The Unsung Hero – Your Phone System
by: John Coyle
Your phone system. It’s something that you probably don’t think about very much. In fact it’s probably something that you take for granted. A lot. As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or a corporate fugitive just starting out, you’re (almost always) more preoccupied with issues that you’ve deemed more important. You’re accustomed to using your cell phone as your primary business line; and while you’ve put in a dedicated phone line or two in your home office it’s not exactly one of those things that you put that much thought into. Moreover, if you’ve always worked for someone else that phone (and all the related hardware behind it) has been an item that has “always been there”.
Until it’s not.
After a while, having just a cell phone is no longer the most convenient aspect of your business because being at the instant beck and call of all of your customers isn’t especially conducive to your sanity. That second phone line you put in is now intermittently picked up by your kids, which doesn’t send the greatest image of professionalism. And the idea of rushing to a phone every time it rings simply causes too many interruptions. If you’ve experienced any or all of the above, perhaps even in one day, you might arrive at the conclusion that you really do need to be responsible for your own phone system. Unfortunately, the task of implementing the right solution is just plain daunting and, at best, supremely frustrating.
And why is that? Because telephony is filled with a plethora of acronyms and terminology that can be confounding – even the choice of what kind of phone to purchase is migraine-inducing. POTS, SIP or VoIP? Single-line, multi-line, wireless, or soft phone? Hosted PBX, virtual pbx, or IP PBX? Integrated conferencing or a conferencing service? DID? Queues? Hunt groups? Huh? “… I need a virtual receptionist? Really? I don’t even have a budget for one of those!?!…” “Wait…I thought an asterisk was a punctuation mark?…”
So what if you could allay all of those issues? What if that “industrial strength” phone system that’s a part of almost every major enterprise could be a part of every small business? What if the phone system that you decided to implement for your little empire could actually be a useful part of your business? Oh…and what if it was also relatively inexpensive to implement? That’s not a half-bad idea is it?
Well, it can. It’s called a hosted pbx. And it’s what our next blog entry will hope to set straight, once and for all.