How Does VoIP Work for Small Business?

If you’re used to a traditional phone line you may be wondering if and how a VoIP system can work for a small business, and whether it’s even worth considering. The answer is yes, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.

As a small business owner you’re probably:

  • passionate about what you do
  • focused on delivering your services as efficiently as possible
  • working with a small tight-knit team who wear a number of hats
  • careful and practical when it comes to budgets

For these reasons you want to get the most out of your money and time when considering suppliers.

When you’re working so hard to maintain your small business it can be easy to overlook new technologies for fear that they will be too expensive, too complicated, or too disruptive. In reality, many new technologies can transform the way your business operates. One of these is VoIP.

The misconception about VoIP is that it’s designed only for large companies with hundreds of staff, or companies working in the tech or digital industries.

When small businesses hear the term VoIP, their initial thought might be: “this is overkill!”. And yes, a large system with multiple ring groups and complex call routing probably is superfluous for a team of five. However, VoIP is not synonymous with ‘complicated phone system’. VoIP simply means Voice over Internet Protocol i.e. voice traffic carried over the internet. There are various different methods and systems to deliver this and the extent to which you use any of these systems depends on your goals and requirements.

The beauty of employing a system that uses VoIP is the flexibility it offers. It’s not a one size fits all solution and can be as simple or complex as you need. Here are some of the key ways a VoIP system works for a small business:

Get more calls, get more business

With a VoIP system you have the capacity to take multiple calls simultaneously without needing to have any physical phone lines installed. This gives you more opportunity to answer important calls and reach potential customers. As you grow, you can increase the capacity. Many small businesses start with 4 channels and move up incrementally as needed.

Work from anywhere

If you’re running a small business you’re probably juggling a lot of plates. To deliver your service, you and your team may be regularly out of the office attending meetings, visiting customer offices, or picking up supplies. Or maybe you just need to work from home occasionally. Whatever the reason, you still need to be reachable. A VoIP system can work on your mobile, but you don’t need to give out your mobile number. It works via an app connected to the main office system and runs off your phone’s WiFi or data. As far as callers are concerned, they are calling your business number. You are then free to answer it wherever you are.

Switch off from distractions

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to be incommunicado when you’re out of the office to focus on other tasks you can simply change your availability status on the app. You can even have a dedicated voicemail message for each status to explain your availability. To simplify even further, you can choose to not use the app at all and stick to an office-based deskphone.

Streamline calls and improve your customer’s experience

A VoIP system can be configured however you need it. Perhaps you’d like a welcome message explaining key information about your business, like your opening hours or FAQs. Then you’d like to guide callers through a series of options to get them straight to the right member of your team. If that team member is otherwise engaged, rather than losing the call you’d like it to redirect to someone else, or go to a dedicated mailbox. This is all possible with a VoIP system. It makes it easier for your customers to get the answers they need and it can free up time for your team. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer call routing to stay with the receptionist, the system can be set to simply send all incoming calls to one phone, allowing them to transfer as required.

Grow the system with your business

VoIP systems are highly scalable. Adding new users or additional features can be done quickly and easily without significant upfront costs. Imagine you had a new starter joining the business on Monday. They could be set up and taking calls that same day without you needing to go out and buy any new equipment. This also works in the reverse. If you need to scale down your system, it’s simple and easy to do.

Save money

One of the most significant advantages of VoIP is its potential to reduce communication costs. Traditional phone systems can be expensive, with costs associated with installation, maintenance, and calls. At the most basic level, as long as you have a decent internet connection, you’re unlikely to need any additional infrastructure to start using a VoIP system. Most systems are priced per user with additional costs for hardware or advanced features where required.

Improve communication within the team

In a small business, good communication is often taken for granted. Because there are less of you it can be easy to assume that there won’t be any issues keeping everyone up to speed with company developments. However, this is often not the case. With staff having more responsibility and a greater mix of tasks, communication can sometimes get lost in the busy day to day activity.

VoIP facilitates better collaboration among team members, allowing them to stay in touch quickly and easily regardless of their physical location. Features like video conferencing, instant messaging, and availability indicators allow for seamless communication within the team. Better communication means a more connected and productive work environment.

So how does VoIP work for small business? The same way it works for any business! The technology itself remains the same, it’s how you choose to use it that counts. An effective VoIP system can bring numerous benefits to your business and working with a trusted telecoms partner will help you achieve this. By switching to VoIP, you can streamline your communication processes, enhance collaboration, and ultimately, drive growth and success for your business.

Ready to transform your business communication? Contact us today to learn more about our VoIP solutions and how they can benefit your small business.