Think small businesses have small needs? This is a notion of the past my friend. In today’s corporate world, a small business is considered to be the industrial powerhouse of tomorrow. Perched on the edge of exponential growth, the development potential of these entities should never be underestimated. Their needs are typical, their needs are specific, but their needs are never something you can call negligible. This is even more so when it comes to communication, an activity that is essential to help any enterprise realize its true potential, despite of its size.
Therefore a phone system for small business should have certain specific characteristics that will make sure that nothing stands in the way of free flow of relevant information, on the back of which that enterprise will complete its journey towards becoming a corporate giant. Here is an evaluation guide to help find the best phone system for small business usáo
- Usability – Never pick out a phone system for your small business enterprise without an onsite demo and a full understanding of the exact hardware requirement. The installation of a particular system should be beneficial to your organization’s work flow and should create a marked difference in the course of daily activities. This will determine its usability.
- Reliability - You don't want to be the "guinea pig" for a vendor's prototype or Beta testing. Make sure that the preferred phone system for your small business enterprise is reliable and has acceptable and reasonable failure rates. Remember, academic failure rates that are often quoted by vendors about their products are not good indicators of their reliability. Market research is a must before finalizing a product for your use.
- Availability – Phone system downtime can severely affect the profitability and work flow in any organization. Make sure that the preferred phone system for your small business enterprise minimizes this aspect and is always available for use, whenever you need it.
- Scalability - Can the phone system cope up with your rate of growth? Will you have to change the entire infrastructure in order to meet the needs of your expanding business? Look for satisfactory answers to these questions in the preferred phone system for your small business enterprise.
- Architecture. What methodology was used to design the system? Was it well thought out or technology patched together from disparate systems and conflicting architectures? Objectively evaluate each system in the market on these lines before picking out the one for you.
- Total Cost of Ownership – This is the most important criterion in the checklist of small business owners. Most of the time upfront costs (hardware, network and implementation) total up to only 20% of the complete system expense over its lifecycle. Find out what is the case with the phone system for small business that you are considering?
- Vendor Statistics - Make sure that the vendor is trustworthy, has a solid balance sheet and enjoys a good standing in the industry. Otherwise, be prepared for customer support issues when they are facing financial difficulty.