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Written by
Katy Ratican
30 Aug 2021
3 minutes
Alternatives to traditional phone systems for small businesses
Still using a traditional phone system at work? It's time to consider these alternatives for your business
Business mobile phones

Traditional phone systems are a part and parcel of every business. Or at least, that’s how it used to be. The way technology has progressed over the last decade or so, there are better options for small business owners now. If you’re looking for the right business mobile phone, you should consider these superior alternatives.

The disadvantages of traditional phone systems

Why should a small business owner look elsewhere? Because the traditional systems, while common, come with certain inherent disadvantages:

Physically limiting: The biggest disadvantage of traditional phone systems is that you have to be in your office or place of work to receive and make calls. In other words, it has a coverage area of a few square feet.

Hardware costs: You’ll have to pay for the device and private branch exchange (PBX) to create an internal network for your business.

Setup costs: The business will also have to bear the installation costs determined by the telephone company.

Service charges: Traditional phone systems are often expensive due to the unavoidable service charges.

Difficult to scale: As your team expands, you would need additional lines, which would be expensive with a traditional phone system.

As a small business owner, contractor or freelancer, it makes more sense to look at other options that can save you both money and time.

Alternatives to traditional phone systems

1. Non-hosted VoIP

These work over internet connections to make and receive phone calls. With a non-hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), you can connect your current devices including laptops and smartphones.

While they’re cost-efficient and productive, you would be in charge of repairs and maintenance. This means you would need someone on your team for system maintenance.

2. Cloud-based VoIP

With a cloud-based VoIP, you get all the advantages of a non-hosted VoIP, plus maintenance. The provider will manage setting up your system and will take care of upgrades. As a business mobile phone, it offers compelling advantages:

Use a local phone number: To make your business rooted in a locality, you can get a local number with certain services. Customers who call that number will reach your business mobile phone wherever you are.

No device needed: You don’t have to spend on new smartphones for you or your employees. No need to buy a new SIM either.

A second line for work: You can now separate your work and personal lives by having a dedicated business number.

Customer support: Your customers can call that number and be directed to the concerned team member.

Ideal for remote work: You can unite your remote employees by directing calls to their devices.

Easy to set up: Just download the app and your business mobile phone will be up and running in a few minutes.

3. Virtual systems

The third option is to outsource your call management to a third party. These virtual assistants will take your calls and messages and will also take care of your emails. Think of them as your office reception functioning from outside your office.

In short

Traditional phone systems have stood the test of time and have helped countless businesses to grow. But for small businesses looking for a business mobile phone, there are smarter, cost-efficient alternatives now.

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What small business owners should keep in mind when looking for a business phone and alternatives to it

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