VoIP technology is a game-changer for small businesses looking to enhance communication effectiveness while reining in their operational costs. Here at ETTE, we understand the challenges involved in selecting the best VoIP for small business, with a myriad service providers, each touting a unique array of enticing features. That’s why Lawrence Guyot, our resident VoIP expert, has personally put forward this guide, crafted to help you navigate through the densely-packed VoIP service market and identify that perfect service tailored to your specific needs.
Understanding VoIP and Its Importance for Small Businesses
The term VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, may sound complicated, but it is simply a method of using the internet to make phone calls. This modern approach to communication leaps past the significant limitations of traditional landline telephone systems, offering businesses the ability to reach global teams and clientele without the hassle of expensive long-distance charges, while providing the remote accessibility critical in today’s increasingly mobile work environments.
The Benefits of VoIP for Small Businesses
A small business can reap enormous benefits from adopting a VoIP system. With affordability leading the way, VoIP services eliminate the need for hefty servers and telephone wires, potentially saving businesses up to 50% in telecommunications costs. Scalability is a major plus – you can expand your team and your phone system in parallel, without facing traditional telephony’s growth limitations. Furthermore, the flexibility and maintenance-efficiency of today’s VoIP systems make them ideal for supporting remote or hybrid work setups, keeping your team connected regardless of their physical location.
How to Choose the Best VoIP Service for Your Small Business
When it comes to choosing the best VoIP provider, important factors to consider include service quality, ease of use, customer support responsiveness, and long-term cost viability. A solution that not only offers intricate features but eases their usage will positively impact team adoption and overall experience. Robust security measures, provision for future expansion, and swift time-to-value are also crucial in informing this decision.
Top Picks at a Glance:
* RingCentral: Best for Enterprise-Class Call Volumes
* Nextiva: Best for Customer Service
* Dialpad: Best for Seamless Integration with Other Communication Channels
* Brevo Phone: Best for SMBs in Need of a Comprehensive Package
* Yodel.io: Best for Multilingual Support
Dive into the following sections for detailed reviews and comparisons, which will further assist you in finding your business’s best VoIP match.
The Top 10 VoIP Solutions for Small Businesses
Intermedia Unite: Best Overall Business VoIP
Intermedia Unite is an excellent overall choice for small businesses. Its strengths lie in its flexibility, allowing companies to scale up or down as per their needs. It seamlessly integrates with other business tools such as CRM software, enhancing customer service, marketing, and sales efforts.
RingCentral MVP: Best for Enterprise-Class Call Volumes
For businesses that handle a high volume of calls, our expert Lawrence Guyot recommends RingCentral MVP. It’s known for its robustness and ability to handle enterprise-class call volumes.
8×8 eXperience Communications as a Service: Best for SMB Unified Messaging
8×8 eXperience Communications as a Service is perfect for small businesses that need a unified messaging solution. It provides seamless communication and can cater to international teams, remote workers, and global clientele without any connectivity issues.
Vonage Business Communications: Best for a Unified Communications Hub
Vonage Business Communications is a great choice for businesses looking for a unified communications hub. It provides an efficient platform for voice, video, and messaging, allowing for seamless communication within the organization.
Dialpad: Best for Seamless Integration with Other Communication Channels
Dialpad is a standout VoIP solution for businesses that need seamless integration with other communication channels. It’s flexible and reliable, enabling businesses to adapt swiftly to changing demands.
Microsoft Teams Phone: Best for Teams Collaboration
Microsoft Teams Phone is the best solution for teams collaboration. It integrates with Microsoft 365, providing a comprehensive communication solution for businesses using Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools.
Nextiva: Best for Customer Service
Nextiva is renowned for its exceptional customer service. It provides reliable VoIP services and offers a range of features that can be tailored to suit the specific needs of small businesses.
Ooma Office: Best for Affordability
For small businesses on a budget, Ooma Office offers a cost-effective solution. Despite its affordability, Ooma doesn’t skimp on features, offering a comprehensive VoIP solution that can meet the needs of most small businesses.
Brevo Phone: Best for Seamless Integration with Other Communication Channels
Brevo Phone is highly recommended for small businesses seeking seamless integration with other communication channels. It’s a modern phone technology that uses an internet connection to make and receive phone calls, making it a viable alternative to traditional landline phone systems.
