The Ultimate Guide to VoIP Systems for Small Business

Small business owners face plenty of unique challenges. When it comes to providing products and services in the digital age, this is even truer. The need to scale and function like an enterprise is critical. But, if you’re still using traditional landline phone services, then you may be missing out. That’s where Voice over IP business phone services differentiate your company.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to save time and money. They do so by moving operations to the cloud. In return, your team benefits from the ability to communicate from anywhere. All you need is any mobile device with an internet connection.

The best small business VoIP phone systems are designed with SMBs in mind. This means you don’t pay for tons of services and features that aren’t useful. Instead, business VoIP providers tailor affordable solutions. That way your team can deliver customer support regardless of your business size.

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5 Top VoIP Providers for Small Companies

To help you find the right VoIP option for your small business phone system, we’ve narrowed down the top systems to five companies. You’ll find plenty of options on the market. But these Voice over Internet Protocol providers keep the needs of small businesses in mind when it comes to price, support, and ease of use.

1. Nextiva

Hands-down Nextiva is the top choice for business VoIP. Gartner data shows that 94% of businesses say they are very happy with its service and support. About 90% are willing to recommend Nextiva VoIP services. Nextiva has more than 370 reviews across top review sites that average more than 4.5 out of five stars.

Nextiva’s VoIP solutions are incredibly feature-rich. Pricing for Nextiva includes unlimited nationwide calling. You also get free phone number migration, a free toll-free number, auto-attendant, and plenty of payment options. With Nextiva, you can choose a pay-as-you-go plan or opt for a contract for 12, 24, or 36-months.

Nextiva also provides affordable phone equipment for lease or rent, including:

Adapters for current equipment
Conference equipment
Cordless phones
Office equipment

If you want text and SMS messaging, the Nextiva app, and free conference calls, you’ll need the Pro version. This starts at $25 per month. At the $30 per user per month level, you’ll get even more features. These include call recording, voicemail-to-text delivery, and call analytics.

On its website, Nextiva states that it is “built for non-technical business owners, not IT wizards.” Setup still takes a bit of time. But the support provided ensures your success with limited downtime. Plus, any phone purchase or lease are pre-configured, so it’s ready to go once it arrives at your office. Reviewers on G2 rank Nextiva 9.5 out of 10 on ease of use.

No integrations are necessary. With only their software, you can create custom reports from a tailored dashboard. Monitoring tools include wallboards to display critical statistics and info. Nextiva does provide options to expand your business with Next OS. Integrations include MailChimp, Salesforce, and ZenDesk, among many others.

Nextiva provides extensive support for small business owners. The company uses an in-house support team to handle your questions. You can call, email, or take part in a live chat. One reviewer said, “If you are looking for an amazing, reliable, and customer experience-based system with representatives that go the extra mile 100% Nextiva.”

2. Jive Communications

Jive works great with any size of business. But small company owners appreciate the flexibility of this VoIP service provider. One reviewer operates a seasonal business and finds it easy to shut down services after a season. Another enjoys an automatic call attendant for routing calls when the business is closed.

Jive uses a tiered payment system with a per user per month cost. You can pay month-to-month or save money with a contract.

1-4 employees $29.95
5-9 employees $25.95
10-24 employees $23.95
25-49 employees $21.95
50+ employees $19.95

For business owners already familiar with the GoToMeeting interface, Jive is simple. Yet, some users report difficulty installing the application on mobile phones. Setup issues may need extra calls to this VoIP provider’s customer contact center.

Jive features plenty of standard integrations with Zoho, Salesforce, iOS, and more. Jive partners with GoToMeeting’s web, audio, and video conferencing solutions for seamless communications.

Jive provides a variety of support options. These include helpful how-to videos, online documentation, and a dedicated user support site. You can submit a ticket online and talk to a rep online 24/7. Plus, any phone equipment comes ready to go with no hardware setup required. Some users note that it takes a bit longer to reach a customer support rep on the phone. But once you do, then agents are very helpful.

3. Grasshopper

Grasshopper’s VoIP technology is designed for small businesses. This includes everyone from solo entrepreneurs to companies who need unlimited extensions. Grasshopper VoIP phone services have received several awards and mentions. These include being a leader on the winter 2019 Small-Business Grid® Report for VoIP. They were also named the#2 solution on G2 Crowd’s VoIP Results Index: Small-Business
Grasshopper plans include unlimited minutes, simultaneous call handling, and virtual fax. You can also port your existing business phone number for free. Unlike other plans, Grasshopper uses one monthly fee. This fee depends on the number of phone numbers and extensions you need. Like most companies, you’ll save 10% by paying annually.

Payment plans consist of:

It’s essential to take into consideration that you may face extra fees. These are added per number for text messaging and international phone calls.

It can get confusing if you use several phone numbers. But Grasshopper’s support team helps you during the setup process. Their website says it only takes minutes for set up. Unfortunately, users suggest that the interface is outdated. This indicates that it’s not as intuitive and responsive as other options.

