With the economy in the shape it is today, many small businesses are facing some tough realities as how to manage their business. Small business owners are keeping spending to a minimum and controlling costs while they ride out this economic downturn. Many seasoned business owners will tell you the good thing about running a business during a downturn is that it forces you to really look at your business and decide what’s important and what’s not. All operating costs and expenses are looked over with a fine toothed comb and it is in this time that many business owners find money that has been going to waste.
Depending on your business, your telecommunication costs can eat up a sizable chunk of your budget. Over the last few years VOIP technology has really come of age as costs keep getting lower and service keeps getting better. Listed below are the 5 reasons you should consider making the switch to VOIP technology for your business.
1 – It’s Cheaper than old fashioned telephone service. Although you will spend several hundred dollars in equipment to get yourself set up, the savings over the long run can be substantial. One of the biggest savings is long distance charges. Besides having to pay long distance access fees each month, most traditional phone companies charge rates considerably higher than VOIP providers. Most VOIP plans come standard with almost every feature you can think of while traditional phone companies usually charge a monthly fee for even the most basic features. These add on fees can quickly add up on your monthly bill.
2 – Unified Communication. Unified Communications is a fancy word to describe the ability to integrate your VOIP phone service with other communications such as email and computer programs. With unified communications you have the ability to have voicemail messages emailed directly to you wherever you may be. Long gone are the days you have to repeatedly call into the office to see if there are messages waiting. Another great application for VOIP is integrating it into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program for you business. Imagine when the phone rings the computer screen automatically pops up the account history of your customer before you even pick up the phone. Talk about a great customer service tool.
3 – The technology is here. In the early days of VOIP chronically dropped phone calls and sounding like your calling from Mars were the norm. Over the last few years bandwith has increased to a rate where businesses can operate several applications, including VOIP, over their internet connections without losing quality. Quality of Service technology, which gives VOIP and streaming video priority over data transmission has also paved the way to superior Voice over Internet phone calls.
4 – Hosted PBX. Traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems were usually reserved for big business as it is very expensive to set up. You also need someone with IT experience to manage it. With a Hosted PBX, the entire system is hosted on a remote server, where you, or your service provider, can manage it remotely. All of this can be done at a fraction of the cost of a traditional PBX system while giving small and home based businesses the professional image they need to compete with the big boys.
5 – It’s coming anyway, whether your ready for it or not.
Traditional phone services are going the way of the dinosaur. High fees, long term contracts and poor customer service has been the hallmark of traditional phone companies for a very long time. VOIP and Hosted PBX plans offer the small business owner lower telecom costs, more productivity and a chance to take their customer service to the next level. There are dozens of VOIP providers to choose from, the important thing is to educate yourself on this technology and seek out a vendor who can provide the proper support and consultation for a seemless transition.
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