Easy Way to Setup a Small Business Phone System
Do you head a company in Florida and desire a no-fuss small business phone system?
You might have thought about setting up an analog multi-line phone system and been intimidated by the large amounts of cable needed. Have you considered a virtual phone system for your small business? You might be put off by the thought of having to give up your desktop phone, but with IP phones, a VoIP cloud service can be paired with a physical unit.
Don’t you want to keep your cell phone for friends and family only? If you want the flexible features of a professional business phone, then consider upgrading your equipment.
Here, we’ll outline the steps you’ll need to take to get up and running. Read on!
Choose a Small Business Phone System
First, you’ll need to weigh up all the options. While there’s still nothing wrong with trusty analog phones, many businesses will want to take advantage of the flexibility and advanced features that are on offer in VoIP phones.
When setting up office phone systems for a small business, VoIP is one of the easiest options out there. Because they utilize your existing internet lines, you won’t have to pay for networking and installation services.
If you’ve already picked out VoIP/IP desktop phones for your company and you have a reliable internet connection, then you’re ready for our next step.
Sign up for a VoIP Cloud Phone Service
Now you’ve got the best small business phone system out there, you’re going to need to pair it with virtual phone services. Shop around for the features and price that suits your needs, but also look at add-on services that you might upgrade to as your business grows.
Usually, there are no contracts, so once you’ve found the best service for your business’s needs, it should be a simple signup process.
Once you’ve activated your account and are logged in as the administrator, take a look at the available features. Read any setup guides provided by the cloud phone service, particularly regarding unique features.
While still logged in, start adding all the information for your team members. As you create new users in the small business phone system, look at all the available data-entry fields, and consistently fill the ones that are relevant to the way you do business.
Names and email addresses will probably be the minimum you’ll want to input to get started, but also look for caller ID settings and call recording options. You might want to record calls for training purposes, for example.
Next, you’ll want to create groups. This is a way of sorting the users in a similar way to the business hierarchy. Each group might directly correspond to the relevant team in your organization, such as sales, support, etc.
Once groups are entered, look for features that you might be able to take advantage of within your business. You might be able to select “simultaneous ring” so that the group directs a call to everyone at once and the first to answer receives the call. There might be another option, known as “hunt group”, which systematically dials down a list of users before going to voicemail.
When working out how to set up a multi-line phone system, extensions have the potential to get confusing. You could rely on auto-assigned numbers, or logically devise a system yourself to keep things more consistent.
You should have the option to assign internal extensions to the users you entered in the previous step, but you also might want to assign extensions to groups too. When you do this, callers can ring through to a department number, or be directed there by a menu system.
With advanced features like “business hour rules,” you should be able to set user numbers to divert to a different number after hours. Perhaps you’d want to have department group extensions go to a recorded message at certain times or on weekends.
You’ll want to create a menu (also called an auto-attendant), even if it’s just a basic one for a small business phone system.
Organizations with more complex caller needs can take a great deal of strain off the administrative staff by devising a well-planned flow chart first. Initially, a caller can be presented with several options and provided with information to better direct their call to the right department group or user.
This might be a good point to set up voicemail for both users and groups. You might want the team members to record personal voicemails and perhaps have department and company information delivered by a professional voice-over. Alternatively, you could pick the team member with the warmest vocal tone to record the general messages.
Although calls within the phone system are free, we’ll need an outside number to be linked if we want to take public calls. If you have a number already, contact the previous carrier and have them transfer it over to the VoIP phone service and forward calls in the meantime. If you haven’t got an existing phone number to port, then sign-up for a local number, a toll-free number, or both.
Don’t forget to take advantage of any desktop or mobile apps provided by the cloud phone service. These might make managing features and voicemail even easier.
Get a Small Business Phone System Today
We’ve shown that you can set up a small business phone system with relative ease using a virtual phone service and VoIP desktop phones. Don’t get bogged down with the headache of physical cables when you can have the best of both worlds.
If you’re a small business in Florida, we can help you find the right phone system. We are the leading company for your office equipment needs and we offer a variety of IP and digital phones.
Contact us today to request a quote or fill out the form below.