Types of Phone Systems Available to Small Businesses Today
Using a professional phone system for your small business is important, if only for the fact that it will serve as a vital point of communication between you and your customers. But how do you pick a phone system that is just perfect for your specific size and type of business? Of course, the best way to start is with a good knowledge of the various options you have.
These days, you will find four main types of commercial phone systems on the market. Let’s start with what is probably the most familiar to us – the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system. PBX systems are those that are usually housed in large cabinets with dedicated operators. But there are PBX systems that are smaller and specifically designed for small businesses. While these systems increase in popularity, they have decreased in cost too, so they could be a good choice for your small business.
Another popular choice for small to mid-size businesses is known as the key system. This type works with a key system unit (KSU), which works by controlling every other phone within a network. The KSU controls the features and functions of each phone, and makes sure that there will only be one user per line at a time.
Over the last few years, the PBX system has become highly similar to the key system when it comes to features and functionality. Phone systems that have the features of both PBX and key systems are known as hybrids, and are usually more expandable than the individual systems.
If your small business only has a maximum of 10 employees, the best choice for you might be a KSU-less system. This system is composed of the usual KSU phones but without a central unit. One of the biggest advantages of KSU-less systems is that unlike other phone systems, they are not affixed to the building. Because the technology is embedded in the phones themselves, you will have no problems about mobility in case your business moves to a new location.
A relatively new addition to the world of small business phone systems is known as voice over Internet protocol or VoIP. VoIP phone systems work over a broadband connection instead of phone lines. VoIP technology can provide for the needs of your small business for a lot less cost and with a much higher quality than conventional phone systems.
In the end, the type of phone system you should get will depend on the needs and requirements of your small business. However, don’t just think of the present, and consider consider your future needs as your business grows. Look for a system that provides this kind of scalability.