voip for small business uk

Why VoIP Is The Best Telephone Service For Small Businesses

Small businesses and start-ups need to keep their costs low but also need to remain competitive when they’re going up against larger players. VoIP ticks both those boxes when it comes to a business telecom solution. 

Whether you’re choosing your business phone service for the first time, or looking to replace your existing in-house telecoms, we’re going to tell you why we recommend VoIP.

What Is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is a technology which converts analogue sound signals into a packet of digital information that can then be sent over the internet in the same way as any other type of data. Many VoIP platforms are compatible with hardware desk phones but can also be used as an application on your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. This means all you need to get started with VoIP is a headset with a microphone.

What Are The Available Types Of VoIP Phone Service For Small Businesses?

On-premises VoIP
On-premises VoIP has all of the hardware and networking on-site. A call placed using an on-premises VoIP PBX travels via your server over a dedicated connection.

Because you own all the hardware, your on-premises VoIP hardware can be configured to match your needs. On-premises VoIP requires a larger up-front investment but will generally save you money over time.

The responsibility for managing and maintaining the hardware rests with the end user, although our engineers can help you manage your on-premises VoIP technology.

Hosted VoIP
With hosted VoIP, all the hardware is situated off site. All that is required to use hosted VoIP in your business is an internet connection. Most modern hosted VoIP platforms can be accessed on any device, including mobile phones, desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets. Many hosted VoIP platforms can also be joined to your existing desk phone handsets.

Hosted VoIP platforms are generally less customisable than their on-premises alternatives, providing a one-size-fits all solution. Hosted VoIP does not normally require any up-front cost but may end up being more costly than on-premises VoIP over a long enough time period.

SIP Trunks
SIP trunks are a technology which allows businesses to make and receive landline calls over a VoIP network. You can use SIP trunks to place local, long-distance, and international calls online. You can learn more about SIP trunks here.

Which VoIP Option Should Your Business Choose?

For small businesses, we generally recommend hosted VoIP. This is because your business might not stay small forever! Hosted platforms are easier to scale and can grow alongside with your business. Adding a new user to your hosted VoIP is easy. So if your number of employees doubles in the next year, you won’t need to buy a new PBX.

Larger or more complex businesses might benefit more from on-premises VoIP. Their VoIP system can customised to fit their exact needs.

These are not rules set in stone though. Our team will always analyse your existing telecoms use and suggest the best option for you.

What Are The Benefits Of VoIP For Small Businesses?

– Advanced Features
VoIP platforms can integrate several advanced features which would have previously required an in-house switchboard as well as adding new capabilities only available with digital technology. 

  • Hunt groups allow calls to be automatically routed to available team members. 
  • Voicemails can be forwarded directly to your email. 
  • Auto-attendants can help direct customers to the appropriate department or team member for their query. 
  • Calls can be transferred between departments or converted to conference calls without needing to redial. 
  • Call recordings can be stored in a cloud environment.

– Easy To Manage  
The entire VoIP platform can be monitored and controlled from a single dashboard interface. You can add and remove users, download voicemails, or change passwords easily. 
Perfect For Remote Work
Because VoIP platforms can run as software on a laptop or as an app on a mobile phone, they are perfect for remote workers. Employees can make and receive calls on the same number whether they are in the office, at home, in a co-working space, or commuting on a train. This also helps save you money on business mobiles as running the VoIP app on a mobile removes the need for employees to carry around a second mobile device with them when they’re on the go.

Unified Communications  
Many VoIP platforms are also Unified Communications platforms. This means that as well as offering voice calls, they also provide other business communications services like video calling, text messaging, and live chat – all from a single, unified interface. 
VoIP’s costs are scalable, as there is only an incremental increase in your monthly bill to add an additional user to your existing VoIP platform. This makes VoIP ideal for growing businesses as the platform can scale with them. Analogue phone lines are not scalable so you would have to over-procure them in order to future proof your business.

Because VoIP doesn’t require any specialist hardware, and you can get started with just a headset and microphone, there is no upfront cost to start using VoIP. You only need to pay a monthly service fee for access to your chosen VoIP platform.  

This can be much more affordable for smaller businesses when compared with the high capital outlay required to install new analogue phone lines.

VoIP vs. Landline For Businesses

Before you switch from a landline to VoIP, you need to understand the differences between them and why a business would choose one over the other.

  • Hardware
    The hardware your currently have in your business, such as desk phones, whether they are compatible with VoIP or whether you would need to purchase new hardware will probably influence your decision.
  • Price
    Whether VoIP would increase or decrease your monthly phone bill will definitely have an impact on your choice. Our team can help analyse your existing land line usage and estimate how much more or less VoIP cost you per month.
  • Bandwidth
    In terms of call quality and resistance to outages, landlines are renowned for their dependability. VoIP systems require a reliable internet connection, and you’ll need to have sufficient bandwidth to support your VoIP usage. If you need to upgrade your business broadband line, we have FTTC, FTTP, and Leased Lines available.
  • Scalability
    In contrast to analogue systems, which, depending on their age, may be challenging to scale or update, VoIP systems are highly scalable. A VoIP system might be more appropriate for you if your business is expanding quickly or you are unsure of what your future needs might be.

How Carden Telecoms Can Help Businesses With VoIP

For the ordinary user, deploying and managing business VoIP systems can seem complicated and time-consuming. Carden Telecoms solves this by offering a completely managed VoIP service. Our expertise and technical support are bundled into your VoIP package. Many of our VoIP packages also include free handsets. To revolutionise your business communications with VoIP, speak to our team today.

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Telecoms and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave is experienced in business telecoms with a focus on cloud telephony and connectivity services.