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A Guide to Small Business Phone Systems


For small businesses, an effective phone system in place is a critical component for many offices. Phone systems are important for maintaining contact between consumers, leads, and representatives, and facilitating business operations between the different parties. Before deciding on a phone system, small businesses should consider the various types available to determine which best suit their needs.

Key-Less Systems versus Key Systems

Small businesses typically have fewer requirements when it comes to purchasing a phone system. Because of smaller employee size, and lack of a need for advanced features, small businesses look for phone systems that are effective and cost-affordable. Two of the most common options available for small business are key-less systems and key (KSU) systems.

Key-less systems are a basic phone system available for purchase by small businesses. They are best suited for offices that possess about ten employees or less, and provide basic phone services.  One benefit provided by key-less systems is that when businesses decide to move offices, phone systems can be easily removed and installed to the next. Key-less systems are viewed more as equipment, rather than as permanent features in an office. The disadvantages of key-less systems are that they possess simple features and are not scalable, as additional phone lines cannot be easily added to the equipment in place.

Key (KSU) systems utilize a centralized control unit that is installed along with additional phone equipment. This central unit allows employees in a small business to call others through extension numbers, and to prevent users from accessing an already utilized line. In addition to offering various features not available in key-less systems, the services can be expanded and scaled as more users are added, thus making it suitable for small to mid-range businesses.

Alternative Phone Systems for Small Businesses

A major consideration for small businesses is whether expansion is viable in their future. For companies that are rapidly growing, they require phone systems that can scale alongside their businesses. There are alternative phone systems that can address this need and can enable the business with flexible options.

PBX phone systems are generally suited for companies with forty employees or more; however, small businesses that foresee expansion should consider installing PBX phone systems. One reason as to why small businesses contemplate PBX phone systems is because of its effortless integration with preexisting systems in the office. PBX phone systems are available with a variety of features and can be programmed with additional functions, allowing these systems to be customized according to the businesses’ needs.

Finally, small business VoIP phone services are another viable option for offices that frequently use internet services. In addition to a central unit that process phone calls, additional IP-enabled hardware allows VoIP phone services to incorporate with the Internet. Through VoIP phone services, users are able to make calls to other company locations and clients abroad with seamless connection and compatibility. One of the advantages of VoIP phone services is that companies are able to utilize integration with the Internet with their business operations, allowing them to tap into additional resources and potential customers.