The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Business Phone System

    Replacing or upgrading your business phone system is a big investment, and there’s certainly a lot to consider as you embark on your decision. From determining your business’ needs to choosing the right features, to deciding on a traditional, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or hybrid system, taking your time and making smart decisions every step of the way will ensure you get the best system for your business—and be happy with your investment for years to come.

    Before you start the process, here’s a quick-and-dirty list of do’s and don’ts to think about:

    DO:

    • Thoroughly evaluate your current system and what is/isn’t working for you.
    • Ask questions. Take the time to understand all the available features available so you can make an informed decision.
    • Research and prioritize a list of must-have and nice-to-have features.
    • Make a wish list of features and options—there’s likely a hardware or software solution.
    • Consider the benefits and drawbacks of traditional vs. VoIP vs. hybrid systems.
    • Ask vendors for customer references—then call them yourself.

    DON’T:

    • Forget to compare total cost of ownership, rather than simply up-front costs or monthly service fees.
    • Shy away from technology you don’t understand. Hosting your communications network in the cloud may be more affordable and secure than you realize.
    • Make the mistake of under-buying. It’s difficult and expensive to retrofit a phone system later.
    • Skimp on hardware aesthetics and ergonomics, especially if customers will ever be in your office.
    • Forget to hire or train IT staff to support whatever phone system you choose.
    • Get lazy when it comes to implementation. Forgetting this step will lower productivity and frustrate employees and customers.
    • Wait until your current system fails to start looking!