One of the first steps of starting a small business is to purchase a telephone system for the office. This buyer's guide will provide readers with a series of tips that should assist with the process.
You should start by determining what features you want with the business telephone system. Some important ones:
- Auto-Attendant – This will automatically answer the phone and show callers how to connect to the person or department they are looking for.
- Conference Calls – If you’ve got employees in different offices, this will allow you to still have meetings and discuss business strategies.
- Voice Mail – You can receive messages from customers after hours, or when no one is available to talk on the phone.
There are also several cost considerations that you should take into account before purchasing a business phone system.
- How much is the central base system?
- How much are the physical phones?
- Do you have to rewire the office building?
- How much will maintenance of the phone system cost?
- Do you have to pay for the training?
These factors will determine the total cost of ownership (TCO). It tends to be much more than the main phone system, and it’s easy to go over budget if you don’t remember the additional issues.
Negotiating with a vendor might seem a little tricky, but there are a few steps you can take to improve your position. If you know the number of phone lines and extensions that you need, it can prevent them from overselling you. It can also help to mention the competition and how much their phone systems are going for. They might counter that their system is better, but you still may be able to get extra perks thrown in.
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