There’s a lot to think about when starting a new business. In addition to all the administrative tasks, you need to think about key practicalities like getting the right IT set-up. One of the decisions you’ll need to take fairly early on is whether you feel you still need a landline phone for your business.
The basics of business landlines
Business landlines used to be all there was. Now, they’re facing strong competition from mobiles and VoIP (internet calls). Even though the technology is now very old and arguably well on its way to becoming obsolete, there are still some potential reasons for holding onto it for the present.
In simple terms, landlines tend to be more economical than mobiles. They are indisputably harder to lose and are virtually impossible to hack. Landlines are generally more expensive than VoIP phones but tend to offer consistent, reliable call quality regardless of where you are calling.
Using mobiles for business
Many businesses work from mobiles and for some, they work very well. In the UK, mobile phone reception is generally reliable so call quality is usually high, especially from environments like offices. You also completely avoid the dreaded “cable clutter”.
Modern smartphones have huge functionality and can be used for VoIP calling, e.g. Zoom calls. This can go some way to lowering costs. On the other hand, mobiles are expensive and vulnerable to loss and damage. They are also a potential cybersecurity vulnerability.
What’s more, giving contacts just a mobile phone number can raise questions about the credibility of your business. This may seem unfair, indeed it may be unfair but it’s a fact of life.
You can get around this by getting a VoIP number which looks like a standard landline and then diverting it to your mobile. This does, however, raise the question of whether or not it would be more straightforward just to use a VoIP number in the first place.
Using VoIP for business
VoIP is definitely the way of the future and for many businesses, it’s already the way of the now. With VoIP, you run your phones through your Internet infrastructure and treat voice calling just like any other IT service. This opens up huge opportunities but also some challenges.
In simple terms, you need rock-solid network infrastructure to run VoIP. Given that few SMEs have the internal resource to manage their own network, that means you need a top-class partner like Dragon IS.
Get that infrastructure in place however and you can do far more than just make low-cost phone calls while giving the appearance that you have a business landline.
The possibilities of VoIP
At present, one of the most appealing qualities of VoIP is that it allows you to attach a phone number to a person rather than a phone. This means that if they change desks, or are working remotely, they just log into their phone client and are good to go.
Over the long term, you can integrate VoIP with your other IT applications to provide truly unified communications. For example, you can include phone numbers on your website or intranet and have people click to call them.