Blogs, Small Businesses
Is VOIP Worth It For Small Businesses? Let’s find out!
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology allows users to make and receive calls over an internet connection rather than through standard copper wire and telephone service phones or analog phone systems. This technology transforms sound into digital packets that are then sent via the internet in the same way that other kinds of data, such as email, are transmitted.
This is a significant departure from conventional phone systems, which are reliant on out-of-date technology and deteriorating infrastructure.
As the Internet has become more widely available, VoIP has also gotten more efficient and reliable. Another advantage is that it is usually less costly than traditional phone service.
Is VoIP good for small businesses?
In many ways, VoIP services are an improved version of what you would expect from a traditional business phone service. As a result of being linked to the internet and using a digital connection, VoIP services provide crystal clear phone conversations and video chats.
This is because digital connections can transfer more data at quicker rates than analog connections. Even better, VoIP services are usually less expensive than traditional landline telephone services, saving you money on your monthly phone bill.
The most compelling argument for small- and medium-sized businesses to migrate their phone systems to the cloud is the cost savings. The cost for even a single call over an analog network is absurdly expensive. However, calls made and received over an analog network are still regarded as more dependable – since system downtime is only caused by physical damage to the equipment.
VoIP calls, on the other hand, are considerably less expensive regardless of whether a call is made to a destination outside the United States or inside the country’s boundaries.
Virtually all cloud phone service providers provide subscription options that include free minutes that can be used to make calls to phone numbers in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and, in some cases, Mexico, among other countries.
VoIP for Small Businesses
In contrast to conventional phone lines, VoIP technology transmits your phone calls as data over the Internet, rather than via a regular phone line, saving you money on phone bills.
The conventional landline phone, as opposed to contemporary mobile phones, relies on copper wires and a physical network of cables and switch boxes to provide a dedicated connection between you and the person you’re calling.
Take, for example, the early days of the telephone as an illustration of the difference between the two methods of communication. Each phone needed to have a copper wire that connected it to the local telephone exchange.
That exchange, in turn, was linked to a network of exchanges spread across the nation. Prior to the 1960s, when you made a phone call, a live operator manually connected electrical wires to establish a continuous circuit between you and your receiver.
The copper lines you were renting throughout the call could not be used by anybody else for the duration of the conversation. Making a long-distance call required several operators in various locations to route your call to establish that dedicated connection (which is why it was so costly!).
The fundamental technology hasn’t evolved much in the past century, although today’s phone system has replaced live operators with automated exchanges (IVRs).
Instead of requiring a continuous connection between the two phones, VoIP technology operates on an as-needed basis. It divides the phone conversation into several digital packets, which are then sent via the least crowded and most cost-effective pathways available, using your current Internet connection.
The digital signal is decoded back into voice when the packets reach their destination, allowing the receiver to hear what you are saying.
For many reasons, VoIP is fundamentally more efficient than analog. First and foremost, throughout a phone conversation, only one person is usually speaking at a time, and there are many intervals during which neither participant is speaking at all (like those awkward pauses).
Traditional landlines are capable of transmitting anything, even silence. Since VoIP only transmits the bits where someone is talking, they can save a significant amount of data.
Second, since VoIP does not need to use a dedicated connection, many conversations may take place over the same digital route at the same time.
Benefits of VoIP for small businesses?
VoIP is unquestionably a more sophisticated technology; but, what does this imply for small companies who are contemplating making the transition from traditional landlines? Let’s have a look at some of the most significant benefits.
1. Excellent Call Quality
Unlike conventional landlines, VoIP has progressed to the point where neither you nor the person who is contacting you can distinguish between VoIP and a regular landline. In terms of call quality, VoIP phone service has even exceeded conventional landline phone service in recent years.
When it comes to VoIP, making and receiving phone calls is just a small portion of the picture. Modern VoIP systems offer features such as instant messaging, presence information, teleconferencing, video conferencing, receiving voicemail, and sending and receiving faxes via email.
The many features of VoIP, such as video conferencing, allow you to remain in touch with employees and discuss important problems with them, regardless of where they are located around the world.
