If you are starting a new business, or even looking at how to run an existing business more efficiently, then consider VOIP.
Advantages of VOIP 1: Portability
I am in the process of moving and so the entire phone line hassle is rapidly becoming apparent. I’m avoiding it by converting to VOIP first.
So before we move we will have our main phone directed to our VOIP account, our phones all programmed and tested, and working here. It is something that I can do leading up to panic day.
Then on panic day we unplug the phones, move to the new site and plug them in.
I don’t have to deal with the telcos and that is a huge bonus. I don’t have to worry about having a period where both phones aren’t working.
Advantages of VOIP 2: Cost
It now appears that there are two distinct forms of VOIP – normal and hosted PBX. The normal type of VOIP is cheap. If you only have one line it is really cheap. If you are making overseas calls, it is cheap. This is what I had in mind when I first started checking out VOIP.
But even PBX is relatively cheap – relative to land-lines that is. Compared with normal VOIP it is massively overpriced. It doesn’t have the capped pricing structure and it is 4 times the price. But if you compare it with a land-line, they are on par.
Which brings me to…
Advantages of VOIP 3: PABX Functionality
This is where VOIP really came into its own for me. I want to be able to have calls to our main number ring on multiple phones including one in my home office and two mobiles. All up that was 6 phones. I wanted to be able to transfer the call from any of these to any other. So I didn’t want it to matter if I was in the office, on the road, or at home. Also, since there’s two of us in the business I wanted the same to apply to both of us.
VOIP PBX gave me this.
SO that’s enough for me. But at the same time I am also gaining:
– Automatic callback
– Call forwarding (same as a landline)
– Called ID block
– Hot desking
– Voicemail (same as a mobile, but now shared)
– Call Queuing (“your call is number 3 in the queue…”)
– Call recording
– IVR (Interactive Voice Response) (“press 1 for sales…”)
So that now brings my small business into the big league, and for no more than I was already paying.
Advantages of VOIP 4: Scalability
If I want to expand I can easily add another VOIP phone to my system.
I already experienced the trouble of having 3 lines coming into my home office. With VOIP, as long as you have internet access, you can have as many phone lines as you like.
Advantages of VOIP 5: No borders
I can easily add a VA (Virtual Assistant) working anywhere in the world without any hassles. I can easily transfer calls to or from the VA. So now they can be a receptionist as well as all other tasks.
I also already have a 1300 number so I have a national presence in Australia. There is no Sydney-Melbourne (or Perth-Rest of Australia) rivalry because we just are.
A quick google of VOIP will quickly show a list of VOIP providers.
My short list included:
– Engin (www.engin.com.au)
– Alltel (www.alltel.com.au)
– Faktortel (www.faktortel.com.au)