In an attempt to save your business money you’ve scaled back on hiring new employees and are operating with barebones staff. You’ve also put a freeze on buying any new office equipment and updating your existing infrastructure. While all of these are sure to add up to some serious savings, the downside is that these measures are impacting your productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
What you need to look for is ways to save more money and also make more money. One way to do this is by rethinking your business communications.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Unlike the traditional phone system, VoIP works by transmitting audio through an Internet connection.
If you’ve used Skype, WhatsApp or Viber to make and receive calls, you know how easy and convenient it is, and best of all, you talk to anyone anywhere in the world without worrying about skyrocketing phone bills. That’s VoIP in action.
Simply replacing your traditional phone systems with a VoIP telephone system will save your business money AND also boost your efficiency and profits. Even better, with VoIP savings are upfront as well as ongoing.
5 Ways VoIP Will Save Your Business Money
Upfront Savings with Lower Cost of Installation
Installing a traditional phone network is laborious and expensive. For most small businesses and startups, the upfront cost of the hardware and installation can be prohibitive.
Upgrading a legacy phone system to meet your business’s growing demands adds to the initial cost as you will need to purchase additional hardware and also pay for the installation. You will also have to pay to manually reroute your phone number if you move your office to a new location.
VoIP on the other hand is cheap and surprisingly easy to install. The entire system lives in a cloud, so there is no hardware to be purchased and no complicated installation involved.
You choose a subscription plan that best meets your needs and your budget, and your VoIP provider will have your business system up and running in your office in no time at all. At your end, a single piece of software and a basic headset are all that you need to get started.
Moving your office to a new location? No problem. Your VoIP number represents your account, not your physical location, so wherever you go your number travels with you. You just need to have an IP connection in your new location and you’re good to go.
Lower Maintenance Costs
As a traditional phone system ages, it becomes more vulnerable to malfunctioning or even breaking down completely. Repairing or replacing the system could cost you a few hundred dollars and take a couple of days if it’s a minor issue. Fixing a more serious issue would increase the repair costs considerably and take more than just a few days to fix. Add to that the missed sales opportunities during the extended downtime, and the total cost could easily run into thousands. That’s a financial burden that most startups and small businesses can hardly afford when they haven’t even established a steady income yet.
Because VoIP systems are cloud-based, they don’t rely as much on hardware, which means you never have to deal with frustrating hardware malfunctions, crashes, and other technical issues that result in lost revenue. On the rare occasion that there is a problem, your VoIP provider will get the issue sorted out instantly at their end. You don’t have to wait for a phone technician to come to your office, spend time locating the problem, and even more time trying to fix it.
Another problem that is becoming increasingly more common over the past few years is that as older phone systems are getting phased out, spare parts are becoming harder to find. Technicians who can maintain and repair these systems are equally difficult to find, and the few who do have the necessary expertise know that they can afford to charge premium rates for their services. Paying the higher costs to run an antiquated system just does not make financial sense, especially when you have a cheaper and more efficient alternative.
Affordable Local & International Phone Calls
Collaborating with global branches, suppliers and buyers around the world is no longer the prerogative of giant corporations. Today, even small and medium sized businesses operate internationally. Voice communication is integral to functioning efficiently in this new business scenario but with a traditional line, your monthly phone bills could start to get scary real soon.
Since VoIP connects calls over the Internet, there are no international or even local phone charges to consider. You can talk to customers, suppliers and employees scattered in remote locations around the world without worrying about the cost of making unlimited international phone calls.
Enhanced Functionality & Mobility Without Inflated Costs
Most businesses today operate 24/7. You have to do the same if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
With a traditional landline, this would mean having employees sitting by the phone at all times to answer customer queries. Another drawback with these systems is that they cannot be integrated with other tools.
Need to install a fax machine in your office? You will need to have a separate phone line dedicated just for sending and receiving faxes.
Need voicemail, video chatting or conference facilities? Be prepared to pay extra for every feature.
VoIP does away with all of these redundant resources. Most providers offer a suite of advanced features such as call routing, custom greeting, auto-attendant, virtual fax, virtual extensions, music on hold, and several others as part of the subscription plan at no added cost. In addition to saving you money, these features also help your small business appear more professional, which plays a key role in allaying prospective customers’ fears and gaining their trust.
These advanced features allow you to schedule conference calls on the fly from anywhere in the world. Participants too can join in from anywhere in the world using only their mobile phones. This does away with the need to schedule conference calls in advance to ensure that all participants are in locations where they have access to video conferencing facilities.
With VoIP, you can have your voicemails forwarded to your email address. You can then listen to the voicemails on your computer at any time for a hands-free experience. No need to juggle a handset held to your ear with one hand while scribbling down the message with the other. It’s these little conveniences that often make such a big difference.
Can Upgrade Anytime
When you are just starting out and are operating on a shoestring budget, you would ideally like to start out with the bare necessities in all areas, including communication. The problem with older phone systems is that upgrading the system involved a complete overhaul – extra cables have to be installed, and connected to new equipment at various stations. All of this can derail your budget.
VoIP gives you the added convenience of starting with a basic plan when you are just starting out, and upgrading as your business grows without any extra expense for installation or additional hardware. Whether you are looking to add a new feature or a new phone number for a newly promoted employee, VoIP adds this easily without having to make major changes to the entire system.
As a startup and right through your growth phase and beyond, you will never over-pay for services and features that you don’t need. You won’t be charged for unused features, extra lines or additional capacity if you are not using it.
VoIP providers also update all systems regularly to keep up with ongoing technological advancements so your communication system is always top-of-the-line.
VoIP Does More Than Just Save Your Business Money- It Also Helps You Make More Money
So you’ve installed VoIP and saved on the on-time cost of installation, the ongoing cost of maintenance, and the cost of local and international phone calls. You’ve also got an entire suite of advanced communication features without having to pay premium rates.
In addition to these already significant savings, VoIP also increases employee efficiency, leading to higher output and higher profits.