If you are a small business owner and you are looking to save money on how you operate, dialing up VoIP service can be a great place to start.
For those not up to speed on Voice over Internet Protocol, the product can be a game-changer when it comes to saving your money business. VoIP also helps with speeding up the process of how your employees communicate among themselves, not to mention with customers.
In 2010, the FCC noted that use of VoIP grew 21 percent, to more than 30 million VoIP subscribers in the U.S. alone.
In order to dial-in to how VoIP services may help your small business, consider:
* Determine your network capacity – The first step is to sit down and figure out what your company’s network capacity is. Look to see if it can handle the uptick in data, along with maintaining the network flow. You also want to make sure you have the necessary local area network setup to properly utilize VoIP;
* Determine bandwith – You will also be asked for your bandwith. Can your present connection deal with a new VoIP service side-by-side your present Internet usage. You also may want to opt for a larger bandwith in the event there are plans to grow the company down the road;
* Determine your call record – If you have a customer call center in your operation, VoIP can be a great tool for taking calls more quickly, allowing you to deal with more customers over time. If you do a lot of in-house conference calling with employees and/or with those who travel, VoIP can also save you both time and money;
* Determine if you want premises-centered or hosted VoIP – Another step on the path to VoIP is deciding if you want a premises-based or hosted private branch exchange (PBX) system. For those figuring on having a limited number of users, the PBX may be the way to go, while a hosted system in someone’s control takes the responsibility off your shoulder, though it will cost you more;
* Determine scalability – You also want to know if the VoIP solution is scalable, meaning you can add and subtract VoIP phones minus extra expenses. As noted earlier, if you are expecting to see growth with your company down the road, the last thing you want to be doing is acquiring more equipment at an expensive price. Always check the plan prices before signing any paperwork to see what you can add over time;
* Determine the QOS – Another item to look at is the system’s Quality of service, something you want to investigate when looking at different VoIP options. Also make sure that the VoIP provider you are leaning to offers a strong business QOS in your region;
* Determine additional equipment needs – What kinds of equipment will your office and/or traveling employees need? Things such as headsets, particular phone adapters, extensions and downloaded software can come into play, so check to see what any extra costs may be for such items. Being able to convert your present landline will save you expenses instead of deploying an entirely new system.
Once you have all the necessary parts and connections, you will need to decide if you will do the work yourself or hire a professional to get you up and running.
If you team up with an IT partner, you can locate the right solution to meet the needs of what is hopefully a growing small business. That partner can also deploy the VoIP system and assist in getting your employees trained on it with minor disruptions to your business.
With all VoIP has to offer small businesses, are you dialed-in yet?
Photo credit: aamu.edu