How Can VoIP Help Your Small Business Grow?‍

With a record number of small businesses at risk of closure, owners are struggling to find ways to stay in the game. In this article, we’ll look at how VoIP technology can improve small business communication, while also giving you the freedom and flexibility to grow.

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As a small business, there are certain advantages you have over larger, less flexible organisations. Alongside being able to adapt to market and customer demand faster, you have more control over the decisions that shape your future.

Small businesses also foster community, whether locally or within their customer base. They’re able to personalise their services for their audience, thanks to close relationships with them.

In the past, traditional landline services stunted small businesses. This inflexibility often meant companies weren’t able to be consistent with their communication – affecting their customer base and  internal operations.

Fortunately, businesses like yours now have access to a user-friendly, affordable tool to plug the gap where communication once suffered.

The introduction of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) over the past two decades has encouraged a more accessible working model, benefitting both workforce and customers.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a digital communication method that allows users to make calls via their broadband connection. It stands to replace the traditional wired ISDN and PSTN landlines, giving users the freedom to make and receive calls anywhere a broadband connection exists.

How does it work?

Traditional landlines used a series of underground copper wires to transmit sound. Each connection tethered users to one location, so making or receiving calls meant you had to stay in one place.

VoIP uses the internet to send that same sound in data packets, which can be transmitted from anywhere with broadband access. For small businesses with staff who may need to leave the premises every now and then, VoIP allows them to receive customer communication wherever they go.

Cost-effective communication

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to face significant financial struggles. Lack of cash flow can lead businesses to make sacrifices that may hinder their financial future. VoIP allows you to balance costs, offering reduced phone charges among other financial benefits.

1. Cutting your phone bills in half

VoIP’s internet-based service can mean significantly lower phone bills (up to half off) compared to traditional phone lines. This is beneficial for small companies who, for example, source goods overseas - meaning their long-distance phone calls aren’t charged at a higher rate.

2. Scale your phone system on a budget

As a small business, you might be less financially flexible than larger operations -  so it’s essential to get lasting value for your investment. VoIP systems grow alongside your business, meaning you’ll spend less updating your phone system or adding new users.

3. Less additional hardware costs

There are little to no additional hardware costs, with many VoIP solutions being either cloud based or installed directly onto a company’s network. This extends to items like desk phones too, as VoIP can be used with smartphones, computers and headsets.

4. Add new users in minutes

With traditional landlines, businesses would need to pay an engineer to install new ISDN connections per user. VoIP makes it simple, letting you add users via your central network interface in minutes.

5. No call-out costs

Once your VoIP system is set up, you’re good to go. For on premises systems, the user-friendly, accessible design allows you to manage most issues in-house via your IT department -  cutting back on engineer call-out costs. 

For cloud based-or fully managed models, you’ll have the full support of your provider should you experience any issues.

Supporting remote working

By facilitating remote working, VoIP services have allowed a shift in the way businesses operate. Because staff can work anywhere with broadband access, businesses can now cut back on additional costs like office space and travel expenses.

Better recruitment opportunities

It allows smaller businesses to recruit further afield. This means finding ideal employee candidates is no longer restricted to your local area. Instead you’re able to cast your net nationally, or even internationally when assembling your workforce.

Passing the benefit onto your staff

Remote working also makes life easier for your workforce. It allows you to be more flexible around shift patterns, commute time and expenses.

This commitment to work life balance has been shown to boost morale and employee satisfaction, giving staff a reason to stick around and resulting in lower employee turnover.

Keyboard with the words VoIP written on it

Helping your small business look professional

One thing small businesses often struggle with is how they’re perceived. Aside from providing the best service possible, there are a number of changes businesses can adopt to appear just as professional as their big business counterparts.

Virtual phone numbers look good

Virtual numbers allow small businesses to have a dedicated number for making and receiving calls. This separates personal and business communication, is often toll-free, and creates a polished and reliable image when customers are looking for services like yours.

Improved call quality

Where local lines may be subject to interruption or low quality, VoIP offers superior video and audio functions, ensuring an exceptional customer journey, free from disconnection or dropouts.

