When starting a business, it can be hard to know what is an essential expense and what isn’t. Take, for example, a business telephone line.
Would it be a waste with nearly every person owning a mobile phone? What functions does it offer that would contribute to the success of my business?
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of business phone systems and the costs involved to help you plan your expenses accordingly.
What Is a Business Phone Line?
The first business phones were analog and used landline connections. These phones required a dedicated line from your telephone company, which meant you had to pay for the service and the phone itself.
Fast forward to today, and it is now possible to have a dedicated business phone line with only a connection to the internet.
Here are the benefits:
- This an excellent way for your company to be available 24/7 so your customers can get in touch with you whenever they need to.
- If you have multiple locations, it might make sense for each location to have its business phone number so customers can call in directly from each location. This can result in a faster turnaround time for customer service requests and cost savings on long-distance phone calls.
- Your dedicated business line becomes your “brand” number. It gives the impression that you are a serious company, not just a one-person show.
- Great features such as call forwarding, screening and voice-to-email transcription mean you never miss a customer’s call.
Different Types of Phone Lines & their costs
With so many options and features available, it’s easy to be confused about what phone system is best for you.
Here is the list of the most common types of phone systems and the costs associated with each type:
Landline phones use copper wires to connect you to other people. This is different from wireless phones, which use radio waves. Landlines are generally more reliable than wireless phones and can be used in situations with no cellular coverage.
The primary purpose of having a landline is to make and receive calls in a way that events like storms or power outages cannot easily disrupt. That's why many businesses use them as their primary means of communication with clients and customers.
Cost of a landline
The price will vary depending on where you live and what kind of service you need, but here are some general estimates:
- Businesses with fewer than five lines should anticipate monthly voice service costs of about $40.
- Companies with five to ten lines will pay about $60 each month.
- Companies with more than ten lines should expect to pay a monthly voice service fee of about $100 on voice service costs alone.
- Depending on the country where the call is placed, the price of long-distance calls varies from $0.6 to $0.12 per minute.
VoIP systems use internet services as a phone line to transmit voice data over IP networks, like the one your computer uses to connect to the internet.
With VoIP systems, you can connect using any device with a high-speed internet connection and a microphone or speaker (like a laptop or smartphone).
There are many advantages to using a VoIP system. First and foremost, it's much cheaper than traditional landline phone service. You don't have to pay expensive equipment or line rental fees because they're all included in one convenient monthly fee.
Cost of a VoIP phone system
The cost of VoIP phone service depends on what kind of package you want and how many extensions you want.
- You can generally pay between $10 and $15 per user per month for a basic phone service package and $25 and $50 for additional features like conference calls or call forwarding.
- You'll also need to consider other one-time costs associated with installing your VoIP system, which costs $25 to $50 and any required equipment. As well as the internet service costs.
- Digital Business Phone Service
When you sign up for a digital business phone system, you get an email address and a business phone number that can be used to make and receive phone calls. The number is usually local, but this depends on what area code you select when signing up. You'll also get a toll-free number if you need it.
The benefit of this type of service is that it's straightforward to use. You can set up an account, get a local phone number, and start making and receiving calls all in one place. You don't have to worry about equipment or installation fees because everything is done online.
Cost of a digital phone system
The cost of a virtual phone system will vary depending on the size of your company and the features you choose.
- If you need a small business phone system, you can get started for as little as $9.99 per month for a single line with no additional fees and just $1.99 for each additional line.
- If you have a large company with several employees, it's possible to get started for as much as $8.99 per month for each employee who needs access to their own line.
You'll also want to consider the number of hours of service included in each plan and whether or not you need additional features.
A full-featured plan includes unlimited calling within the United States and Canada, call forwarding, voicemail, call waiting, three-way calling, caller ID with name/number display, and more.
Factors That Affect the Costs Of Business Phone System
In this section, we'll look at key elements that impact how much a company's phone service costs.
- Business Phone Service Type
The type of service provider and service you choose will affect the cost in several ways. For example, if you use a traditional landline service, your monthly costs will be higher than if you use a VoIP service. This is because traditional phone systems are more expensive and require more infrastructure.
- Size of Your Business
A small business can get away with a less expensive service plan than an enterprise-level company.
Large companies have more complex needs and require more specialized services—and, therefore, more money. These companies often have many more employees than a small businesses, and they need them to communicate with each other throughout all hours of the day.
If you're located in a large city, it will be much more expensive to get a high-quality phone line than if you are located in a small town. This is because large cities have more people, which means more competition among providers and higher costs for everything from equipment to customer service.
In addition, the type of location where you do business can also impact your costs. For example, suppose your business is in an area that is prone to flooding or other natural disasters. In that case, it may be more expensive for you to get a phone line because these locations require more infrastructure investment and, thus, higher prices from service providers.
- Phone Model
Each type of phone system has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, analog phones can be less expensive than digital ones but often require an additional adapter for remote functions such as voicemail recording and call forwarding.
Digital phones are more expensive than analog ones because they offer more features. However, since they are less susceptible to interference from other electrical devices (such as microwaves or computers), they may be worth the extra cost.
Cordless phones offer convenience and flexibility since they do not require a physical connection between the handset and the base. However, they should only be used in areas with good reception. Otherwise, you might experience problems when making calls.
Features You Should Look For in a Business Phone System
- Call Forwarding
Interactive voice response allows you to route calls to an alternative number when your office is closed. This will enable you to keep your customers happy and ensure they can always reach someone at your company.
And Voice mail forwarding helps you provide a full support team for your clients, even if there are no office employees. This can help improve customer satisfaction with your business, leading to increased sales and profits for your company.
- Call Screening
Whether you're a small business that doesn't have the manpower to answer customer service calls or a large corporation with an automated call screening option, call screening can help you get more done in less time.
With call screening, you can quickly weed out unimportant calls and only focus on the ones that matter most, whether a potential client or someone who needs help.
- Voicemail-to-email transcription
With Voicemail to email transcription, your voicemails are automatically converted into emails that can be read at your convenience, even if you're not near your phone. That way, you don't have to worry about missing important calls or messages.
- On-hold Music
On-hold music is the best way to satisfy customers while they wait to speak to someone on your business phone system. It's also an opportunity to showcase your brand and ensure that your customers know who they're dealing with, even if they're not immediately connected with a live person.
When working on the go, accessing your emails or messages from your phone is important. This allows you to check in on customer concerns or other issues that may arise while you're away from the office.
If there are any problems with shipments or client queries, being able to respond quickly via email can prevent a lot of headaches down the road.
With Thatch's phone and SMS cloud system, you can access all customer communication in one place on any device.
- Professional Greeting Message
A greeting message lets your customers know they have reached the right place and encourages them to stay on the line while the call is transferred to their representative. It also gives them an idea of what they will discuss when connecting with someone.
If you need more information, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help and answer any questions about choosing the best business phone system.