Any successful entrepreneur knows that good communications are the foundation of a dynamic business. Here are 5 reasons why your startup business needs VoIP technology.
Firstly, why does my startup need a dedicated phone system at all!?
In an age of free internet communications, paying for an additional communication service might seem redundant. And while free instant services such WhatsApp, Skype, and email certainly have their place, can you really imagine finalising a contract over FaceTime? Or taking all inbound office calls through Viber? A dedicated phone communications system is still an essential ingredient of any new business that wants to be taken seriously.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol. Also known as internet telephony, IP telephony, or Voice over IP.
In basic English, VoIP phone is a phone service delivered over internet as opposed to over traditional phone networks. VoIP itself is the technology that converts your voice into a digital signal. It is powered by a combination of VoIP-enabled hardware and software. Both of which are required for the user.
Users can make calls over the internet to landlines, mobiles, or other computers anywhere on the globe that has an internet connection.
Is it new tech?
No, most modern business phone systems (PBXs) use VoIP technology, rather than old analogue connections. It has become the business standard, so you don’t need to worry about the risks and reliability issues that can come with being an early adopter.
What are my VoIP phone options?
There are two general formats for VoIP services. Cloud-based, and on-premise. Cloud-based systems are the most cost effective for new companies. While they don’t offer the same security as on-premise systems, they are far more lightweight and affordable for new businesses. The only equipment required is the phone, computer, or tablet that a user takes calls on.
What makes VoIP essential?
Every lean startup requires a steady hand when it comes to finances. VoIP calls only require a data connection. Local, international, and conference calls are all free. The savings here can be substantial, particularly for businesses that are operating internationally. In addition, if you opt for a cloud-based solution then, as mentioned, the equipment costs are minimal.
With the only requirements for access being an enabled device and an internet connection, VoIP opens up an entire world of flexible staffing options to you. Are the best value customer call handlers in India? You can integrate them into your office. Or maybe the most qualified graphic designer lives in Dubai? Bring her on board and she can remotely liaise with clients to discuss their goals!
Staff can use the system remotely and have access to your data and network from anywhere in the world while being united under one phone number with their own extension. Whether it is virtual assistants, casual employees or permanent staff, VoIP can access industry-leading talent at the best prices.
Startups are heavily orientated towards growth. Having a communications solution that can be easily scaled is critical for smooth expansion. Usually, there is no need to install any new VoIP infrastructure during an upscaling phase. Simply purchase the new device that suits your new team member’s needs, download the app and get started!
Integrated advanced features
Call analytics, call forwarding or blocking, caller ID, automated call distribution and voice recognition are all features that would normally be stand-alone products. However, VoIP services typically provide these advanced features for both small and large teams. These features can provide most of the functionality that dedicated packages provide and are typically more than enough for new startups’ needs.
As a startup you want to appear to be better established and larger than you actually are. Having multiple teams, each dedicated to specialised areas of client support, is a high value attribute, and one that many startups aspire to. However, the truth is that many new companies have a single person answering all their calls.
There is no shame in it. After all, almost every tech industry giant started out in a garage with just a couple of people. For them, as much as any other startup, having departmentalised teams to answer their calls would have been a fantasy.
Nevertheless, it always helps to make your business look like a bigger player than it is. A professional phone system with an auto attendant and options menu can do that. Even if in reality it’s just you on your mobile!