Yodel.io: Best for Multilingual Support
Yodel.io is a top choice for businesses that require multilingual support. It’s a cloud-based solution perfect for smaller and distributed teams, eliminating the need for costly hardware or maintenance.
In conclusion, the best VoIP for small business depends on the specific needs of your business. Whether you need a comprehensive package like Brevo Phone, or a solution that provides multilingual support like Yodel.io, there’s a VoIP provider out there that’s perfect for your business. For more information on how to choose and set up your VoIP service, be sure to check out our guides on hosted phone systems for small businesses and VoIP business plans.
Essential Features to Look for in a Small Business VoIP System
In order to find the best VoIP for small business, you need to ensure it has some essential features. At ETTE, we’ve found that the following features are crucial for a small business VoIP system.
Free Local Phone Numbers
A top-quality VoIP service should provide a free local phone number. This not only reduces costs but also makes it easier for local customers to get in touch with you.
Multiple Phone Numbers
For small businesses targeting various geographical locations, having multiple phone numbers can be a game-changer. This facilitates easy communication with customers across the globe.
iOS and Android Apps
To ensure uninterrupted communication, it’s important that your VoIP service provides mobile apps for iOS and Android. This way, you can always stay connected, no matter where you are.
Support for Multiple Languages
If you operate in a multilingual environment, a VoIP service that supports multiple languages can significantly enhance communication with your customers and within your team.
Welcome and Voicemail Messages
Having the ability to record welcome messages and voicemails can add a touch of professionalism to your service. Look for a VoIP service that allows this.
Voicemail transcripts can make it easier and more convenient to retrieve important information from audio messages. Therefore, a VoIP service that offers voicemail transcription should be high on your priority list.
Today, many customers prefer text messaging over phone calls. Therefore, your VoIP service should offer SMS text messaging capabilities to facilitate easy follow-ups.
Office Hours Settings
A VoIP system that allows you to set your office hours can be invaluable. This way, any calls made outside your designated business hours can be automatically transferred to voicemail.
With call forwarding, you can easily redirect incoming calls to other team members, making your phone communication a team effort.
For training purposes or to keep track of important information, a VoIP service offering call recording can be extremely helpful.
Remember, selecting a VoIP service is an investment. Therefore, it’s important to choose a service that offers these essential features. For more on how to pick the right service, take a look at our hosted phone systems for small businesses guide and our VoIP business plans guide.
The Cost of VoIP for Small Businesses
Understanding the cost structure of VoIP services is paramount when deciding on the best VoIP for small business. The costs associated with VoIP can be divided into two main categories: initial costs and ongoing costs.
The initial costs of setting up a VoIP system largely depend on the provider you choose. Some providers offer a free trial period, allowing you to test the service before making a financial commitment.
For many small businesses, the upfront cost of a VoIP system is primarily the cost of the VoIP handsets themselves. However, many VoIP systems can be used with existing hardware, such as computers or mobile devices, reducing the need for substantial initial investment.
The ongoing costs for VoIP services are typically based on a subscription model. As reported by PCMag, the cost per user per month can range from $15 at the low end, up to $65 for advanced, enterprise-grade products, with most small businesses paying about $20 per user per month.
These costs can fluctuate based on the number of users (phone extensions) you need and your anticipated usage volume. Some vendors require a long-term commitment, while others offer more flexible month-to-month contracts.
While there are costs associated with implementing a VoIP system, the potential savings can make it worth the investment. As our expert Lawrence Guyot at ETTE explains, by switching to VoIP, businesses can make substantial savings and redirect these resources towards other key areas of their business.
Traditional telephony systems can be costly, with substantial fees resulting from long-distance calls, maintenance of physical hardware, and system updates. However, a VoIP service strictly adheres to an internet protocol, meaning businesses only need to pay for their internet connection.
Moreover, the flexibility of VoIP systems allows businesses to scale up or down based on their needs, ensuring an efficiently operated communication infrastructure that can handle peak demand periods and slow business times. This flexibility can lead to further cost savings, as you only pay for what you need.
In conclusion, while the cost of VoIP services can vary, the potential savings and added benefits such as improved communication and business efficiency make it a worthwhile investment for many small businesses. For more detailed information on setting up a VoIP system for your business, you can check out our hosted phone system for small business guide and VoIP business plans guide.
