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Would you like to start a new business or do you already have a successful small business? If yes, then you will need to set up a phone system to keep in touch with your employees. What about that?
However, the market is full of different business phone systems, and choosing the best one will cause a headache for you. Therefore, we reviewed the top 10 leading products on the market for you to ensure that you are familiar with them all easily.
Continue reading to learn more about the best phone systems for small businesses, why you need them, their advantages, and their features.
Let’s get started!
Why do Small Businesses need Phone Systems?
While you operate a small business, it does not mean that you will not have the necessary equipment to communicate with your employees. There are many businesses around you that have phone systems that are cost-effective, efficient, durable, compact, and reliable.
But you have either a desk phone or a mobile phone for every employee, which makes the workplace quite old-fashioned. So to avoid these issues, you need small business phone systems that are feature-rich, easy to install, and allow you to track conversations with customizable features.
Got that? Let’s move ahead!
What are The Top 5 Phone Systems for Small Businesses
|Phone System||Best Use Case||Monthly Price Range||Contract Term||Customer Support||Free Trial Length||Available Plans||Offers Phone Hardware|
|Nextiva||Multisite retail and healthcare||$21.17-$32.96||Monthly and annually||24/7||7 days||3||Yes|
|RingCentral||Collaboration||$19.99-$49.99||Monthly and annually||24/7 with most plans||14 days||4||Yes|
|8×8||International businesses||$24-$44||Monthly and annually||24/7||Unlisted||2||Yes|
|Grasshopper||Virtual phone system||$28-$80||Annual||24/7||7 days||3||No|
Nextiva is the top leading phone system with all the top-of-the-line features that every business owner needs. From basic features to ease of installation, it is perfect. But what makes it different is its pricing and simple internet-based control panel which is user-friendly and comes with simple instructions.
More about this phone system:
The call Pop feature is for sales and healthcare businesses who want to track the incoming and outgoing calls of their customers easily without buying any extra gadgets.
Additionally, Nextiva offers call routing, free and unlimited local calls, online faxing, text messaging, etc.
But with basic Nextiva plans, you don’t have access to video calls and conferences, for that you need to switch to the Pro Plan.
Its basic plan begins at 24.95 USD per month per user, but I recommend you go for an annual plan which will be a little cheaper overall.
You can choose RingCentral regardless of whether you own a small or large business due to its state-of-the-art video conferencing tools.
More about this phone system:
With RingCentral, you can enjoy unlimited calling, call forwarding, SMS messaging, and call waiting, among other features.
Furthermore, it provides 1000 toll-free minutes, video meetings, and group messages making it easy to connect with a group of people at once without having to call each individual separately.
Regarding pricing, it begins at $19.99 per month for a single user. You must, however, pay for a full year in advance.
The third is Ooma, one of the most user-friendly phone systems in history, which is similar to the 8×8 explained below. It is therefore recommended for those who require a phone system that is easy to use.
More about this phone system:
Business owners can use it easily without spending time on data-driven tools thanks to its simple dashboard.
There are approximately 800 toll-free phone numbers available at quite reasonable rates. Interestingly, by default, they will pre-select a toll-free phone number for you, but you can also change it.
Among the helpful tools available is Caller Info Match, which can automatically retrieve data from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other contact management systems to provide valuable information to clients.
Prices start at $19.95 per user per month with some basic features, but for advanced features, you will have to activate the Ooma Office Pro Plan, which costs around $24.95 per month, the same as Nextiva’s basic plan, so Ooma is relatively cheaper.
Expert Suggestion: If you have a decent office and already running a business, you should have the best laptops like ASUS or HP for your employees.
Like Ooma, it is also the easiest-to-use phone system out there. Specifically made keeping in mind the need of ordinary business owners who don’t have an understanding of modern settings, etc.
More about this phone system:
It is unique among phone providers that you are able to mix and match plans, ensuring each employee has access to the features and tools that are essential for their job
The multi-level auto-attendants and recorded greetings of this phone system will make your business appear professional to clients.
