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Choosing the right Small Business Phone System

It’s time to talk about your telephone. Among all the advances of chatbots, email, and social media, we are yet to find a more effective and pleasant method of communication than speaking to another human being. But while our preference to talk-it-out hasn’t changed – phone technology has.

Gone are the days of landlines, clunky handsets, and long-distance fees; modern phone systems are equipped with online integration tools, easy setup, and flexibility.

If you feel that your phone system could do with a 2021 upgrade, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll discuss what modern VoIP phone systems are available for small businesses – and which is perfect for you.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a techy way of saying a telephone system runs over your internet service. It’s a great, future-proof option for small businesses for a few reasons:

  • Feature-packed. Most VoIP plans offer access to benefits like auto-receptionist, call forwarding, and Hunt Group that save your team time while acing customer service.
  • Easy to install (and easier to use). If you have a fixed-line internet connection, you have everything you need to install VoIP. Add a handset if you want or take calls through your computer.
  • Affordable. A VoIP system for 5 employees will set you back around $125 – $250 per month^, making it a relatively inexpensive way to communicate with team members, suppliers, and customers.

The only caveat is that you will need a fixed-line, high-speed internet to operate VoIP. The good news there is that we can easily provide this on iiNet Business NBN. 

Which Small Business Phone system is right for my business?

It depends on a few things, like the way your team likes to work, your office set-up, and how many calls you take per day. iiNet Business currently offers four different Small Business Phone plans on VoIP, so no matter how your business is structured, there will be something that suits you. 

Softphone

Price: $24.95 per month on a 12mth contract

Good for when you need location flexibility. The Softphone works directly from your PC or Mac, which allows you to take customer calls through your headphones. Popular with businesses using co-working spaces or that have a large remote workforce.

Standard

Price: $29.95per month on a 12mth contract, plus one-off $49 for setup and $9.95 delivery

Good for an easy-to-use desk or reception phone. This is our most popular plan, especially as it’s relatively affordable to equip each employee with a handset.

Cordless

Price: $29.95per month on a 12mth contract, plus one-off $49 for setup and $9.95 delivery

Good for all the phone pacers out there! You’re free to move around as you take the call, which is particularly useful for busy cafes, restaurants or retail stores.

Premium

Price: $49.95per month on a 12mth contract, plus one-off $99 for setup and $9.95 delivery

Good for office managers or a receptionist that handles a lot of calls. This handset gives you the added benefit of a 7-inch touchscreen and inbuilt contact list to make screening and taking calls all the easier.

Tip!

Many small businesses use a combination of the four phone plans to create a system perfectly tailored to them. Reception staff may have the Premium handset, while employees utilise a Standard or Cordless handset.

What features do I need in a Small Business Phone?

Below, you’ll find easy-to-understand explanations of popular Small Business Phone features – all of which are included in iiNet’s plans.

  • Unlimited standard calls to Australian mobiles and landlines. Perfect for small businesses making a high volume of calls.  
  • Automated receptionist and menu. This feature answers your calls with a personalised message and gives options for different extensions. Ideal for businesses that want to direct customers to different staff members or present an image of being a bigger business.
  • Call forwarding. Never miss a sales call – if you’re out of the office, this setting will automatically forward your calls to a mobile.
  • Keep your existing number*. No need to change business cards or websites.
  • Custom music on hold. Keep customers entertained while they wait with a tune of your choice or play a list of your latest sales offers.
  • Hunt Group. Put simply, the feature means that when someone rings your company phone number, the call will go to a group of people – not just one – so there will be more chance of a team member picking up.
  • Simple, self-service online portal. Update your phone setup and account details when it suits you.

*Porting not available for all carrier

Final thoughts.

The ‘right’ VoIP phone system is different from business to business. It depends on budget, office set-up and team preferences. If you need or want desk phones, our Standard, Cordless or Premium plans will do the job and more. If desk phones aren’t important, a Softphone will give your workforce the tools and flexibility to work efficiently.

All-in-all, each of our Small Business Phone options will help you to succeed in one important task: being easily accessible to your customers.

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