Additional call features

Many VoIP services also come with a host of extras , allowing smaller businesses on a budget to offload some of their workload.

These include virtual receptionists; an automated service which greets callers professionally, guiding them to the relevant place. You’ll also find useful call handling features, including call forwarding, routing, queuing and recording – all great for maintaining an efficient and productive telephony operation.

With these automated features, smaller entities can offer the same high-level service as large companies, without stretching their workforce or bottom line.

Integration with existing systems

VoIP’s ability to integrate with other programs goes hand in hand with its scalability. It means that if you’re a small business and are comfortable with your existing systems, you’ll probably be able to use them alongside your new digital service.

Integration with CRMs

Initially popular with larger businesses, smaller entities are now implementing CRMs to log and manage customer information.

VoIP systems like Gamma Horizon can be integrated alongside well-known platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot – synchronising your data between CRM and phone system for a dedicated customer service.

Integration with project management tools

Smaller consulting firms and marketing agencies often rely on project management software (PMTs) to plan and monitor the progress of their work.

This means companies can collaborate and share ideas with clients easily, via VoIP’s integration with popular PMTs like Asana and Trello.

Email and calendar syncing

Syncing your calendar and email accounts with your VoIP phone system offers a simple yet powerful way to streamline your processes.

Your workforce can read and reply to emails, schedule meetings, and manage appointments all in one central place - improving efficiency and productivity.

It also allows smaller businesses, where staff may not all be in one location, to check each other’s availability. You’ll simply be able to view a calendar and check what colleagues are doing in real time - removing the need to email back and forth.

What you need to know before you invest in VoIP services

Investing in new technology can be daunting, especially if you’re a local business with budget constraints. There are multiple factors to consider before committing, and VoIP is no different.

What is the financial benefit?

Though you’ll be saving money on maintenance, additional components and phone bills – make sure you look into a range of VoIP services before making your choice. It’s worth comparing monthly fees, initial set up cost and whether the service can integrate with your current systems.

Do you have a suitable broadband connection?

It’s important to understand that while VoIP boasts impressive call quality and reliability, it is only as good as the internet connection it runs from.

Talk to your internet or VoIP provider to gauge whether your broadband can support your chosen VoIP model. Not doing this may result in an unstable connection, affecting customer service which may lead to reputational damage.

How secure is your chosen VoIP service?

Though VoIP systems often provide a robust level of security, it’s important to shop around for services that match your needs.

Some smaller businesses provide exclusive, bespoke services and carry high profile customer data. Choosing a provider with a solid reputation means sensitive data isn’t exposed to threats, like hacking or phishing attacks.

What do you need from your VoIP service?

Before you choose your VoIP service,  ask yourself exactly what you need from your phone system.

For certain businesses, mobility and flexibility may be important. If that’s you,  take a look at services with mobile apps like those included with the Gamma Horizon Pro package. These easily accessible apps give your workforce everything they need whether at home, the office, or on the go.

Alternatively if you’re looking to present a stronger image to customers - look into additional features like virtual receptionists and call handling options.

Can VoIP help my small business to grow?

While VoIP is heavily utilised by many larger organisations, it can still be an asset for smaller operations looking to future proof their business. So in short, yes it can.

By adopting VoIP solutions, small and even local businesses can expand their reach in terms of recruitment and customer base, while improving the quality of service they provide.

Internally, a digital phone system provides excellent return on investment by cutting costs, removing communication roadblocks and giving staff a much more flexible approach to their working day.

If you’re a small business looking for an efficient, low-cost, reliable communication option, contact T2K to learn more about the VoIP services we offer.

Lee Clarke
Sales Director

Having worked for T2k for nearly 25 years, it's fair to say that Lee is an expert when it comes to all things telephony and business communications. Overseeing the commercial side of the business, he has helped the company evolve and grow through the decades. In recent years, and with the advent of VoIP and hosted telephony, Lee has made sure that T2k is at the forefront of technological developments. With a firm interest in helping businesses navigate the world of telecoms, Lee is responsible for the majority of the content on this website.

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