Grasshopper doesn’t list any integrations on its website. You’ll appreciate many standard features included. Advanced features like caller id are lacking or nonexistent. Another issue of contention is the lack of support for outgoing faxes. There has also been some difficulty in placing outbound calls. You also won’t have the ability to record calls with this app. Some reviewers also complain that the service is glitchy.

On their website, you’ll find documentation for business VoIP installation. You’ll also find help using features. If you have more questions, then Grasshopper offers 24/7 US-based support options.

4. Dialpad

IDialpad offers several options. They include a business phone system or a separate plan for inbound call centers. Along with standard features, Dialpad uses a voice intelligence system to transcribe calls and even analyze call data.

Dialpad provides affordable options for Voice over Internet Protocol business service. For $20 per user per month, you’ll get plenty of standard features. These include unlimited calling, SMS, MMS, and group texting. The Pro version is $30 per user per month. With this, you’ll add increased integrations and features. The Enterprise configuration offers a more expensive yet tailored solution.

Dialpad rates high in ease of use. Setting up the desktop app system only takes a few minutes, and there’s not a big learning curve for the mobile app. All plans include G Suite and Office 360 integrations. But if you want Salesforce, Zendesk, or Hubspot integration, then you’ll need the Pro plan. For some business owners, the lack of integrations limits everyday functionality.

You’ll have access to their help center, email support, and chat options. But phone support isn’t available on all plans. For example, the basic plan doesn’t include any phone support. This can be tricky if you run into problems and want to speak to a human on the phone. With the Pro version, you’ll get phone support but only on business days.

5. Ooma

Ooma is an excellent solution for small businesses for many reasons. One of the top reasons is their simple pricing structure. Access to unlimited business phone lines, simple setup, a free conference bridge, and a virtual phone assistant are others. These features make Ooma a popular VoIP provider for small businesses.

Pricing for Ooma starts at $19.95 per user per month. The plan includes a free number transfer with no contracts necessary. The Ooma Office base price consists of a user extension and a local phone number. This also includes unlimited calling to the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. You’ll get a local and toll-free phone number of your choice. Users also receive a virtual fax extension and a conference extension line.

But you will pay extra fees for a toll-free number and toll-free calling plan. The first phone number that is assigned to each user is complimentary. Extra phone numbers are billed at the standard rate of $9.99/month for US users.

Ooma provides a responsive web portal where you can access the data you need to scale your business. Its free mobile app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. That way staff can work from any location.

Online you’ll find a wide array of support options. These include video tutorials, troubleshooting sections, and access to 24/7 web support. You can access a live agent via your Ooma Office manager or call their toll free number.

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How VoIP Systems for Small Businesses Differ From Enterprise-Level Services

Competing in a global economy means delivering customer support from every platform. But it’s tricky to navigate various channels while communicating with a worldwide team. Business VoIP phone service provides a leg up your small business needs. Yet, not all business VoIP solutions are designed for every size business.

Let’s face it; you can’t afford to pay for a system that needs an on-premises IT team. Nor can your company afford dropped calls or poor call quality. That’s why the best VoIP phone systems for small businesses consider these requirements.

VoIP for Small Businesses Shouldn’t Need an IT Team

Maybe you’re running your operations with a small team. Or you opt to go the solo route. Either way, many small companies don’t have a dedicated IT department. As a business owner, you may handle technical issues yourself or get help from a partner or remote team. Even if you’re tech-savvy, time is limited. Small business VoIP phone solutions shouldn’t eat up your valuable time. This is especially true during setup or with ongoing maintenance.

Voice Over IP Phone Service Improves SMBs Credibility

When someone chooses your business, they don’t always know you’re working from home. Nor do they care. Today’s customers want the services and products of their choice. And they want it with limited time investment. Business owners who convey full-scale operations increase their opportunities.

More customers use texting, social apps, and other communication. This makes it harder to track every incoming message. Larger organizations find value in call centers. They also need several departments with private branch exchange or PBX systems. With VoIP, your smaller team can still manage customer support and internal communications. And they can do so without appearing like a one-person show.

VoIP Business Phone Service Connects a Remote Workforce

Team members may be throughout the country. This means it’s challenging to keep the lines of communication open. Unlike large organizations, small companies are less likely to use in-house teams. This includes in-house teams for marketing, IT, and other services. To avoid disconnect, many companies choose a business VoIP system. These can make communications easy, even when it is over a long distance.

VoIP Systems for Small Businesses Make Data Accessible

You may use cloud-based SaaS services. But you’re limited due to budget and time constraints. With the right business VoIP phone services, you’ll be able to dump your call data into your applications. Access to information is critical to the decision-making process. That’s why your VoIP should provide analytics and data management. With features that deliver information about call times and platforms, you can make reliable decisions.

