We’ve all been startups at some point in time; we all know the struggles of a small team trying to do everything from marketing, to sales, support, billing, purchasing and all the other crucial business activities and processes. You’ve probably had your budget being hit a few times too, and by now you know how important it is to manage it and make the most of every dollar.
You’ve also probably heard of how beneficial a VoIP business phone system can be for your small business, because it’s so cheap and versatile. But what we will do in this article is go a little deeper and list some tips that you might not have known to be so helpful in saving money with your Hosted VoIP system.
Save on human resources
An IVR (Auto Attendant) is the most important feature of a business phone system and a great tool for an efficient call distribution. With its easy to use menu (such as “for Sales press 1, for Support press 2, etc.”) the IVR eliminates the need of a receptionist by quickly sending the calls directly to the selected extension or group. Additionally, not delaying the call with the intervention of a receptionist will free your phone lines faster, which means that you don’t need to pay for additional phone line capacity.
Extra tip: Make sure you add the Dial-by-Name option to your Auto Attendant, so calls can go directly to the right person without the need of a receptionist transfer.
Even if you want your calls to be answered by a human you still don’t have to hire a full time receptionist; a Virtual Receptionist (Answering Service) can handle your company calls in your name at less than half of a receptionist’s salary.
Ditch the old fax machine
Fax machines are becoming obsolete; what’s important for a startup business is to have the same or improved services with fewer expenses, and an e-fax solution does just that – it saves you money on the machine itself, paper and toner, while providing an easier, faster way to send, receive and store faxes.
Use a conference bridge
The Conference Room (or Conference Bridge) feature of a Virtual PBX can save you so much travel money and time; just gather with your clients in a conference to discuss rather than making client visits and hosting expensive lunches.
Reduce cell phone usage
Working remotely or being on the road means normally relying on a cell phone to get in touch with the office or clients and partners; but with a VoIP phone system your small business can be anywhere thanks to the capability to configure your phone lines on Smartphone apps. Using your extensions even when out of the office allows you to be reachable anywhere on the same business number and use the minutes in your Hosted PBX package, which eliminates the need to use your cell phone plan, known to be much more expensive than VoIP. If you don’t call much but still want to receive your business calls on a cell phone you can always use the Find me/Follow me feature that forwards your calls without using your data plan.
Integrate VoIP solutions with other systems to save time
And time is money for any business, not only a small business. Having an integrated CRM and business phone system will streamline your activity and leave more time for your employees to get creative and grow your business. The integrated CRM solution can log calls automatically, identify the customer calling by matching its phone number with the database entry, click to dial and many more.
Extra tip: Add another layer of integration by implementing a self care system in your IVR; your customers will be able to find out their balance, pay an invoice or make changes in their accounts by navigating the menus instead of getting in touch with an employee.
You don’t need cell phones for your entire team
If some of your employees are not out of the office much there’s no need to spend on getting them cell phones too. They can always use their desk phones to call other team members (for less too), and use Email-to-SMS to relay text messages to their cell phones.
Rent hardware or use Softphones
Investing in VoIP hardware might seem a lot for your small business to handle there are other ways to have high end technology without breaking the bank. Look for a VoIP provider who also offers the possibility to rent IP Phones, or simply use PC/ Smartphone Software.
Just like any other technology that evolves (remember black and white TVs, floppy disks, audio cassettes and VHS?) telephony is constantly developing, and VoIP is the Smart TV and flash drive of telecommunications. Whether you’re a startup, small/ medium business or you later become an enterprise, VoIP is here to stay and should be a part of your business every step of the way, so make sure you make the most of it.