Small businesses have the potential to grow big and spread their operations throughout the world. Until that happens, any small-business owner is mindful of every cost that can affect their bottom line.
One source of expense, albeit necessary, is business communication equipment. If you were an entrepreneur, which is more viable to own? A landline that can lend that traditional touch to your business or a VoIP that can facilitate communication in more ways than one? Read on to find out the answer.
Small Business, VoIP, Landline Matters
The most important thing is to define everything first.
A small business can have fewer than 50, 150, or 1,500 employees. As far as the US Small Business Administration is concerned, a privately owned company is called “small business” relative to its industry with the average annual receipts or employees’ head count as guidelines.
Landlines, on the other hand, are as conventional as they can get. They refer to phone lines that have been in use centuries ago. With their phone jacks, landlines are fixed in their location at home or in the office.
The number of landline subscriptions has decreased over time because of mobile phones and the internet, which has fueled the rise of voice over internet protocol (VoIP). VOIPs builds on the telephone, where it is plugged to an adapter that is, in turn, connected to a computer or device with an internet connection.
With the definitions out, weigh the points of getting the VOIP or landline system based on these criteria.
Landline: Telephones offer two-way communication or three-way call, as applicable. They handle voice calls, with functionalities as added.
VoIP: This system has audio, video, SMS, and other capabilities. You can host a teleconference with VoIP and related equipment where two or more parties are involved. The other endpoints can be your employees, suppliers, clients, business partners, and more.
Landline: Some internet-connectivity technologies like ADSL come with a telephone unit whose cost is configured into the monthly service payment. Otherwise, you have to apply for a standalone landline with standard charges on long-distance calls and mobile phone calls. Additional lines or features mean additional fees.
VoIP: These VoIP packages are often cheaper than landlines on a “per user” basis. As for the equipment, some organizations opt to buy or rent unified systems that support audio and videoconferencing. One cost to consider is hosting the service on the cloud, local network, or a combination.
Landline: A telephone has hard-wired limitations. Call someone outside your coverage area, and you’ll incur extra charges. You also can’t carry the phone anywhere like you would a mobile phone. More importantly, the number of people you can reach in one setting is limited to one person at the other end.
VoIP: You may be able to use this system alongside a computer, a phone with the VoIP adapter, and a smartphone. Indeed, you can be in the office and call your telecommuting employees or hold multiparty conferences. VoIP calls bridge the distance and time zone, with calls free of charge or with charges lower than standard telephone rates.
Landline: Modifying your telephone services is a costly venture. You will need a private branch exchange, or PBX, so you can skip adding a new line for everyone on your central telephone system. The PBX allows you to transfer calls, use extension lines, and the like. Investing in phone services is wise if the nature of your business entails high volumes of calls.
VoIP: This system can be more cost-effective to maintain because you don’t need to upgrade existing equipment to increase capacity. You may have to remove some to save on costs.
Notably, you may have to use PBX to be able to switch back and forth between VoIP and traditional phone line. Because the VoIP system relies on the internet and represents a newer technology, it is easier to upgrade and scale.
Landline: You can use it without the internet and even during power outages. It works for offices that transact daily and mainly on the phone.
VoIP: You can connect with anyone, anywhere for as long as you have internet connectivity and electricity.
Accordingly, VoIP wins four out of the five points. It represents a cost-effective, scalable, and convenient communication tool ideal for small businesses that want flexible options without burdening themselves of costs. To be fair, the landline retains its purpose, but with the current business landscape, it’s getting difficult to keep up with its internet-powered counterpart.
Ultimately and based on your business needs, it’s your call.