should consider ways to cut back on costs, especially in their early years. The money saved by using a VoIP system can be put into improving the business in another area, such as recruitment, team building, or developing new products.
4. Customer support.
While you undoubtedly know what you’re doing and feel confident in the growth of your business, all small businesses can benefit from a little extra support. You’re competing with large brands and customers might not have heard of your services.
One of the biggest benefits of a VoIP phone system is that you receive IT and technical support from your business VoIP provider. This provides a safety blanket for your business, and assures you that any problems will be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
At RingCentral, our teams are available 24/7 to deal with any query, meaning that you have access to technical support at any time. Not only will this mean that your services are always up and running smoothly, but also that you have an extra level of confidence knowing that we’re here if you need us.
VoIP vs. traditional landline
The benefits of a VoIP system are clear. But how does it compare to a traditional landline?
- Requires costly hardware that is often paid up front
- Additional fees for extra calling features such as voicemail, call waiting, or caller ID
- You may be susceptible to spam calls as landlines do not have restrictions
- International calls may be difficult or expensive
- Typically very reliable and doesn’t go down in bad weather
- Supports emergency calls due to one location
- Might have issues with latest technologies
- Sound quality can be irregular
- Runs on a pre-existing internet system, which means that little or no extra hardware is required
- All features included in plan and new advanced features can be added when scaling the business
- Call screening means that you can block spam calls and these are illegal to mobiles
- International calls are at no extra cost - and may be free
- Relies on internet access and could be impacted by bad weather - - though, not the best VoIP systems
- Not guaranteed to support emergency calls
- Compatible with all latest technologies, thus offering the likes of CRM integration to meet wider business needs
- Generally has excellent sound and call quality
Why RingCentral stands out
RingCentral provides small business VoIP services that make a big difference. We want to ensure that your services are the very best and that you are confident about your VoIP phone system. Here are some reasons why our customers choose us:
- We are created for business. We know what businesses need. Our VoIP solution adds extra features to ensure nothing is missing. Texting, faxing, and online meetings can all be done without the need to switch systems, creating a smoother and more professional working environment.
- We keep it quick. We don’t want you to be bogged down in the tech stuff. Our VoIP system is easy to install, taking a day or less to get up and running. This means more time for your business to succeed and less time twiddling your thumbs.
- We keep it safe. Security is one of the utmost considerations for a business owner. You might be dealing with confidential information and your customers are relying on data protection. Our VoIP system uses highly encrypted networks and different levels of authentication. The entire transmission journey is safe and secure.
- We’re here when you need us. We don’t leave you in the dark. Our customer support is unrivalled and we are available 24/7. We’re just a telephone call away when you need us. And when you don’t? We don’t butt in. It’s a safety net to ease your mind.
- We have the best value for money. You want the best pricing for your VoIP system. And you want total transparency. We don’t have hidden fees. We don’t have additional fees for premium features. Get a single, all-inclusive bill with no hidden costs. You deserve the best prices.
How do I set up a VoIP phone system for business?
Setting up a VoIP phone system might sound overwhelming at first. However, with RingCentral, it’s easy. We get you up and running as quickly as possible. But how does it work? Here are the main steps.
- Establish how many users you will need: How many employees do you have? How quickly is your team growing? Knowing the numbers will help decide what kind of VoIP plan you might need.
- Ensure your network is compatible: Your internet connection will need to be fast enough to support a VoIP connection.
- Determine the features you need: Do you need video calling? Interactive voice response (IVR)? Knowing which features you will need will determine the package.
- Speak to us: once you know the above, we will handle the installation. This means connecting your private branch exchange (PBX) to our servers. This will only take a day, max.
- Plug in your VoIP phones: If you’re using desk phones or IP phones instead of mobiles, these will need to be plugged in.
- Configure your service: All VoIP systems need to be configured through the settings menu. We will help you during this process to ensure everything is done correctly. You can set up voicemail and create extensions for employees here, too.
- Connect VoIP mobile apps: This is optional, depending on your plan. If you choose to connect the mobile as well as the desktop app, it’s a case of downloading it from an app store and entering the login credentials we provide. It’s a great option for remote workers.
- Start using your VoIP system: It’s that simple!
Is VoIP worth it for small businesses?
Some business owners wonder whether their business is big enough for a VoIP system. Is VoIP worth it? Do you get enough incoming calls?
Ultimately, only you can make that decision. However, no business is too small for VoIP. VoIP can save a lot of money, allowing you to spend it elsewhere. You also get a better, more streamlined service that keeps everything in the same place. This means you save time contacting different providers and can simply call us at RingCentral.
A VoIP system looks more professional. A professional business attracts more customers. It’s that simple.
Why RingCentral is Optimised For Small Businesses
At RingCentral, we support small businesses. We know how difficult starting out can be, and we firmly believe that financial budgets shouldn’t stop you from reaching your potential. This is why we’re dedicated to providing the best services to make your small business the best it can be.
Our VoIP system is:
- Affordable. We know that you don’t have a large budget to deal with, and this shouldn’t stop you from getting the best services. Check out our pricing.
- Easy to use. We want employers and employees to find their VoIP systems simple and easy to use. So we make them that way.
- Mobile. We know that many employees working in small businesses and start-ups like the option of remote working. We cater for this need by making our features intuitive for mobile phones as well as desktop.
- Scalable. We know that businesses often don’t stay small, and growth is a significant aim. So we can add additional features, whenever you need.