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Multi-Line Phone Systems

Multi-line business phone systems are ideal for smaller businesses, as opposed to PBX systems that cater to larger firms.

You may be thinking of getting a multi-line business phone system if you work remotely as a sole proprietor, and need to differentiate your private and work-related calls. Or perhaps you own a small business with a few employees who need simultaneous access to their own designated phone lines. They may need to handle copious volumes of outgoing and incoming calls; making a multi-line phone system an office staple.

Maybe you’re a medical professional with a small practice, and are at your wit’s end whenever the line is occupied and you need to call out. That being said, you know that a PBX system would simply not be suited to your small business, as these are tailored for larger organizations. If you are grappling over which phone system to choose for a smaller business, why not try multi-line business phones? Here’s what you should know.


What is a Multi-Line Phone System?


Multi-line business phone systems are ideal for smaller businesses, as opposed to PBX systems that cater to larger firms. They enable several callers to be on the phone simultaneously; unlike traditional 1-line systems designed to transmit audio data between two users simultaneously. With multi lines, audio data packets are transferred via wires to the user too, but more than two lines are utilized. Choose an on-premise multi-line business phone system like Mitel's MiVoice Business, complete with desktop phones and attendant consoles. Or manage multiple numbers via your browser with a multi-line cloud-based, VoIP contact center service like Mitel's MiCloud Connect.

Multi-line business phones are also commonly referred to as switchboard systems and can help condense several lines into one device. This can help simplify multiple call screening from your desk. Lines can be inbound or outbound. With inbound lines, you’ll be able to communicate with staff members within your company. Alternatively, an outbound line lets you communicate with your customers or anyone outside your organization.

Depending on your company’s needs, you could opt for a two-line, four-line, or five-or-more-line multi-line business phone system. A two-line phone set-up should work well for a sole proprietor looking to set boundaries between personal and business calls.

Four-line multi-line phones are great if your business is a tad larger than that of a sole proprietor. Five or more lines are perfect for small telemarketing companies with five or more users.


A VoIP multi-line phone system to keep your small business thriving. Learn more about Mitel MiCloud Connect >


Key Features of a Multi-Line Phone System


Multi-line phone systems typically offer many features you might already be familiar with. Some of the most popular features include:

Call transferring between phone lines

• Placing your calls on hold with the call waiting feature

• Adding the multi-line phone system mobile app to employee devices

Routing calls placed outside your business hours

Caller ID that lets you identify incoming callers or helps those you call to identify your business.

Auto-attendant with personalized greetings that routes your callers to the appropriate department or employee


You can also program call queues and place several callers on hold at the same time, waiting until an operator is available. This feature also allows you to direct an incoming call to voicemail, or place a current caller on hold and answer the new call.

Multi-line business phones also let you create conference bridges via the conference calling feature if you need to speak to more than three people simultaneously.

Depending on which third-party system you’re using, you could also enjoy features such as:

• Speakerphone

Automatic redial

Easily accessible dial directories

Call recording

Instant messaging

• Call muting


Benefits of a Multi-Line Phone System


If you’re using a cloud-based or VoIP multi-line business phone system that lets you host all your data in the cloud, you’ll save on having to purchase tangible or traditional lines or additional hardware. With a cloud-based phone system, you can cater to geographically dispersed employees. Your employees can also use devices of their choice like tablets, laptops, a desktop computer, or mobile phones to make and receive calls.

Another benefit of having a cloud-based multi-line phone system is that your vendor will take care of aspects such as troubleshooting, security, and maintenance. This saves you from having to schedule, wait for, and pay a technician as with traditional phone lines.

VoIP multi-line business phone systems are also scalable, enabling you to add more lines as your business grows. If you’re using traditional phones, simply add more handsets with cables, extension packs, or adaptors.

VoIP multi-line business phones are easy to use and simple to start up. You can customize the system according to your business needs. These VoIP systems can also be easily integrated with digital elements such as CRMs and other online tools.

You can also count on hosted multi-line services with emergencies, as third-party hosts have back-ups like multiple data centers. Multi-line systems help boost communication and efficiency as they streamline the transfer of both inbound and outbound calls, therefore improving productivity.


Learn more about the benefits of migrating your communications to the cloud >


Multi-Line Phones for Small Businesses


Multi-line phones for small businesses are a lifeline for employers, employees, clients, and suppliers alike. However, choosing the wrong system could have economic and operational consequences. It’s therefore vital to plan ahead before deciding on the ideal phone system for your small business.

First, determine how many of your employees need a phone, and how many lines you may need in the future. Having a scalable VoIP phone system is beneficial in this instance, as you can add lines or remove lines seamlessly in future. Ask questions like whether you have a secretary, or if you want to use a VoIP phone feature like auto-attendant to greet your callers. You should also determine whether features like voicemail is necessary, and if you need conference calling if your employees are geographically dispersed.


Use Cases for Multi-Line Business Phone Systems

Multi-line phone systems work best for small companies that need separate phone lines for different roles or employees, but don't yet need the scale of a large PBX system.

You'll likely benefit from a multi-line system if you are:

• A solopreneur or freelancer who wants to keep personal and business phone lines separate

• A small business owner expanding your team to include an assistant or other staff who need their own lines

• A restaurant that needs just a few lines for handling reservations, to-go orders, and other inquiries

A remote or dispersed business that needs a way to communicate with a small team on the go

• A business with a high volume of callers that requires a call waiting queue


Multi-line business phones boost efficiency and increase communication and collaboration across small teams, while also giving your customers a smoother experience while interacting with your staff. Consider what features you need to help your small business run more smoothly, and find a multi-line business solution that is just right for you.

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