If your small business is taking off and you’re thinking it’s time to invest in a business phone system, you may definitely want to consider a virtual phone system. Because they are hosted online, virtual phone systems offer the same advantages of traditional business phone systems, plus more – all at a fraction of the cost.


Brief Intro to Virtual Phone Systems


Also known as a “cloud-based” or PBX systems, a virtual phone system is basically the online version of a landline-connected business phone system. In general, business phone systems allow a company to manage multiple internal lines, accessible through any telephone connected to the system. This provides an easy way to route customer calls from virtual phone numbers, among other advanced options.


The traditional landline-based business phone system is called a private branch exchange (PBX). Virtual systems are simply a “hosted” version of PBX. Rather than connecting to a landline, the system is hosted on the Internet. Your business can also have virtual phone extensions, allowing callers to dial specific phones directly – just like a traditional PBX system.


Hosted PBX vs. VoIP


VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), like Skype or Google Voice, uses your personal internet connection to make and receive calls. Hosted PBX (virtual phone systems), on the other hand, use a third-party provider that often offers an entire cloud-based phone management platform, which can be accessed remotely from any Internet-connected device.


Benefits of a Small Business Virtual Phone System


1. Low Overhead Costs


In contrast to traditional PBX systems, virtual phone systems never require your business to maintain or fix any problems with the system. While traditional PBX demands specialized IT skills, hosted PBX providers handle everything for you. This eliminates the cost of maintenance fees, IT staff, and electrical expenses.


2. No Initial Investment


Traditional PBX systems typically require an upfront investment of several thousand dollars to purchase the telephone system’s hardware, wiring, and support structures. As an on-site system, traditional PBX also requires installation fees.


Most virtual phone systems, however, require none of these costs. Your business will only have to pay a small monthly fee to your third-party VoIP provider. All other costs are the responsibility of the provider. And with a virtual phone system, there is no need to invest in new phones or hardware. You and your staff can access your virtual business phone lines through existing desk phones, smartphones, or even laptops.


3. Fast Setup


Virtual phone systems don’t require any new wiring or hardware, so their setup process is much more fast and efficient than setup for a traditional PBX system. All you have to do is sign up, connect phones, and manage your settings online.


4. Advanced Features


Virtual phone systems often come with a number of advanced capabilities that traditional phone systems may not support. These features may include:


  • Unlimited extensions
  • Customizable voice menu (IVR)
  • Call transfer
  • Dynamic caller ID