8×8 offers three different plans, namely Express, X2, and X4, prices start at $15 and go up to $44 for the X4 plan, which offers more options than its counterparts.
Last but not least, Grasshopper is a reliable virtual telephone system that allows the separation of business and personal calls to ensure your privacy.
More about this phone system:
A great feature of this phone system is the ability to convert personal phone numbers directly to business numbers.
It is possible to transfer over a business number from another service provider to Grasshopper, as well as to obtain toll-free or vanity numbers.
The Grasshopper plans all include similar features, including a business phone number, a mobile app, a desktop app, texting, call forwarding, call transfers, etc.
There are three plans available from Grasshopper which are Solo, Partner, and Small Business that start from $26 to $80.
Business phone systems can be a valuable investment for any organization, helping to improve communication, increase efficiency, and streamline operations. However, before making a decision, it is critical to understand the costs associated with these systems.
The cost of a corporate phone system can vary greatly based on a number of criteria, including the organization’s size, the number of workers, the type of system used, and the features and capabilities provided.
Some phone systems charge a fixed monthly fee, while others charge depending on consumption or provide price levels based on the number of users.
A simple system should cost between $20 and $50 per user per month for small enterprises. More advanced systems with additional features and capabilities may cost more, ranging from $50 to $100 per user per month or more.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a business phone system may also include additional fees for hardware, installation, and maintenance. Some systems may necessarily involve the purchase of additional equipment, such as handsets or headsets, which can raise the overall cost. Furthermore, some systems may necessitate ongoing maintenance or support, which can increase the overall cost.
To ensure that you are getting the best value for your investment, it’s important to carefully evaluate your business needs and compare pricing and features from multiple phone system providers. By doing so, you can select a system that fits your budget and provides the features and functionality that your organization requires.
Which is the Best Phone System for Remote Working?
There are several phone systems that are well-suited for remote working, and the best option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular options include:
- VoIP systems: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems allow users to make and receive phone calls over the Internet, which is ideal for remote workers. Some popular VoIP systems include Zoom Phone, Cisco Webex Calling, and Microsoft Teams.
- Cloud-based phone systems: Cloud-based phone systems are hosted and maintained by a third-party service provider and can be accessed remotely by employees. Some popular cloud-based phone systems include Nextiva, RingCentral, and 8×8.
- Virtual phone systems: Virtual phone systems are designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. They offer features like call forwarding, voicemail, and call recording. Some popular virtual phone systems include Grasshopper, Aircall, and VirtualPBX.
- Mobile App-based phone systems: Mobile App-based phone systems are designed for smartphones, they are easy to use and accessible from anywhere, and they offer call forwarding, voicemail, call recording, and other features. Some popular mobile app-based phone systems include WhatsApp Business, Google Voice, and Line.
What is a Small Business Phone System? In-Depth Guide
It is a multiple-line phone system used by small companies to communicate with their clients or employees effectively, such as calling multiple employees at once, providing unlimited calls, and allowing call recording only via the business internet.
Moreover, business phone systems enable small business owners to communicate internally and externally with enhanced features.
Comparison of VoIP, PBX, and KSU
PBX: Private Branch Exchange
PBXs are telephone systems within enterprises that enable users to exchange telephone calls on local lines while sharing a small number of public telephone lines.
KSU: Key Services Unit
With a key services unit (KSU), ordinary phones are able to handle multiple lines and make calls to other extensions within the office. Using a KSU-less system is a more cost-effective option for organizations with fewer than ten staff members. The phones are equipped with technology and the system is not permanently installed in the office.
VoIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol
VoIP is the method of turning your voice into an electronic signal, enabling you to make calls directly from your computer, a VoIP phone, or other internet-connected devices.
Among the three mentioned systems, we found the VoIP system to be the best overall since it requires you to connect it to your Internet connection for processing, and nothing more than that.
Today’s business phone systems are equipped with all the features necessary to run a successful business. It is therefore important for small businesses to have a telephone system for the following reasons:
Today’s new generation phone system runs on cloud-based technology which enables them to do more than you think.