With this contemporary communication technology, your workers no longer need to be physically present in the workplace to communicate with one another. Instead, they can work from the comfort of their own homes or from overseas.
Voicemail and faxes can be forwarded to your email address when using VoIP. This method will allow you to get all of your communications in one convenient location – your email inbox. You may also archive or forward emails using this feature.
Comparatively speaking, VoIP is much more secure than the conventional analog telephone connection. This contemporary phone system uses established encryption methods, which ensure the security of your conversations and data – something that cannot be accomplished with a traditional telephone connection.
You may use your VoIP system from any location as long as you have access to the internet.
You may also transfer calls directly to your colleagues without consumers needing to dial another number. This phone system also enables you to establish your availability status, which informs your coworkers about whether or not you are accepting telephone calls.
5. Automated Assistance
Answers to frequently asked questions can be available to consumers who call after office hours using VoIP technology. Christmas and New Year’s Eve opening hours may be set, as can normal opening hours and other relevant announcements, ensuring that your clients get the best possible service at all times of the day and night.
6. Call Recording Service
Calls can be recorded using VoIP, enabling you and your colleagues to review and replay key conversations, ensuring that crucial messages are not lost. In addition, with this contemporary phone system, you can examine call logs to find out what time of day most consumers are contacting your business, how long each conversation lasts, and a whole host of other useful data.
VoIP improves productivity by reducing “phone tag,” a phenomenon that happens when two individuals attempt to contact each other by phone but each is unable to connect with the other person. Phone tag only leads to greater consumer dissatisfaction, decreased revenue, and the inability of small companies to expand their operations.
With VoIP, phone numbers can be set to ring on numerous devices before being routed to voicemail, saving time and money. In this way, the probability of workers and consumers playing phone tag is decreased.
7. It is a cost-effective solution.
Voice over IP (VoIP) operating expenses are considerably lower than those of conventional phone providers. Here are some examples of situations in which your business may save money by using VoIP:
VoIP reduces the cost of local and international calls by a considerable amount. To the person that you’re contacting or the person calling you, a VoIP number, also known as a virtual phone number, seems to them to be an actual landline telephone number.
Customers and colleagues, for example, may contact you at the local rate rather than the higher international cost since your virtual phone number seems to be inside their local exchange even though it is not.
It is no longer necessary for your company to operate separate networks for data and phones.
VoIP enables you to use your smartphone to carry your office extension phone with you wherever you go.
Employees on the job but in the field no longer have to go back to the office to join a meeting or to discuss critical issues with their coworkers via the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing.
Teleconferencing and video conferencing may result in substantial savings on trip expenses.
Additionally, teleconferencing and video conferencing are less costly for virtual employees since they remove the need for recruiting or retraining and reduce the requirement for physical office space.
How do I set up a VoIP for small businesses?
Setting up a company phone system may appear to be a difficult task when seen from the outside. The procedure, however, is very simple, and the advantages much outweigh the initial cost.
Every VoIP service has a unique setup procedure, but there are a few basic recommendations you should follow to ensure a successful installation. In the sections below, we’ll take you through the process of setting up your company’s VoIP system step-by-step.
1. Take into consideration the VoIP requirements of your team
Not all VoIP systems are the same. Some are built specifically for small teams, while others are intended to serve big businesses with high call volume and volume of calls. Different VoIP systems have different advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to figure out what you want and need right away before you travel too far down the VoIP rabbit hole.
2. Calculate the number of users you’ll need
When it comes to narrowing your choices, the number of estimated users is critical, so take stock of both your existing staff base and future projections. Also, take into consideration the number of employees who will use your VoIP service. Not every member of the team will need a line. Some may require two or more lines, while other employees may just need an extension to successfully perform their duties.
Carry out the calculations and crunch the data. If you want to save money, try pooling resources by using common conference rooms and telephone lines. Because most VoIP providers charge on a per-user basis, you might save money by planning and purchasing only what you need.
3. Make sure your network is compatible with your device
Keep in mind that since your VoIP conversations are made over the internet, you must make sure your network has enough capacity to manage both incoming and outgoing call traffic.
