Determining Your Needs as a Business

Before you pick up the phone or fill out a website form seeking quotes from a potential phone system provider, you should outline some of your business’ needs for your telephone system. Sit down, jot them down, and really think about it. While vendors certainly can help you out with some of the finer points of choosing a telephone system for your business, nobody knows your business’ needs better than you do, at least for the time being.

Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself, and should be able to answer when you arrive to the point of discussing your needs with a phone system vendor.

How many lines and extensions do you need right now?

Try to tally up the number of employees that you have or project to have in the near future, and be sure to include extension totals for fax machines, modems, and credit card terminals if applicable for your needs.

Consider future expansion

Some businesses grow and some remain relatively small over a period of many years. If you think that you may add more employees to your payroll or maybe a few additional work stations over the next couple of years – take note of this.

We recommend that you plan for your needs two to three years into the future. While you may only have four or five employees today, it would likely be a large hassle, not to mention an exorbitant expense, to switch from a KSU-less system to a PBX telephone system. Failing to plan for future growth today can prove to be a costly mistake tomorrow.

Take into consideration accessories and options

Features for business phone systems abound, but they do not all come free. Voicemail is a great example of this fact – while this should be a necessity for any office phone system, it is generally an optional accessory rather than an included feature.

Likewise, features such as call forwarding, caller-id, one-touch dialing, on-hold music, conferencing, and speakerphone options are assets for your business, but some of these features come with an additional price tag.

Something to note here – not all phone systems are capable of handling all features. This is something that you will have to discuss with your vendor.