Why Virtual PBX Phone Systems are Ideal for Startups
So you’re living every entrepreneur’s dream: your business idea has begun to take shape and is on the path to becoming a thriving enterprise. The options available for business phone numbers and systems span a wide spectrum, from simply using your current provider to utilizing business VoIP phone systems capable of serving large call centers. Businesses of all sizes must carefully consider their individual phone needs, but startups have the unique challenge of anticipating their future needs without the benefit of extensive past experience with their specific company. They also face the challenge of building a professional image from scratch with limited funds. Fortunately advancements in phone system technology thanks to the Internet have helped startups overcome these hurdles, and one of those advancements is virtual PBX.
Virtual PBX explained
Virtual PBX, or a virtual phone system, is a phone system hosted online that gives users the ability to manage incoming and outgoing calls through one phone number. Users are given a virtual number, which is a number that must be connected to pre-existing phone lines (e.g. landlines, cell phones, VoIP lines, etc.) and makes reaching any company member as simple as dialing one number. Users are also provided with an online control panel, used for configuring the system, managing call logs, and so on, which makes organizing your phone system a breeze.
Detailed below are a few of the many reasons why creating a business phone system using virtual pbx comes highly recommended:
The price is right for startups virtual PBX technology is ideal for many startups.
Virtual PBX is basically an add-on to your existing service, giving it extensive business phone system capabilities. This function renders purchasing additional hardware unnecessary and allows virtual PBX providers to keep service very affordable – prices hover around $10 per month for basic plans and larger plans are equally affordable in proportion to what they offer.
Auto-attendants convey professionalism, boosting your startup’s reputation
Without a business phone system it can be difficult to create a professional reputation if customers are met with busy signals, phone calls that are often unanswered, or frequently do not have their calls returned. Automated attendants inject order into your phone system, with menus that greet customers and give the
m calling options (the familiar “Press 1 for sales, press 2 for support, press 3 for billing,” etc.), with some systems even providing dial-by-name directories that are configured automatically. Many virtual PBX services will store voicemails online, and even email the sound files, so you can retrieve them without leaving your desktop.
Plans can grow with your business
Basic, medium-sized and corporate packages are available with most virtual PBX providers, meaning your minutes and capabilities expand with your business. Upgrading your plan to accommodate your business’s growing needs can be done easily through your online dashboard account or contacting customer support.
Virtual PBX’s hosting company takes care of maintenance
Virtual PBX systems are hosted services, meaning all maintenance issues are handled by the provider. This allows you to focus on developing your business instead of wasting time and money on troubleshooting your system.
Setting up the system is a breeze
The PR agency Winstanley Partners recently tweeted from their @WinstanleyLenox account, “We changed over our phone system today. Judging by the level of chaos, the building might as well be on fire.” Chaos often reigns when installing a new phone system, but not when setting up a virtual PBX account. Once you’ve set up an account, the system is ready for incoming and outgoing calls without needing to install software or hardware.
Call routing let customers access company members at all times
“Follow me” call routing lets you set the path calls take. For instance, if you are unable to answer your office phone, the call can be routed to your cell phone, then your home phone, and then to your voicemail. This feature fits especially well with companies that have agents that travel a great deal.
Individual users can keep their personal numbers private
Some startups may consist of one person and others may opt to have employees’ personal phones double as business phones. Having this feature lets you keep personal and business separate, keep up with important business communications even when you’re off the clock, ignore unwanted sales calls, as well as maintain your privacy.
Some advice before diving into virtual PBX
ChooseWhat, an online startup guide, recommends virtual PBX systems for “new business owners or entrepreneurs with existing phone lines who want to save time and money connecting their phone system under one number.” If you would rather have a completely dedicated business line, a business VoIP service may be the right choice for you. Also note that some virtual PBX providers do not allow you to port the number they give you out of their service, so be sure to check if virtual PBX service of your choice lets you port their numbers. If they don’t, you have the option of porting an existing number into the service for free (depending on the provider), which enables you to port the number to another service in the future.
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