Since you may not only want to make voice calls, manufacturers have added features such as video conferencing, group messaging, and online faxing. Moreover, they work in conjunction with various business applications and software to streamline communications.
2. Are Adaptable:
The second most crucial benefit is its adaptability, which makes it different from old landline phones. Using this feature, employees will be able to take calls from devices such as tablets, laptops, mobile phones, or Internet Protocol phones.
But keep in mind, these all devices should be internet-connected, otherwise, the process will be unclear.
3. Secures Your Privacy:
Above all, telephone systems offer a high level of privacy, which makes them a real winner. Because privacy plays a key role in maintaining a sustainable business. When you are a small business owner, you may come across different people who will need to contact you anytime.
There is one important issue, however, which is privacy, because anyone can call you at any time, anywhere without being concerned about your activities. With cloud-based phones, you are able to stay connected with your customers without having to worry about your privacy.
4. Offer Unlimited Calling:
Unlike regular smartphones or old landline telephones, internet-enabled phones provide users with the ability to make unlimited phone calls at no extra charge. It means you can make dozens of calls in a month without fear of calling shortage or other issues.
This will require you to pay on a monthly basis, but fortunately, the cost is extremely low. In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the price for unlimited calling is just $15, which is quite reasonable.
5. Offer Inbound Calls:
After owning a business, you often make calls to employees or other team members. And most importantly, there are many occasions when you have to call a group of people at once.
A great advantage of this business phone system is the ability to route inbound calls to multiple devices at the same time or set up ring groups to dial specific teams or employees simultaneously or in sequence.
6. Have Stable Audio Quality:
The old phone systems were not able to catch internet signals, so the audio quality was poor. With modern phone systems, you can enjoy advanced features such as cloud-based phones that have an audio quality that is comparable to landline systems.
Many of the companies that provide business telephone systems offer reliability of 99.999% or higher as part of their services.
7. Save Time and Money:
Nowadays, small businesses benefit from phone systems that are extremely time and money efficient. What is the reason? It is necessary to compare it to the old landline phones in order to determine this.
Old phones are heavy, too large, and require regular maintenance, which is costly for businesses. The contemporary telephone system, however, is compact, lightweight, easy to set up, and most importantly, can grow with your business.
8. They let You Work from Anywhere:
The world has changed, as has the business atmosphere. Nowadays, you operate your business even when you’re not in the office. At that time, you can’t give each customer your personal number or call each employee individually.
What should we do then? Fortunately, modern phone systems make it possible for you to work from anywhere without having to worry about audio quality or other aspects.
Your business will benefit greatly from seamless call forwarding that keeps your employees connected to your clients. This way you will not miss any client unanswered, resulting in increased profitability.
9. You Can Professionalize Your Business:
What does this mean? It means you run a small business, but no matter what, you still need to look professional if you wish to expand your business to a business fantasy.
By routing your calls to the right people quickly and easily, setting up direct dialing options, and keeping track of your customers’ needs with pro-level voicemail and call notifications, your business environment will look professional and updated.
Personal Experience: While working with tech geeks I have found this feature quite helpful because the more big or old company you have the better is to track records or you can mess up things.
There are dozens of features that distinguish modern phones from traditional landlines. The following are some of the most anticipated features:
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR):
Starting with the business phone system’s first main feature, we have Interactive Voice Response that automatically plays when a customer dials your business phone number.
It is among the most crucial features because it allows customers to interact directly with the required department or person for a query, making the overall process free of any interruption and time wastage.
2. Third-Party Integrations:
As the name implies, in this case, the third party allows you to add features to existing software that would otherwise require a great deal of time when developed by you.
Teams can utilize integrations to access additional features that may not be offered by the VoIP provider, while IT departments can customize their own features and applications to integrate with the VoIP system.
3. Call Recording and Call Monitoring:
Call recording is another important aspect of a small business phone system to save relevant information for future work. Recording features were not available in the past, but almost every phone system today has them. The difference is the quality.
