How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Hosted Telephony
Whilst big businesses may have more resources and a more prominent presence in the marketplace, small businesses can often gain an advantage by being agile and quick to implement.
Larger enterprises often need weeks or months of meetings before they can change course, whilst smaller businesses can often make changes to their strategy on the fly, testing new ideas and angles in a short time period.
Hosted telephony – what is it?
At first glance, a hosted telephone system appears to be the same as a regular phone system – there’s no big learning curve to get your head round. The main difference is that rather than being tied to a particular line or piece of hardware (a PBX unit / switchboard) hosted systems have their numbers and services based in the cloud.
- Hosted phone numbers are not tied to a specific location. With a hosted number you can choose to handle calls however you want, such as diverting them to a landline, mobile or overseas number. You can change this number (or group of numbers) instantly at any time, or else handle calls using a hosted service instead.
- Hosted phone services are cloud-based and connected to a phone number or numbers. There are simple services, such as call divert and answerphone, as well as more sophisticated options like the virtual switchboard and group divert service. All our services can be combined in any way and used as building blocks to create the perfect customised phone system for you.
How can hosted telephony help you?
It’s flexible and scalable
As your business grows and changes, your phone system will need to change too. With hosted telephony it’s a simple matter to add new numbers, users and services right from your online control panel. It only takes a couple of minutes to update your phone system to match your requirements.
It’s Location Independent
This may not be immediately apparent, but not having your phone service tied to a specific physical location is actually a huge advantage.
As your business grows, you may reach the point where you want to move premises to somewhere larger. With a cloud-hosted system this is simple – you just swap over the destination numbers so your calls reach you at the new location, rather than your former premises.
This also has implications for disaster recovery / business continuity. If you were ever prevented from accessing your current premises, for example due to a fire or flood, you could easily divert calls elsewhere so you can continue operating and receiving calls throughout the crisis. This could be a temporary rented office, to staff mobile phones or even to people working from home.
In fact, it’s not just during a crisis that this location independence can be useful. Home-working is increasingly common these days, and with hosted telephony it’s easy to integrate home workers into the office phone system. You can divert calls to them wherever they are, even on their mobile. This also makes it a perfect solution for sales staff that travel a lot – they can set up a call divert service that will reach them whether they are in the office, on the road (on their mobile) or having an admin day at home.
Finally, if you ever want to open multiple offices / branches, you can use hosted telephony to connect all your sites under a single phone system. This makes it easy to transfer calls, set up overflow systems to distribute calls across all sites when call volume is high and ensure your customers receive a consistent service no matter which site they call.
It will save you money
Hosted services are usually significantly cheaper to run than traditional phone systems.
For a start, there is no need to buy and expensive PBX hardware to run your service as everything is based in the cloud and handled by us. As well as the savings you make on this up-front cost, you’ll also save money by not having to worry about maintaining, upgrading or replacing your hardware as it ages or as your business grows.
Your inbound call charges will also likely be lower with a hosted solution, meaning you save even more money, leaving you with more to invest in growing your business.
Business-grade VoIP services
You could even add VoIP to your telephony package to further cut your costs.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol – internet telephony) is a reliable and cost-effective way to cut your phone bill whilst not sacrificing call quality or options.
As long as you have a reliable internet connection (we recommend a dedicated line to handle your calls) you’ll be able to enjoy a business-class phone service. This includes lower line rental costs, as one fast connection can handle multiple lines simultaneously; free VoIP to VopIP calls and low-cost calls to regular landlines and mobiles.
We even offer fixed-price deals for businesses with 5 or more users.
To find out how your business can benefit from hosted telephony, call us for an informal chat today.