With a high number of users and an inadequate connection, sound quality will dramatically degrade. Test your internet connection to ensure it is both fast and reliable.
The strength and speed of your network will ultimately decide the number of VoIP lines your network can be accommodated.
Automatic Call Distribution systems or ACDs often make use of a skills-based routing engine to efficiently route digital and voice interactions to the appropriate agents and departments. Using an intelligent routing system, client requests are allocated to agents based on their expertise, customer data, real-time contact center performance, customer sentiment, and AI-powered behavioral profiles.
4. Establish a budget for your VoIP services
Set a budget for VoIP services before you begin evaluating features, providers, and pricing. An additional $10 per user per month soon adds up, so it’s important to establish some ground rules before you begin comparing other platforms and services.
In exchange for signing up for an annual contract or reaching specific numbers of subscribers, the majority of VoIP platforms provide discounts. If you are required to switch to a more costly plan to access advanced services or greater use limits, this may assist to balance the expenses.
The temptation to start chasing after flashy features is strong, but having a strategy can help you avoid stretching your budget too thin. To keep oneself grounded, it’s important to first establish a budget; after you’ve established a budget, you can then decide which features are essential and which features are optional.
5. Decide on the features and hardware that you absolutely must have and that you would want to have
Trying to go through a long list of VoIP options may be frustrating. There are many alternatives to examine, including:
- Apps for mobile devices
- Call-handling functionality is included.
- Document sharing is an important part of every business
- Interactional vocal response on many levels (IVR)
- Maximum numbers of participants
- Messages from the team
- Video conferencing
Moreover, this is just a sliver of the information that is accessible. Before beginning your research into various VoIP providers and the services they offer, create a list of the must-haves and features that are good to have. If you’re not sure why you’re investing in a VoIP system, this list is an excellent starting point for determining your objectives.
After you make your list, you can begin investigating service providers and the products and services each offers. Since most platforms do not provide a la carte pricing, you will most likely wind up paying for a plan that is pre-bundled with capabilities. Possibly you will pay a premium for a plan that includes services you will never use.
Consider any additional hardware you might need. The best VoIP service for your company will be determined by whether you want conventional desk phones, desktop, and mobile applications, or a mix of the two methods of communication.
6. Installing and configuring your VoIP solution
As soon as you’ve decided on a VoIP platform, it’s time to set up your system, connect your phones, and customize your settings. Most small company VoIP systems include a private branch exchange (PBX) as part of their services. This eliminates the need to install and configure a physical PBX box in your office space. Instead, you will just need to download the desktop and mobile apps for the platform to get started.
If your VoIP solution necessitates the installation of an on-site PBX system, you will be responsible for configuring and connecting this gear to your internet service provider (ISP). Then you need to link your VoIP-enabled desk phones to your PBX box through an Ethernet cable to finish the configuration of your system.
The setup procedure for each VoIP service will be different, so be sure to go through their installation instruction materials for more comprehensive information.
Following the installation of your system, you will need to modify your settings. Configure the call flow, assign extensions and prepare voicemail and greetings. You can also set up calling schedules, call forwarding, and other essential aspects of your company telephone system in this section.
Why do small businesses use VoIP?
Customers who use VoIP have found it beneficial to educate a small number of workers on the administrator capabilities, and then give instructions so the whole staff can manage their account configuration.
VoIP is more in line with what today’s mobile, agile employees have grown to demand.
This setup is also more affordable.
VoIP is particularly well-suited to the requirements of small businesses, because of its cutting-edge capabilities, user-friendly features, and improved customer service process flow.
As a complement to the systems that you and your workers are currently using, VoIP systems are adaptable enough to react to the requirements and changes of your small company. VoIP systems will improve your business communications and productivity as you and your employees continue to use them.
Is VoIP better than cellular?
The cost of making a VoIP call using your data plan is less expensive than calling via the cellular network or conventional phone calls. Using simple arithmetic, the findings show that VoIP is more cost-effective than traditional phone service since the use of 1MB of data costs considerably less than the cost of one minute of phone service from your phone plan.
