Choosing an office phone system
Deciding which office phone system to buy is a tough decision and not one to be taken lightly. It needs careful consideration and up-to-date knowledge of what's available on the market at the time. The problem is that office phone systems evolve so quickly even the vendors selling them have a difficult time keeping up.
The following are a few tips that may be useful in helping you to choose your office phone system:
Finding the right vendor is key to finding the right system. Look for a dealer who will cater to your needs rather than sell you their most expensive system - this is crucial if you're running a small or home office and don't need an elaborate phone system to deal with calls. Watch out for salespeople who throw a lot of phone jargon into the sales pitch, you'll end up getting frustrated, or worse still abandon all hope of understanding and just fall for the sales pitch.
Speak to other businesses and find out what office phone system they have, where they got it from and how much it cost. This can be an invaluable source of information because what you could learn in an hour speaking to other businesses may take you hours to find out on the Internet. If possible, try using different systems to get a feel for them and how they work.
An office phone system provides a connection between you and your clients, customers and partners so it's very important - even if you only run a small home office. A good phone system helps contribute to the professional image that is so vital to the survival of any business. This can be particularly important for home-based businesses where the phone is also used by others for personal calls.
Consider your needs carefully and decide what features you are going to need in your office phone system. It's a good idea to make a list of these features and include some features you would like to add if your budget allows. This list can then be used to rank different phone systems and narrow your search considerably.
If you're on a tight budget buying used office phone systems can be a good option. Systems that are well built to begin with will last years and most refurbished systems are safe to use. eBay is a good place to find used phone systems and you will be able to get them for a much lower price than buying brand new. Another way to cut costs is to use your existing telephones with a new phone system. If you already have telephones, look into systems that would be able to use them.
Most vendors offer financing options that include leasing. This means you can pay for the system over a period of time and can be helpful if you are short on cash. The only major drawback is that this payment method could increase the cost of the system considerably.
Alternative office phone systems: virtual offices
If you're running a small company or home office but want to impress clients with a professional outer appearance you could consider using virtual offices. For a small fee you can have access to a prestigious mailing address, a virtual office phone system which includes a professional PA, and access to office space worldwide for client meetings. Virtual office phone systems give you the benefit of a professional voice to answer and filter your calls - leaving you undisturbed to get on with your work and your clients with a professional, reliable impression of your company.