When you start a business, you are will usually be hoping that it will grow over time as you take on more customers and then more staff, until eventually your small business becomes a big business.
This article looks at the phone system you might use during that growth period, and the possible outcome of using a traditional analogue phone system vs a cloud-based phone system.
Analogue phone system
You know analogue phone systems are relatively dependable, so you start your small business with a few fixed land lines and an answering machine, which you have installed by the phone carrier at great expense.
As your business grows, you realise you need more lines and a PBX to handle all those incoming calls. While the cost is prohibitive, you invest the money and have the hardware installed, which is an extra expense.
After a while, business is booming and your entry level PBX is not big enough to handle all your calls. Customers are becoming impatient and hanging up, and you are losing valuable business leads as a result.
You can’t afford to upgrade to a larger PBX with a full switchboard and receptionist, so you muddle along as best you can, unable to take full advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Meanwhile your PBX is getting old and dated, and costing more to repair each time it breaks down. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and instead of growing your business plateaus and then begins to slowly decline.
Cloud-based phone system
You’ve heard that cloud-based phone systems are cheaper and fully scalable, so you sign up with a virtual PBX provider. Your only outlay is a few phones and a monthly fee.
Your calls are up to 60% cheaper than landline calls, you have a huge range of call features at your disposal and your business really takes off as a result. So much so, that you need quite a few more lines to cater for all your new staff. You ring up and order new phones, which take a couple of days to arrive, and then you go online using your provider’s interface and add the new lines in a matter of minutes.
With more cash flow and more efficient communications, business booms and you are soon the market leader in your industry. Your main competitor, who uses an outdated analogue phone system, declares bankruptcy and disappears.
While this may be a simplistic scenario, the underlying message rings true. Cloud-based phone systems are fully scalable and will grow along with your business.
All hardware is in the cloud, so there is no initial outlay for a PBX or ongoing maintenance expense, and when new technology emerges it is your offsite provider who bears the cost of upgrading.
And your cloud-based phone system not only grows with your business, but helps it to grow as well. You get cheaper phone calls and access to features like video conferencing, call diversion and auto attendant, which means more money in the bank and greater efficiency in the field.
Growing your phone system with your business ultimately depends on choosing the right phone system to start with, and for a small business with its eye on the future, a cloud-based phone system wins hands-down every time.