November 14, 2012

VoIP Small Business Savings Can Be Music to Your Ears

published this at 2:32 pm

In tough economic times, many small business owners look for each and every opportunity to save themselves money.

With the end of 2012 fast approaching, it would behoove those who run small businesses to sit down and take a look at where many of their company expenses went for these last 11 months.

In some cases, saving that money going forward into 2013 is next to impossible, while there are other areas that definitely can be tweaked in order to make the coming year a more profitable one.

If your business phone expenses have left you dialed-in to less savings, have you considered dialing into small business VoIP?

According to a 2011 FCC report, usage of VoIP grew 21 percent, to more than 30 million VoIP subscribers just in the U.S during a one-year period from June 2009 to June 2010.

With VoIP in your office, you can not only save money, but you can provide more efficiency for both your customers and your employees in ways you may never have previously thought of.

In the event small business VoIP may be something for your business to consider going into the New Year, note the following:

* Business VoIP users receive a toll-free or area phone number along with a variety of voice-mail features;
* Among the other features are call forwarding, an auto attendant, automatic phone routing, online faxing, and virtual directories;
* With Internet access, your small business can initiate communication efforts that include emailing to voice calls to video conferences. In the event you have employees on the road handling sales calls or attending networking events, you can still conference with them via VoIP;
* With both remote employees and/or completely remote offices, you can provide IP handsets and IP PBXs (private branch exchange) at each locale, therefore permitting all devices to communicate with one another minus outside provider intervention;
*  Should you go hosted or non-hosted? One of the decisions to be made is to go with a hosted service or non-hosted service. With the hosted service, it is commonplace for providers to oversee major processes offsite, thereby bringing calls to your phones and your customers. Many hosted VoIP solutions will not require added on-site hardware other than phones. With a self-hosted onsite service, your business will require an IP-based PBX to move your calls to your network phones, along with a PSTN (public switched telephone network) getaway. The gateway acts to convert calls to and from digital signals as required. Typically, what you pay for such a service will depend on the necessary features.

Lastly, those small businesses considering VoIP would do well to get a number of provider quotes, along with reviewing both each company’s customer service record and its financial stability. Make sure the technology you are considering for your company makes sense not just now, but over the long term as you look to grow your business.

With the right VoIP solution in place, your small business could ring up significant savings in the months and years to come.

Photo credit: digisecrets.com

About the author: Dave Thomas covers a variety of small business topics for various websites.

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