If you're looking for a cheaper telephone option for your business, VoIP might be the answer. If you're completely confused about what VoIP is and what it can do for your business, you don't have to fret any longer. Read on to learn more about VoIP for small businesses.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a method of delivering voice communications and multimedia sessions over networks such as the Internet by turning analog audio signals into digital data, which then allows people to talk via phone over the Internet. Since it leverages your existing network, using VoIP for business is often cheaper than using a traditional phone service to receive and monitor business calls.
But don't worry. You don't have to learn an entire new way of talking on or using the phone. Talking on the phone is the same as before but with added benefits. Want to learn more about how VoIP works? Learn about it here.
What do you need to have VoIP in your business?
You often don't need additional hardware or equipment on-site aside from compatible phones since the VoIP service provider usually handles the rest of the heavy lifting off-site. You can, however, self-host a VoIP service on-site, in which case you'll need a IP-based private branch exchange to route your calls to the proper phone. You'll also need a PSTN gateway to convert call signals to the proper format.
Whichever option you choose, you will have to have a broadband connection set up for your business. If you run a lot of calls at once, you'll have to increase your broadband cap with your service provider to handle the calls. You'll also want to make sure your routers and other equipment can handle this extra load.
What can it do for businesses?
VoIP is a simple solution to an increasing phone bill. By simply replacing your traditional service with a VoIP service, you'll be able to cut your bill and reap countless other benefits. Most notably, it offers more flexibility at a cheaper price.
What are the benefits?
The most prominent benefit of VoIP services is that they're significantly cheaper than traditional telephone services. This benefit alone attracts many businesses to help business owners save on costs and improve their bottom line. What's more, there's often little to no hardware to install, making it a cost-effective option. Plus, VoIP services like sipVine often come contract-free.
Free Calling to Coworkers
Since these calls travel over data networks, VoIP service providers usually offer free calling to coworkers even if they work remotely or in another office. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that by 2016, telecommute workers will total about 4 million. With so many people working outside the office, businesses will be able to save significantly on their phone bill.
Scalability and Flexibility
These services also come with the benefit of scalability. In many cases, it's as simple as plugging in a new phone and using it rather than tinkering with your network's settings. You'll get all the basics of a traditional package, such as conference calling, voicemail, Internet faxing, and caller ID, but most VoIP service providers also offer virtual receptionists, customized forwarding options, and more.
Unforeseen circumstances can quickly lead to problems. With VoIP, those problems are more hassle-free. For instance, if the power goes out in your area, your entire network won't go down, allowing customers to continue contacting you. While your phones may not work, you voicemail can still answer the calls. Plus, if you have someone working remotely and they still have power, they'll be able to update customers on the power outage, whereas people in the main office won't be able to reach out.
You could still see even more benefits of this type of service. Learn about other benefits of VoIP here.
VoIP may seem like a scary concept at first, but it's simply the next wave of business communication technology. With more people turning toward these cheaper services, you'll want to jump on board soon, too.