New phone service options haven’t necessarily been on the top of the investment list for many small to medium sized businesses in recent years. Funds have been reserved for business sustainability and growth, and not infrastructure. However, some businesses have found that choosing a hosted digital phone alternative has had a positive return on investment while improving their communications with customers and associates. Such an option is surprisingly affordable and can lower their monthly phone service and administrative costs.
Low Up Front Investment – The beauty of a hosted phone service is that the business does not need to invest in the core phone system. The only investment required is for the purchase of the phones and some minor network equipment. The cost of VoIP phones can range dramatically depending upon make and model, but a very good phone can be secured for $150 or less.
Service Rates – The pricing approach taken by VoIP providers for monthly service also can vary. Some have all inclusive plans, some bundle features, and some have some minute bundles with a per minute charge above a threshold. At sipVine, our approach is an all-inclusive rate for all features and all-distance calls, with volume discounts based upon the number of users. However, what most providers have in common is that they are able to deliver a monthly rate that is less expensive than traditional analog service. As you evaluate different options, also determine if the provider applies the surcharges that you see with traditional providers. Some, like sipVine, do not, which only adds to the savings opportunity.
Administrative Costs – This is another hidden cost of your phone operation expense. If you are currently paying a vendor to make changes to your phone system, there may be another savings opportunity by shifting to a hosted service. Some providers, like sipVine, do not charge for routine change requests.
So, if a phone system hasn’t necessarily been at the top of your business’s investment list, it may be time to at least evaluate a hosted digital phone service. If you can generate a return on investment and improve your communication functionality, such an evaluation may be well worth the time!
About the author: Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.