One of the most important investments a small office will make is a phone system. Make the right decision, and the path to value and ROI will be short and straightforward. But make the wrong decision, and get stuck with an expensive, inflexible liability.
To help ensure that a small office phone system is profitable and rewarding — instead of costly and regrettable — here are 7 reasons why you should focus on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as your choice for a small office telephone system:
1. Substantial Up-front and Ongoing Cost Savings
For large multi-site enterprises, cutting costs is important. But for small offices, it isn’t just a strategic priority: it is a fundamental necessity. Getting “more for less” is not just about success — it’s about survival.
Compared to a conventional landline phone system, a VoIP phone system delivers significant cost savings on several levels:
Physical location Cost Savings
When it comes to choosing a telephone system for a small office, there is no need to purchase and house an on-site PBX phone system — and then find a suitable space to store it, which may be practically impossible in a small office environment. Avoiding these upfront costs means saving thousands of dollars.
No Maintainance Plan Needed
There is no need to purchase a costly maintenance plan, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year (depending on the service level desired). With VoIP, all technical support, including updates and upgrades, is handled entirely by the off-site Solutions Provider — and at no additional charge. Everything is included in the affordable license fee (called “seats”).
Long-Distance Cost Savings
There is no cost for domestic long-distance calls. According to CostOwl.com, depending on usage, most small businesses pay around $15/month for long-distance, but some pay several hundred dollars a month. With VoIP, unlimited calling for domestic long-distance is always a nice, predictable: $0.
And speaking of predictability: in some cases, monthly costs with a conventional landline phone system can fluctuate. This is a non-issue with VoIP. The total monthly cost is locked into the agreement, and will not change. This makes budgeting and financial forecasting easier and more effective. Birthday surprises are fun, but phone system billing surprises aren’t!
2. Total Mobility and Support for Remote Teams
The pandemic moved remote/hybrid work from the sidelines into the mainstream, and while many workers have returned to the office full-time, there are still hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who will continue spending at least part of the week working from a home office.
What’s more, many small businesses — especially those with small, limited office space — are encouraging, incentivizing, and in some cases even insisting that employees spend some time working from home, because having the full staffing roster in the office simultaneously would lead to overcrowding.
Unlike a conventional landline phone system — which is essentially rooted in technology that was “new” in the 19th century! — VoIP is built for the modern remote/hybrid work landscape. Employees can access a range of phone system features beyond voice calling (e.g., presence indicators, text messaging, live call transfer, call history, shared contacts, etc.) through a free, easy-to-use app on their mobile phones.
Plus, when employees make outgoing calls on their mobile devices — regardless of whether they are using a personally-owned device or one provided to them for work purposes — then the BUSINESS’S name/number will appear on Caller ID, and not their PERSONAL name/number. This is extremely important for privacy and security, and it also presents a more polished, professional image.
3. Seamless Scalability and Expandability
After the volatility of the last few years, most businesses — especially smaller ones — need to be as agile as possible. This could mean rapidly expanding to exploit profitable opportunities, or quickly scaling down to consolidate, cut costs, and “weather the storm.”
With a VoIP phone system, adding lines (as noted above are called “seats”) is fast, easy, and very affordable, and could even cost as little as $6/user per month for basic phone needs!). Plus, there is no need to dig and install cable, and then run it through the walls and ceiling (which is something that landlords and property managers typically DO NOT like, because they don’t want to risk damage or disruption to other tenants). All calls, texts, and videos are handled on the same data network that is used for the business’s internet connection.
Conversely, if a business finds that it has more lines than it requires, then it simply does not renew them at expiry. There is no risk of being stuck and saddled with excess capacity for YEARS, which could translate into paying thousands of dollars for absolutely nothing.
And one more important point before moving on to the following reason why VoIP is the perfect telephone system for a small office: moving or expanding into additional offices is remarkably (and some might say unbelievably!) easy. Here are the steps:
- Unplug the IP desk phone(s) that need to be moved into the new office.
- Plug the IP desk phone(s) into the new office.