Call recording lets companies analyze call histories, respond to clients’ words, and safeguard them against blackmail or false accusations. Most importantly, I appreciate the option of pausing between conversations, which allows you to capture only the most important words rather than the entire conversation.
4. Call Routing:
Another feature that sets business phone systems apart from traditional telephones is Call Routing. Call Routing is an important feature that allows live calls to be placed in a sequence and routed based on previously established information.
In addition, customers are not placed on hold or forced to hang up and call another number.
5. Call Forwarding:
Call Forwarding plays a key role and the purpose of this aspect is to redirect a telephone call to another location where the desired party will be available to respond to your inquiry.
Because of this feature, it has become extremely well-known and easy for customers to communicate with departments, even when there is a shortage of personnel.
In case it remains unclear, I will provide an example:
Call forwarding, for example, will automatically forward a missed call from your desk phone to your mobile phone. In the event you don’t answer your cell phone, the call is forwarded to your home phone, voicemail, or another agent. You can customize and edit call forwarding settings at any time.
6. Omnichannel Communication:
Customer service and communication via omnichannel combine all of your business communication channels whether video, telephone, or SMS, etc. automatically.
This feature of the phone system reduces the need for customers to switch between apps and lets them choose the best method of contacting your business.
The majority of business phone systems are equipped with voicemail-to-email capability in addition to traditional voicemail services. As a result of this feature, company employees can easily receive audio recordings in their personal email inboxes to know what they have said.
8. Automated Callbacks:
The next feature on our list of the top features of business phone systems is Automated Callbacks, also known as Customer Callbacks. By using Callbacks, customers are able to select their preferred date and time for receiving phone calls or messages from a business at any time.
It differs from the other features mentioned in that the customer does not have to wait for a call, they only have to give the company the time, and they will provide it. Customer satisfaction is high here.
9. Business Phone Numbers:
Virtual phone systems offer the three most important and common types of VoIP numbers to small businesses, in addition to allowing them to keep their existing numbers:
10. International Numbers:
To begin with, international numbers begin with a specific code that varies from country to country.
Whenever a client calls a company in Germany from the USA, the German department will see the prefix in the USA’s number as +1, which indicates that the client is from the USA. Different countries have different prefixes, so be sure to check.
11. Domestic Numbers:
Another type of number is a local number, which is defined as a number specific to a particular city or country.
A major advantage of these numbers is that they use area codes and one of their biggest advantages is that small business owners are more likely to work with local numbers since they can access them if they are victimized by fraud.
12. Toll-Free numbers:
Toll-Free numbers are the next category, which you may have seen on highway signs or big signboards in cities quite often. When customers make calls, the company is charged rather than the customers.
Number prefixes of 1800, 888, 877, etc. are Toll-Free Numbers.
We have now reached the end of this article, in which I have thoroughly explained the best phone systems for small businesses along with all the relevant information. The phone system plays an extremely important role in making it easier for you to communicate with your clients in a matter of seconds.
They provide additional benefits to employees since they are frequently in contact with clients.
Therefore, the small business phone system has become a need of time for business owners and companies. To ensure that you understand the phone system clearly, I explain its features, advantages, etc.
People May Ask
Which one is the best phone system for a small business?
Picking one for a small business may not make sense because each one comes with its distinctive features. Such as Ooma is one of the easiest to use, Grasshopper comes with great planes, Nextiva has plenty of features, etc. So know your preferences, then decide which one will be perfect for you.
Does a small business have a phone system?
Obviously, because a new business will not remain new forever, it will grow with time. For that, you need to bring reforms regularly while looking at your competitors and business needs. Therefore, a business phone system is a must-have add-on to your business to communicate with your clients effectively and quickly.
Moreover, it enables employees to work quickly while connecting with a group of people at once. Apart from these, phone systems will make your business look professional and will have a positive impact on your business.
How much should I pay for phone systems for small businesses?
The cost generally varies from where the system will be operated or hosted. Because if it is cloud-based, then you have to pay on a monthly basis which can start from $10 to somehow around $60 depending upon the features.
However, on the other hand, if it is hosted inside your business location, then all you have to pay is one-time upfront costs.
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