In other words, regardless of what cell service providers claim, VoIP is unquestionably your least expensive telephone option.
You can make a VoIP call using your computer or a mobile device that is linked to the Internet. The use of internet calls has grown significantly in recent years, which is understandable given the fact that many more people now have broadband internet connections in their homes and workplaces than was the case a few years ago. VoIP calls are often accompanied by video as well.
What are some examples of solutions VoIP offers a business?
Business VoIP systems are quickly becoming the favored communications option for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
In an environment where every company, large or small, needs every advantage it can get, selecting the finest VoIP for a small business may make a significant difference in your competitiveness.
What has once been considered a cost-effective alternative to costly on-premise phone systems is now the preferred communications solution for businesses of all sizes?
Does your business need VoIP?
Businesses may be more productive as a result of the fact that VoIP enables telephony to be conducted almost anywhere there is access to a reliable internet connection.
Employees can multitask without being interrupted, and companies can repurpose the money they would have spent on conventional phone lines to support other initiatives.
The ability to make a three-way call from anywhere in the globe with just a basic internet connection may save companies money that would otherwise be spent on sending workers out for meetings.
As a company owner, you can consider reducing the need to travel to the most essential face-to-face meetings by using video conferencing software and technology.
How does VoIP work for a small business?
Small-scale enterprise VoIP systems are phone systems that enable communication via the internet. Calls made via conventional phone systems are routed through what is known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The PSTN is comprised of physical lines that carry analog voice signals from the caller to the receiver.
When a caller makes a connection with the public switched telephone network, a call is considered to have begun (PSTN). A live connection between the caller and the receiver must be maintained during the whole length of the conversation.
VoIP converts analog audio transmissions into data packets that are sent over the same data network and used for email, document collaboration, and movie sharing.
VoIP is becoming more popular. To get the packets from the caller to the intended receiver, VoIP technology makes use of internet routing systems.
How does VoLTE work? Traditional voice calls are made using CSFB (Circuit-Switched Fall-back) that switches back to 2G or 3G technologies just before connecting a call. VoLTE (voice over LTE) refers to voice calls made over a 4G LTE network. For calls made over a 4G LTE network, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is becoming more popular.
Currently, carriers around the world are attempting to make VoLTE services available to as many of their customers as possible to meet increased demand for messenger-based services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as internet-based calling services like Skype, among other methods.
Is VoIP better than a landline?
When it comes to features, landlines are no match for VoIP technology. VoIP telephones are your best option if you want to have more control over your calling experience.
Employees can make and receive calls using VoIP technology without the need for additional gear. To make use of the business phone system, all staff need is a computer, laptop, or mobile phone.
VoIP and landlines are both capable of meeting the phone call requirements of your company, whether for customer sales or client support. However, they each have their own set of advantages.
In comparison to landlines, VoIP is less costly and provides a greater variety of capabilities. However, landlines are easier to maintain than VoIP systems.
VoIP expenses are much lower than those of a conventional landline setup, due to lower setup fees, lower maintenance costs, and lower call rates. Virtually every aspect of a traditional landline bill may be significantly reduced with a VoIP setup, including call charges.
Not only that, but when your company expands, it is far simpler and more cost-efficient to add additional VoIP lines for new employees than it would be to install more landline lines.
VoIP Pricing and Services
The cost of a VoIP phone system is influenced primarily by two factors: the number of users and the number of extensions. Factoring in the number of extensions that will be needed is the first step towards determining costs.
Other costs include those related to purchasing, configuring, and installing each phone, as well as the monthly fee for each extension. Consider how many workers will need a phone at their desk when estimating the cost of extensions. This should give you a fairly accurate estimate of the number of extensions you will need to complete: your project.
The number of outside lines or call routes that you need is the second most important cost element to consider. Consider the following scenario: your business may have 50 phone extensions, but only 10 of those employees are needed to make phone calls outside of the company at any one time. You will need to buy a total of 10 call routes to, complete this task.
The cost of transferring your old extension numbers from your previous VoIP service to your new VoIP provider is also included in the one-time setup fee.
To connect to the Internet, each phone extension needs a connection. Many times, we can connect phones by using the network wiring that already exists.