And that’s IT. There is absolutely no re-wiring or technical configuration required. What’s more, the IP phone(s) will retain all of their settings, including saved numbers and call history, so there is nothing to set up at the new office!
4. No Hardware Vendor Lock-In
With conventional landline phone system providers, businesses are typically forced to “choose” (and that word needs to be used very loosely!) from one, or maybe two vendors for their IP phones and (if desired) conference calling phones. If the price is high — and it usually is — then the business is stuck.
A VoIP phone system is completely different and far superior. Businesses have the freedom and flexibility to choose hardware from a large pool of vendors. An MBA or degree in economics is not required to grasp that more competition means greater options and better pricing.
5. Enterprise-Grade Features (At Small Business Prices!)
Small offices need the same advanced features as large enterprises. With a conventional landline phone system, adding these features is extremely — and for some businesses, prohibitively — expensive. But with a VoIP telephone system for a small office, advanced features are not just available and accessible, they are INCLUDED!
For example, here are some (but not all!) of the features that come STANDARD with an all-in-one VoIP phone system:
- Auto-attendant (multiple languages)
- Unlimited Domestic Calling (and very affordable international calling if required)
- Dial by Name Directory (First or Last)
- Dial by Extension
- Visual Voicemail
- Voicemail to Email (with Voicemail Transcription)
- Team Messaging
- Business SMS & MMS (available for an additional charge)
- Video Conferencing (1-on-1 or multi-participant video meetings)
- Unlimited Online Digital Faxing (HIPAA Compliant)
- Handset Paging
- Overhead Paging Available
- Integration with Existing Paging Systems
- Directed Call Pick Up
- Group Pick Up
- Site Pick Up
- Domain Pick Up
- Blind Call Transfer
- Attended Call Transfer
- Voicemail Transfer
- Free Mobile Apps (for iOS and Android)
Again, it is worth repeating that these advanced calling features are INCLUDED in an all-in-one cloud-based phone system. They do not cost a cent more.
6. Business Continuity
With a conventional landline phone system, if the local power goes out then the phone goes dead. This could last for seconds, minutes, hours, or as we have seen on occasion during hurricane season, even days.
With a VoIP phone system, the moment local power is lost (for any reason), then the system automatically re-routes in the cloud to another part of the state, or the country, where the power is still live. As a result, employees can continue having outgoing and incoming phone calls and access features like text messaging through the smartphone app. They can also forward phone calls to any other number (landline or cell) that is operational, and then cancel the forwarding when power is restored.
What’s more, if the business has implemented an affordable backup power supply, then this will spring into action the moment power is lost. This allows the business to continue using the VoIP phone system without disruption. And then when the power is restored, the backup power supply automatically turns off and recharges its battery for the next time it is needed.
And throughout this entire process, managers/employees do not have to do ANYTHING. It all happens automatically and behind-the-scenes.
7. Secure & Reliable
Last, but certainly not least: one of the myths about VoIP phone systems — which by no surprise is driven by conventional landline phone companies that are terrified of losing customers (as they should be!) — is that VoIP is somehow insecure and unreliable. Neither of these is whatsoever true when the system is offered by a leading, reputable VoIP Provider such as Carolina Digital Phone. Here is why:
- Concerning security: Our VoIP phone system is highly secure, uses a range of anti-fraud technologies and tools, and features a guaranteed 99.99% uptime standard. It also supports E911 calling for emergencies to keep employees and customers safe. Plus, we were among the nation’s first providers of VoIP business phone systems to adopt STIR/SHAKEN technology to block robocalls.
- And as for reliability: we have always “over-engineered” our system for high traffic demands, which is why our customers consistently get flawless, clear audio — even during peak demand periods. What’s more, our Technical Specialists are LOCAL and can be on-site within hours to solve problems.
The Final Word
After looking at all 7 of these major benefits, the question you need to ask isn’t “Should we consider a VoIP phone system for our small office,” but instead “How can we afford NOT to get VoIP as soon as possible?“
To help you move forward rapidly and safely, contact Carolina Digital Phone today for your live guided demo and consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation, and we can connect with you in person at your location, or over-the-web. Call us now at (336) 544-4000.