Small businesses constantly need to be in contact with partners, suppliers, and customers, but because small businesses are usually operating with smaller budgets and fewer resources than a larger enterprise, they also need a competitively priced and efficient way to achieve this communication. The right small business phone service can help any organization reach new heights. There are several reasons why VoIP phone service is desirable for small businesses:
Most companies that are looking to switch to VoIP for their small business phone service start looking because it is a pretty sure bet that the per minute charges or monthly plans will be less expensive than traditional service, but there are some less well known places to find savings with VoIP.
Image courtesy of flickr user Martin Cathrae
With traditional phone networks, your small business will have to pay a cost for each line, as well as a nominal startup fee when you want to get a new line put in place. Another hidden cost that you may not be aware of comes in the form of tax charges. In VoIP For Dummies Timothy V. Kelly writes that common taxes placed on traditional phone networks include a roughly 4% federal tax and a state tax. You also need to account for charges standard to POTS/PSTN services such as the:
- Federal Access Charge
- EUCL (End User Common Line) charge
- Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge
- Facility Relocation Cost Recovery Fee
- Access Recovery Charge
These charges may seem small individually, but they can add up quickly. With VoIP, you have no such surcharges for additional lines and setup fees are minimal to nonexistent. Because VoIP phone lines run through a computer network, separate phone line taxes that you would incur under traditional phone plans do not apply.
Look Bigger Than You Are With Advanced Feature Integration
Since VoIP phone calls go over a computer network, you can find software tools and other features that interface with these calls. Not only will this give your company more efficient usage of your phone service, it will also make your company seem more sophisticated to prospects and vendors. TechRepublic reports that some of the most important tools and features that you can integrate with VoIP include:
- Routing voicemails to email inboxes: Employees can access their emails on their personal computers as well as their smartphones or mobile tablets. This effectively means that voicemail messages can be played and listened to from any location, a vital feature for offices with telecommuters.
- Voicemail Transcription: More advanced still is the automated transcription of those messages into text, so that the voicemail messages can be read within an email client, rather than played audibly.
- Call data reporting: You can use reports to determine when your company makes the most calls, where your inbound calls originate from most often, and how much they cost.
- Connect Office Locations: Dialing between office locations with VoIP can be absolutely seamless, allowing your employees to work as if they were all geographically located together. Frequently VoIP service providers charge a fee to enable this feature and then charge per minute for those calls, but some, like Voxox, do not.
For decades, the phone has been an integral tool in the business world. As technology advances, the features available through phone service can not only increase a small business's communication capabilities, but help them save money. Switching your small business phone service to VoIP will allow you and your team to work wherever you please, reduce phone expenses, and capitalize on some unique tools for productivity and management.