Most VoIP phones come with a pass-through type connector that can be used to connect the device to the network. Even if only a single network connection is available, the speed and quality of the calls being received will not be affected.
If a VoIP phone needs to be installed at a place that does not already have a network connection, the installation procedure will involve the establishment of an extra network drop. Material and labor expenses will only increase slightly as a result of this.
Additionally, if your network routers and switches are older and slower, or if you want to use PoE (Power over Ethernet) to avoid the need for extra electrical connections, you may want to consider upgrading them.
The cost of infrastructure upgrades and enhancements varies greatly. Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and pricing estimates for upgrading your network infrastructure.
If you’re having trouble connecting your phone or tablet to patchy Wi-Fi because you’re stuck in a dead zone or if you have an Ethernet connection and an adapter, you can have quicker and more reliable internet access in a matter of minutes with just a few taps on your computer’s keyboard.
What percentages of businesses use VoIP?
About 74% of small company workers use mobile VoIP applications for their business calls, according to a recent survey. This implies that calls can be placed even when the employee is not present at the workstation. So they can be contacted at any hour of the day or night.
Some service providers even offer a feature called ‘call flipping’, which allows you to transfer calls from your desk phone to your mobile phone without the other party realizing that the conversation has switched lines.
Mobile VoIP is projected to increase at a rate of 13 percent by 2025, because of the widespread adoption and use of smartphones for phone calls and meetings.
What industries use VoIP?
1. Customer service
The telephone is the focal point of customer support for the vast majority of companies. Customers contact businesses to resolve issues, troubleshoot problems, and get personalized responses. All call centers may benefit from the adoption of VoIP technology as a way to decrease operating expenses.
Additionally, call centers of all industries and sizes have some variation of a call flow incorporated into their VoIP phone system. You may be wondering, why is a call flow important?
A call flow is a roadmap that specifies the route an incoming call will take. The system is often represented by a tree structure, and it shows how a call is routed based on the particular requirements of the client.
Basically, an organized call flow guarantees that your business can effectively meet your customers’ requirements.
Using VoIP services, hospitality workers can offer their customers a memorable experience. The following are some of the characteristics of a VoIP system intended for the hotel industry:
It is difficult to succeed in the e-commerce sector. Customers expect to get their questions answered in a matter of minutes. A VoIP system may assist e-commerce companies to accomplish that.
4. Financial Institutions
Financial professionals understand how valuable money is and what a large difference even a little amount of money can make. VoIP for finance has the potential to offer significant advantages because of its unique characteristics, which include:
5. Travel Agencies
Travel agents make their living solely based on the quality of the service they provide to their customers. The use of a VoIP system may be a deciding element in the success of a travel agency.
6. Real Estate
To complete sales, a real estate agent must offer prospective buyers a positive experience throughout the buying process. VoIP systems assist real estate brokers in a variety of ways, including the following:
VoIP services are standard in major hospitals, but they are also beneficial in smaller facilities such as clinics, senior care facilities, and nursing homes. Wireless VoIP devices can help establish a more secure environment for communication between individuals.
How big is the VoIP market?
In 2015, the worldwide mobile VoIP industry was worth USD 27.5 billion, according to Grand View Research.
Reduced data costs, low calling rates, and the existence of strong network infrastructure are all anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the mobile VoIP market.
When it comes to small businesses, VoIP may be a useful cost-cutting tool. It offers high-quality, secure phone service, and can function as an automated answering service – which is especially helpful when the company cannot afford a full-time administrative assistant.
The cost of client acquisition might be further reduced if clients are converted at a lower call tariff and if inquiries are not disregarded after they have been sent. Using VoIP technology, small businesses will not only save money on their monthly phone bill, but they will also save money on their client acquisition expenses (with recording and call forwarding to make small businesses more efficient).
Entrepreneurs and key decision-makers in small businesses should consider making the move to VoIP. It is not difficult, and in the majority of instances, the setup expenses will be either non-existent or low. You will quickly be able to start enjoying the advantages of reduced call prices, as well as the many hand features that VoIP has to offer!