Taking on the task of updating your small business’s technology is no easy undertaking. There’s information readily available for the big businesses, but what about the little guy? Your technology decisions deserve just as much support in terms of available information and research on the best systems. Before you can even get to the point of finding the good, meaty research, you have to know what your needs are.
The question remains, how do you go about making an informed decision on what would work best for your company? There are numerous carriers and even more plans that could fit what your company is looking for, but how do you narrow down the options? One option is to ask for referrals from friends or colleagues at other companies, but how do they know what is right for your business needs?
Becoming the Informed Buyer
To help you get into the right mindset and jumpstart your online research, here are what the Powernet sales team agreed were the top questions that every small business decision maker should ask themselves when starting the process:
As I see it, there are three major pitfalls with free voice apps for business:
What type of voice connection do we currently have? – Here is a good jumping-off-point for your search since the service and contract you currently have can influence what you will be able to get. From here, you can see if you are able to change the connection to a different, potentially more affordable option. If you are locked into a contract and all you can do is change the phones you are working with, there are options but it may be more limited.
Are you looking to host and maintain your phone system or do you want to outsource those functions? – Depending on how you answered the first question, you may have your answer, however, it’s important to evaluate all of your options. There are numerous factors that can help you make this decision including:
1. Whether you have your own IT Department to manage the system.
2. If you want your phone system to be service provider agnostic.
3. The importance of advanced features such as video conferencing, which may not be available for all systems. Understanding and thinking about accessories you may want or need beforehand is important to take into consideration as well.
Do you need to use your phone system outside of the office? – The idea of a mobile workplace has become widely accepted for businesses in America. Employers and Employees alike don’t want to miss an important call when traveling or working from home. Implementing a system where you can forward your work calls to your cell phone will keep everyone connected.
Do you want other applications to link to your phone? -- Office phones don’t just have to serve the purpose of being a phone that sits on your desk. You can invest in a phone system that links your Contacts into the phone so they are readily available for use. You could also invest in video conferencing features for meetings.
Making the Switch
Switching phone systems is no small task, but spending a little time to plan ahead will go a long way in making the process go smoothly. Asking good questions to evaluate your needs and working with a trusted provider will allow you to find the right solution for your business. Then, sit back and enjoy your business’s new technology!