What Should I Look for in a Small Business Phone System?

Small-business owners have a lot on their plate, and looking for a good small-business phone system may not be getting the attention it deserves. This guide will take you through the most important features available in a modern business phone system, making it easier to find what works best for you.

Illustration of a hand holding a cell phone. In the background are clouds, representing a cloud-based phone system.

Make the Call for Better Customer Service

Searching for the latest and greatest in a small-business phone system probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list, but maybe it should be. These days, customer service is extremely important, as is communication with your team — and the right phone system matters for both.

We want to make it easy for you to know what to look for in a phone system — one  that works as hard for your business as you do. In this article, we’ll show you the different features of telephone systems and how to use them, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.

What Are the Main Features of a Business Phone?

Every business is unique, so exactly what you need your business phone to do depends how you use it. For a long time, most businesses expected only the absolute basics in a phone system: a phone that rings, a reliable connection, and the capability to record a message if someone wasn't there to answer it.

But these days, there are so many more things a communications system can do to make running a small business easier. Some of the extra bells and whistles that are quickly becoming a necessity include:

  1. Call Routing — Direct incoming calls to the right place, so you can provide better customer service and make life easier for your team.

  2. Business Inbox — Get all your business communication in one place, instead of needing to check phone separate  messages, texts, Facebook messages, and more.

  3. Video Meeting Capabilities — Collaborate with team members and customers over the phone with an added visual element.

  4. Team Messaging — Connect with your team members within the same app  you use for all business communications.

  5. Admin Portal — Manage everything in one place, from monitoring call volume to adding more lines to changing the incoming call message menu options.

  6. Mobile App — Turn any internet-connected device into a business phone so you and your team can field work calls from anywhere.

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Is VoIP Worth It for a Small Business?

Many of the features we’ve highlighted already are VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)-based, which means they use the internet to place calls. Traditional wired phone services don’t have the capabilities to host some of the more useful features a small business needs. VoIP allows small businesses to place and receive calls via any connected device, and enables other important features, like call routing, mobile and desktop apps, and video meetings. VoIP is also usually more affordable than traditional wired phone lines, requiring less infrastructure and ongoing maintenance.

For all these reasons, VoIP is an incredibly popular tool for small businesses. Modern VoIP fits under the umbrella of unified communications, which uses cutting-edge technology powered by the cloud to deliver advanced services and features, all in one platform. As more and more businesses switch to unified communications platforms, the customer expectation for these extras will likely make VoIP a need for successful business growth in the future.

How Much Does a Small Business Phone System Cost?

As we’ve mentioned, a VoIP-based small-business phone number is often less expensive than the traditional wired versions. In general, most providers will charge either “per user per month” or at a flat monthly rate. For small and medium-sized businesses, the per-user-per-month method often provides the greatest value, since you’re only paying for the amount of service you need.  This pricing structure helps to deliver the best value to small business customers. Look at Vonage’s Plans and Pricing for more details.

What Is the Best Phone System for a Small Business?

It’s simple: The best phone system for your small business is the one that provides all the features you need at a price that fits your budget. That’s why we’re so passionate about our small business phone options, since they provide enterprise-level functionality without the enterprise-level price tag.

  • We know that the best customer experience starts with flexible options. So we connect you with your customers wherever they want to find you — via voice, Facebook Messenger, video, or text messaging.

  • Making changes to a business can be tough, so we offer simple implementation and easy-to-change solutions to grow with your business.

  • One place for all your business communication tools makes life easier for a busy business owner. That’s why our desktop and mobile apps do it all without extra complications.

Schedule a meeting today with a Vonage Business Communications expert to take your small business phone to the next level tomorrow.

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