Types of Phone Systems Available to Small Businesses Today
Using a professional phone system for your small business is important, if only for the fact that it will serve as a vital point of communication between you and your customers. But how do you pick a phone system that is just perfect for your specific size and type of business? Of course, the best way to start is with a good knowledge of the various options you have.
There are four main types of commercial phone systems on the market today. Let’s start with what is probably the most familiar to us – the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system. PBX systems are those that are typically contained in huge cabinets and have dedicated operators. But there are smaller-scale PBX systems meant for small businesses. As these systems become more popular, they have become more affordable too, so this may be a great option for your small business.
The key system is another popular choice for small to mid-size businesses. This type comes with a key system unit (KSU) which controls all other phones within a network. The KSU controls the features and functions of each phone, and makes sure that there will only be one user per line at a time.
In the last few years, the PBX system has become very similar to the key system in terms of features and functionality. Phone systems having both PBX and key system features are called hybrids, and are more expandable than the PBX or key system individually.
If you have a maximum of 10 employees in your small business, a KSU-less system may be most suitable. This system is composed of typical KSU phones with the same functions and features, but there will be no central unit. Among the best advantages of KSU-less sytems is that they are not hardwired into the building, in contrast to other types of phone systems. Because the technology is built into the phones, you won’t have issues when you need to transport the system to a new building.
A relatively new addition to the world of small business phone systems is known as voice over Internet protocol or VoIP. Instead of using phone lines, VoIP phone systems operate on a broadband connection. VoIP technology can provide for the needs of your small business for a lot less cost and with a much higher quality than conventional phone systems.
In the end, the type of phone system you should get will depend on the needs and requirements of your small business. However, make sure you don’t just think of today, but instead consider your needs in the future as your business expands. In other words, find a system that will be scalable.