When Should Small Businesses Upgrade to Virtual Business VoIP?

The size of a small business in today’s online dominated world can vary from 1 to 100 workers, with revenues from $10k to $1 million/year. The size and type of the business and the variety of communication options available are eliminating a one size fits all solution. This article will discuss these topics in an effort to answer the question: when should small businesses upgrade to virtual business VoIP?

Virtual Business VoIP vs. Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.

We’re going to look at upgrading to virtual business VoIP, rather than on-premise VoIP PBX telephony, just because small businesses, generally, are best suited for upgrading to the virtual cloud for telephony. The main options startups and small team businesses are choosing between is, basically, free (or nearly free) VoIP services (like Hangouts) and virtual business VoIP from a provider.

Google Hangouts can be used for free through an internet connection, but there’s also an expanded option for $5/month. Skype for Business has been expanding its functionality through Microsoft products as well, yet, even with these expanded features, business VoIP still offers much more for businesses – if and when the upgrade is needed.

Business VoIP from a provider costs around $20/month – both of these options are starting, per/user prices. Either way, small businesses in today’s modern cloud and mobile computing world, have lower cost options compared to traditional analog telephony landlines. Wider worldwide accessibility to the Internet, improvement of IP voice sound quality, and the recent development of being able to make emergency calls through business VoIP – are all reasons why small businesses are moving away from landline phones.

On this point, most agree, yet why should a startup or small team business use business VoIP over a free or very low-cost alternative? Well, here are some scenarios when business VoIP is the best option:

    • Small businesses with a store front: A virtual receptionist, music on hold, emergency call capability, and call queuing will help these type of businesses.
    • Office businesses with high call volume: any business with high call volume will be better off with business VoIP, for: call queuing, voice to email/text, music on hold, integration with CRM software, expanded plug-ins with billing/reporting/business applications, virtual faxing capability, expanded conferencing features.
    • Small businesses needing more remote functionality: outgoing mobile calls showing business’s number, and call queuing to remote users, are helpful remote features.
    • Desire for analytics and integration features: business VoIP has amazing analytics for gamification, strategy, performance monitoring, CRM insights, etc.
    • Call center businesses: these have a definite need for business VoIP, even with only a handful of workers.

Advice on the Upgrading Process

Startups and established small businesses should take a slow and steady, progressive approach to upgrading their communication systems, including their telephony system. Using a lean methodology, start with the minimal and expand as needed. Yet, in order to not miss out on streamlined functionality, actively exploring and trying new things is a good idea.

Business VoIP providers have no contract monthly plans, demos, and resources to help businesses try out their services without any large commitment. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to try something out within each business’s unique processes.

Start out with the free or low-cost Google Hangouts type of VoIP services (with additional cell phone or landline), then after some business growth, try out a business VoIP provider, etc. Basically, achieving optimal UC is a gradual process with unique end results.

Top10VoIPList is here to help small businesses in this upgrading process; we’ve investigated and vetted the top business VoIP providers available, and then rated them according to their overall quality. We’ve rated them according to: customer reviews, features, costs, reliability, customer service, and our own industry expertise. Businesses can also contact us with any questions, or get our Free Guide to Business VoIP.

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