Small Budgets Go Further With Business VoIP Providers

By far, the most significant difference between small companies and enterprises is budget. Few small businesses have hundreds of dollars to spend each month on communication. Instead, owners turn to voice over Internet Protocol as a way to save money. Often, it integrates using your existing technology, like smartphones and desktops. Unlike some phone solutions, you won’t need to upgrade to expensive desk phones or specialized cell phones. Entrepreneurs find more savings due to increased productivity, as well.

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An In-Depth Review of SMB VoIP Features

The best small business VoIP systems help businesses by delivering features on an easy-to-use platform. Switching to the cloud-based phone services doesn’t mean giving up traditional offerings. Instead, with business VoIP, you’ll get much more than your regular service.

If you're switching from conventional services to a Voice over IP plan, you still need:

To stay competitive, your small company’s Voice over IP business phone service needs to include a variety of features. These enable consistent communications for today’s workforce. That’s why the top VoIP providers offer features that traditional PSTN phone service can’t. Learn which Voice over Internet Protocol features provide the most bang for your buck.

Business VoIP Provides Unified Communications

The basis of a business VoIP system is that all your communications come together in one spot. Now, you might open several tabs on your computer, answer calls via your mobile and office phone, then trying to deliver to customers. You’re stuck within the limitations of each platform. But VoIP puts everything at your fingertips with one tap. The premise of VoIP is to unify teams and interactions to better support your business.

Text Messaging is a Critical Business VoIP Feature

It seems like people don’t even answer their phones anymore. Many customers prefer texting to calling. When you need to get vital info to your team or connect with a lead, waiting for the right time to make a phone call is difficult. Plus, people are inundated with emails. To save time, your customers may only check their inbox a few times per day. When you have an emergency, text may be your only answer. That’s why text messaging is a vital feature of business Voice over IP phone systems.

Mobile Apps Boost Small Business Productivity

For the small business owner, there are rarely full days off. If you’re out of the office, you can still communicate with your team. You can even stay on top of analytics, and answer incoming calls. Like anything, not all mobile apps are helpful. Small business owners appreciate apps that are easy to use. They want them to function as expected, and be responsive and intuitive.

Top VoIP Providers Include Voicemail-to-Email

When you’re on the phone or in a meeting, then your voicemails start lining up. Voicemail-to-email feature means you can scan your inbox while still listening to a conference call. This option delivers voicemails in an email format. That makes it easy to rank callbacks.

Team Chat Rooms Empower Staff

A remote workforce may struggle to feel heard or receive help when needed. With team chat rooms, you can gather your team in one spot. A team chat room gives your crew a space to ask questions and get immediate answers.

VoIP Business Phone Service Utilizes Video Conferencing

Maybe you’re doing a Monday morning motivational call. Or you want to nurture a warm lead. Whatever the reason, the ability to see who you’re talking to is crucial. Today’s workforce is more comfortable with video usage than ever before. That’s why it’s essential to give your team and customers access to video conferencing.

The Best VoIP Phone Systems Deliver Advanced Analytics

The facts are clear. Data-driven decision-making is how companies grow and scale their business. But small companies struggle to get the right amount of information. With a business VoIP service, you’ll have access to a variety of datasets, including:

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VoIP Phone Systems for Small Business: Reviews & Research

Choosing a VoIP system for small business is tricky because the market is flooded with providers. That’s why we narrowed your options down to the best VoIP phone systems for small companies using a few key categories. We combed through VoIP phone systems for small business reviews to uncover the top Voice over IP providers. Here are the categories reviewed while researching the best small business VoIP phone systems.

VoIP Business Phone Service Support Options

Without a dedicated IT team, you don’t have time to wait on hold for answers. The best VoIP systems deliver a combination of support levels. You’ll find provider websites chock full of detailed documentation, from how-to articles to webinars. Others offer 24/7 live support via online chats. Yet, some Voice over Internet Protocol services only provides email support.

Price Considerations for Voice over IP Services

Each company prices its services differently. It’s vital to determine what features your company requires and how your options affect your overall cost. While some VoIP providers work with your existing equipment, others may need more investment. So when it comes to price, it’s not just about the monthly fee. Instead, it’s how much the service costs to port your number, add a toll-free number, purchase or lease equipment, and get the features you need.

VoIP Business Integrations and Features

From Microsoft Word 360 to Salesforce, if your team relies on specific programs, then you need a phone system that integrates with your SaaS apps. We’ve looked at the integrations offered by each company to ensure that they fit the needs of small business owners.

Options to Grow and Scale Your SMB

Where you’re at today may not resemble where you’ll be in a year. You don’t want to change your business VoIP provider every time your company grows. Instead, you need services that grow with your business.

Business VoIP Ease of Use

Ideally, you already have a team of tech-savvy people. But having a VoIP service that is intuitive makes business more manageable. That’s why the best VoIP providers deliver seamless communications. They do so by using an interface that works for all users regardless of technical experience.