If you haven't had the pleasure of trying to buy a phone system for your small business, take a few minutes to read this article, written by a small business owner.
And of course, each small business is unique so unfortunately there's no cut-and-dry answer to this question.
Phone systems are complicated, but if you break down a few things, you'll be better prepared to search for something that will work for your company.
Scalability - Your business may be small now, but will you be growing? Think about adding extra phones or extensions to your system now, so you don't outgrow your new system too quickly. Another thing to consider is whether you need access to your system from off-site locations, like employees that work from home (or may need to in the future).
Features - Voicemail, automated attendant greetings and on-hold capabilities are often standard in any phone system. But if you need call routing, mobility (calls ring to cell or soft phones rather than wired phones), or conferencing, be sure to mention that when starting your search. In addition, video calling and instant messaging can be included with certain types of systems, creating an all-in-one communication solution.
Budget - On-site phone equipment can be expensive to install and maintain, but if your internet connection is slow or cuts out frequently it may be a better option than an internet-based system. Internet-based systems usually have a lower upfront cost, but users may be charged a monthly fee, depending on whether the server is on-site or off-site.
Of course, each small business is unique so unfortunately there's no cut-and-dry answer to this question.
Here are some other useful articles, for more ideas:
Have any other tips? Feel free to share in the comments!
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