Whether you’re opening a new business location or simply think it’s time for a switch, there are a number of business telephone providers to choose from. It can be difficult to compare them without getting on a lengthy sales call.

We’ll share how you can choose the best VoIP system for your business with just a little research and preparation. Know which questions to ask and the information you should have ready to make your choice.

1. Read Your Current Bill

For switching phone providers, it helps to have a copy of your most recent service invoice on hand. You’ll be able to see how much you’re paying per line as well as additional features you have added on, the number of minutes you’re using, and other fees associated with hardware or local taxes. For small business owners, every dollar counts and this will help you make a better comparison of providers.

By being prepared with your current phone bill, you’ll be able to better compare the services and prices you’re being offered. However, don’t only focus on price. Keep in mind your experience with your current provider in terms of support, service, and features.

Man at desk reviewing documents

2. Determine Your Needs

You want to get the features and service you need, without overpaying for features you don’t use. Before you talk to a sales rep, take some time to decide:

  • How many physical phones do you need? What about headsets, conference phones, and other accessories?
  • Are you planning on upgrading your phone hardware? Do you want to rent or buy?
  • How many locations do you need phones in?
    • For multiple locations, make sure the provider you’re speaking to is able to support features like call transferring between your offices or stores.
  • How many phone numbers you need? How many toll free numbers?
    • In addition to one extension per person in your office, consider the additional phone lines you need that ring to multiple people, such as for customer support or making a reservation. These are called ring groups.
  • Which features are a must-have, good to have, or unnecessary?
    • If you haven’t shopped your phone service in a while, you may not even know which features are available that could make your office run more smoothly. Be open to hearing about new features, like voicemail to email and conferencing.
  • What are your office’s technical abilities?
    • For landline phone users, you’ll want to switch to VoIP phones, which are clearer, more reliable, and more affordable than wired phones. VoIP phones make and receive calls over an Internet connection, so you’ll want to check your network connection to see if you’re ready to upgrade to cloud calling.

two colleagues reviewing a document together

With just a little preparation, you can feel like an equal partner in the sales conversation. You’ll know which questions to ask and will prevent finding out too late if a telephone company can’t actually meet your needs.

Additionally, be open to learning about features and platforms that you don’t yet know about. For instance, you may not have considered a unified communications system but may benefit from the capabilities of being able to answer calls and messages from devices on the go with a mobile app. New VoIP providers offer a number of features including call recording, auto attendant, voicemail to email and more.

3. Do Your Research

When you’re ready, choose a few companies to research. You want to look at their online reviews, feature list, and the small print for any special offers.

For example, the company you get internet service through often offers a bundled offer to give you phone service for a low price per line. However, this offer usually only lasts for 12 months before raising to a higher cost. In addition, you’ll see that the promo price doesn’t include additional taxes and fees and may have restrictions on certain types of businesses or certain areas.

Woman on cell phone and laptop

Instead of saving a few dollars in the short term only to need to switch in a year, you’ll have much less of a hassle by choosing a reliable phone provider from the beginning.

Are you ready to find the right business phone line provider for your company? Check out our instant cost estimator to see what you can expect when making the switch to Vonix.