Communication is key to any business, regardless of whether it’s a multinational corporation responsible for thousands of employees, or a three-person startup in its earliest stages.
Arguably, it’s more important for a burgeoning business to have a phone system in place to put forward a professional and trustworthy image. Chatting with your clients over FaceTime might be free of charge, but it certainly doesn’t exude professionalism. So, leave WhatsApp to your friend group chats and make sure you explore a more sturdy alternative for the workplace.
The first question you’ll need answering is what is a VoIP Provider?
A Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service allows users to make voice calls using the internet, rather than a traditional phone line. This results in a far less expensive and far more flexible communication method, complete with a variety of user-friendly features. VoIP itself is the technology that converts your voice into a digital signal, and is powered by a combination of VoIP-enabled hardware and software.
Most importantly, a VoIP provider allows users to make calls over the internet to landlines, mobiles, or other computers anywhere on the globe – it’s only reliant on an internet connection, making it an incredibly reliable communication solution.
Why choose VoIP over ISDN?
Most modern business phone systems (PBXs) use VoIP technology, rather than hardwired ISDN lines. VoIP simply relies on the user having an internet connection and – as a result of this – has become the business standard, because you don’t need to worry about reliability issues that can come with being an early adopter.
What are my VoIP provider options?
There are two general formats for VoIP providers: cloud-based, and on-premise. Cloud-based systems are the most cost effective, particularly for startups. While they don’t offer the same security as on-premise systems, they’re more lightweight and affordable for startups. The only equipment required is a phone, computer, or tablet – all of which can be used to take calls.
What makes VoIP essential?
Lean startups need to monitor their finances. Fortunately, introducing VoIP can be one of the most cost effective communication solutions, thanks to its reliance on a data connection. Here are a few of the reasons:
Local and international calls are free of charge
Conference calls are free of charge
Installation is a small one off fee
Equipment costs are minimal
Monthly VoIP solutions start off from as little as £7.99
Working out of an office 5-days a week is so 2019. While traditional phone lines don’t allow for much flexibility in the workplace, VoIP opens up a world of staffing opportunities for you. Your best project managers are located in Bulgaria and your call handlers are in India? No problem! Utilising VoIP means you can access industry-leading talent at the best prices and not worry about your communication being negatively impacted.VoIP makes it easy to have a global team, but keeps you as connected as if you were in the same office space. Staff can use the system remotely and have access to your data and network from anywhere in the world while being united under one phone number, just their own extension. Liaising internally and with clients has never been easier, regardless of whether you’re in the head office, or halfway across the world.
As a startup, the one thing you’re aiming for is growth and more growth. VoIP expands easily with your company and there’s usually no need to install any new infrastructure during an upgrade, which means adding new lines takes a matter of minutes. If you’re using a softphone, this means you’ll be ready to go almost immediately, or you can order appropriate VoIP handsets for your team
Call forwarding, call screening, call recording, IVR/auto attendant, and voicemail to email are just a few of the fantastic features that come as standard with VoIP services. This allows a team – whether big or small – to take control of their communication, and run an efficient and professional customer service line. Advanced call reporting also means you can monitor and measure growth as your startup begins to gain traction.
Good things come in small packages but, as a startup, you’ll naturally want to appear more established and bigger than you actually are. Even if there are only a few of you working in a company, there’s no shame in utilising some of VoIP’s features to give the illusion of having dedicated teams for different departments. For example, the introduction of an IVR (or auto attendant) menu will paint the picture of a larger business even if, in reality, it’s always you answering the phone!