Startup Tuesday: Finding A Phone Service for Your Home Business
Posted by Kate Webster on July 2, 2013 in Phone Systems, Startups [ 0 Comments ]
When setting up your home business, you should find a phone service that can provide you with the essentials of what you will need to operate efficiently, but not overwhelm you with excess features you are not likely to use.
Most likely, if you are starting a business from home, you will be looking for the most economical choice that is also reliable to connect your business to the rest of the world.
The following are important things to keep in mind when looking for the right phone service for your home-business.
Establish Separate Lines
This is the most important thing to keep in mind when you are trying to make a name for yourself in the business world. Simply using your home phone line for your business communication will not allow you to present a professional image of your company to the rest of the world.
- Though you may use the same phone service provider for your home phone, set up a separate line and number for your home business.
- Be sure to answer you line in a professional manner and set up your own answering machine.
Know What You Need and What You Don’t
Many business phone providers provide you with as many impressive features as possible, simply so they can charge you for it. When choosing your phone service provider, understand what features you are likely to use (for example call waiting or call forwarding to a personal phone) and which you are not so likely to use (complicated PBX systems or conferencing features). Choose a provider that can offer less complex packages at lower costs, or can allow you to customize your service to tailor to your needs.
Types of Call Rates
There are a few different types of calling rates offered by phone service vendors, so figure out how much time you will spend on the phone (locally and internationally) and find the right fit for your business.
- Measured rate- charges based on the duration and distance of each call made
- Message rate- charges a flat rate per call for any local call regardless of duration, and may include a set number of calls per month
- Flat rate- allows unlimited local calling for a higher monthly rate
Many phone services also offer internet as part of a package deal or bundle. Even if you don’t operate mostly online, it is still important for any small business to have some sort of online presence these days. 57% of businesses that have an online presence acquire customers from their company’s blog or site (SIS Media Group).
- Your internet usage can range from light to heavy bandwidth. Also consider how many users in your business or household will be using your connection.
- VoIP can be a great tool for small or home-business owners as it allows you to make long distance or international call at a relatively low rate. You can download calling apps online and use them on your mobile device, computer, or phone system.
Customer Service Extras
Because you are running your business from home, chances are you will not have at IT department available at all times to assist you with your connection issues. This is why it is important to choose a phone service provider that can provide you with quality customer service.
- A technical support line can help you figure out problems as soon as they arise so you aren’t left in the dark if a problem should occur.
- Online usage tracking and payment options can help keep you up to date throughout each of your payment periods, and help you monitor how many minutes or how much bandwidth you are using.
Your phone service provider can help connect your home-business to the outside world and the global market. It is important that you find a company that can provide your business with all of the tools and connections it needs, without over charging you with hidden fees or excess features.