One of the keys to running your own business is communication. Think about how important having a reliable phone service is. Whether it’s talking to your staff or dealing with clients, you need to be able to reliably communicate with the different aspects of your business. For most businesses, you’re going to need both a landline and reliable cellular service; after all, a missed call from a client is a missed business opportunity.
Currently, there are four different modern options for handling your business’ communication needs, all with their own benefits and drawbacks.
The first option is called Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. VOIP is a service that uses your internet connection to carry voice calls. Most VOIP accounts require that you have a special piece of equipment in your office that translates your voice into information that can be sent over the Internet. However, a new trend has started where a hosted VOIP provider stores that equipment at their facility, saving you the cost of the equipment. The best thing about this type of service is that you can use a standard desk phone instead of a computer headset. VOIP communications are extremely secure, at least on your end of the chain. If any part of a call goes out to a traditional landline, then it can be tapped because it leaves the chain of encryption.
2. Telecommunications software
If you’re starting a new business, it’s important to think about how you can help your business succeed quickly. One key is reducing unnecessary expenditures as it’s starting up. Services that use your existing computer equipment are a great way to save on telecommunications costs in the short run. Options such as Skype let you use a computer headset and your internet connection to reach out to your customers. For a small cost, you can link software to a phone number to give your customers a way to contact you. Quality for telecommunications software is improving, but keep in mind that it’s only as good as the weakest link in your communication chain. So if you call someone with poor cell service, for example, call quality will go down.
3. Cellular Service
A tried and true method for staying in touch with business contacts is a cell phone. Many businesses use cell phones exclusively for staying in touch with their clients. Cell phones work by transmitting your voice to a local cell tower, which then turns it into information that is sent over landlines to the person you’re talking to. Call quality for cell phones has improved drastically improved in the last 20 years, but you’re still limited to where a particular carrier has coverage. Although coverage has drastically improved, there are still parts of rural America where cell service isn’t available yet.
4. Landline Phone
Landline phones are the trusted standby for business communications. A simple phone that doesn’t require an external power source will still work in the event of a power outage, making it an excellent emergency communication method. The chief drawback of a landline is their lack of security. Without expensive or complicated encryption methods, they are fairly easy to tap. So if your business relies on security, it may be worth it to invest in the proper equipment to secure your communications.