How to Set Up VoIP for Your Small Business
Switching to a VoIP system is a straightforward process that requires minimal effort. Here are the steps to help you get started.
Finding a Provider
The first step is to find the best VoIP for small business that meets your specific needs. You can choose from a variety of providers such as Brevo Phone, Yodel.io, RingCentral, or Dialpad, among others. When selecting a provider, consider factors like call quality, available features, scalability, and pricing.
At ETTE, we recommend working with a reputable VoIP service provider to ensure that you’re unlocking the full potential of this technology. An experienced provider can offer innovative and advanced VoIP solutions tailored to a business’s unique needs, providing them with a more robust and efficient communication infrastructure.
Signing Up for Service
Once you’ve selected a provider, the next step is to sign up for service. This process is simple and generally requires basic information about your business. According to our experts at ETTE, all you need is a copy of your latest phone bill to start the process of porting your numbers from your old provider to your new provider.
Remember, you don’t have to worry about losing your phone number when you switch to VoIP. As stated by Zendesk, you can generally keep your phone number if you switch to VoIP. However, there may be some limitations if you’re porting your number to a new area where the area code may change.
Setting Up the Necessary Equipment
Setting up the necessary equipment for your VoIP service is the final step. The beauty of VoIP is that it doesn’t require any special hardware or equipment. You can use a cordless phone with VoIP, but you’ll want to choose either a Wi-Fi phone or a DECT phone. Of course, any internet-connected smartphone can work with business VoIP. Agents can also take or make phone calls directly from their computer, laptop, or tablet.
In conclusion, setting up a VoIP system for your small business is not a complicated process. VoIP services are redefining how businesses operate by offering enhanced communication capabilities, flexibility, and significant cost savings. By understanding and harnessing the potential of VoIP, businesses can innovate their communication processes, thereby positioning themselves at the forefront of their industry.
Why VoIP is Worth It for Small Businesses
In today’s fast-paced digital era, harnessing the power of technology is no longer an option but a necessity. This is particularly true when it comes to communication systems, which play a fundamental role in ensuring smooth business operations. As our resident expert, Lawrence Guyot, often says, “The right communication system can make the difference between success and failure in the business world.”
For small businesses, especially non-profit organizations, the best VoIP for small business offers a perfect solution, combining cost-effectiveness, versatility, and a range of advanced features. With VoIP, you can easily add new phone numbers, add and remove agents, and change call routing and configuration. The average VoIP phone system cost ranges from $99 to $400 per extension, making it a highly cost-effective choice compared to traditional phone systems. The ongoing costs, including maintenance and service fees, typically run between $20 and $30 per extension per month.
VoIP also brings the advantage of portability, allowing you to make and receive calls from anywhere, provided there is a stable internet connection. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with remote teams or those that frequently travel. It’s worth noting that according to the FCC, VoIP calls require a minimum download speed of fewer than 0.5 Mbps, guaranteeing clear and uninterrupted communication.
As for concerns about security, reputable VoIP service providers have robust measures in place, such as encryption, to reduce the risk of hacking. This means you can rest assured knowing your business communications are secure.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Choosing the best VoIP for your small business comes down to understanding your unique needs and identifying a provider that can meet them effectively. We recommend considering the top picks mentioned earlier in this article, such as Intermedia Unite, RingCentral MVP, and 8×8 eXperience Communications as a Service. These providers have proven their reliability and efficiency in delivering top-notch VoIP services tailored for small businesses.
Remember to also check out the essential features we’ve highlighted, like free local phone numbers, multiple phone numbers, iOS and Android apps, and support for multiple languages among others. These features can significantly enhance your business communication, making it more efficient and customer-friendly.
As we have seen, VoIP is a game changer for small businesses, offering an affordable and feature-rich communication solution. If you have not yet embraced this technology, it’s high time you did. Let us at ETTE help you make this transition seamlessly. Visit our hosted phone system for small business page for more information. We also offer comprehensive voip business plans tailored to meet the unique needs of small businesses.
In conclusion, the best VoIP for small businesses is not just about making and receiving calls. It’s about creating a unified communication hub that enhances collaboration, boosts productivity, and ultimately drives business growth. It’s about future-proofing your business.