In the beginning stages of developing a successful business there are a lot of things to be considered. There is cash flow, office space, staffing, web presence, advertising, and product delivery to name just a few. One thing that may be overlooked in the development of the business plan is a quality phone system. A businesses' telephone system is the major communication portal between them and their customers and potential customers. To overlook it could end up costing them customers and profits. A virtual phone service is a great solution for start up companies for a number of reasons - it allows the company to project a professional and well established image, it allows for flexibility and efficiency, and it has low up front and on going costs - 3 things that are vital for a start up business.
As it has often been said, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Many times when a customer calls into a company that telephone contact is the first impression they will get of the company. A business would be smart to make sure it makes the best first impression possible. A virtual phone service can do that. Using an automated attendant with a message that announces who the company is and directs them to the appropriate department, each and every caller is met with a professional greeting. As well, a toll free number can be used in conjunction with the virtual phone service systems also giving the impression of a well established and professional business.
A start up company may not have the up front capital to invest in an office space or a lot of employees. A virtual phone service will let the company be flexible in the way that they handle their incoming calls and still maintain their efficiency. Using virtual call forwarding, a virtual phone service will forward calls to any number the company chooses. This means that if they don't have an office space their calls can be directed to them on their cell phones, to employees that are working from home, have different departments be forwarded to different phone numbers, or many other forwarding needs the business has. With this kind of flexibility, the company and its employees can still maintain efficiency and the freedom to do what needs to be done while not having to worry about missing calls.
One thing start ups are usually short on is cash. A virtual phone service has low up front and on going costs. If the company is looking into a standard PBX to handle their calls, they will find that an average starting cost is going to be about $10,000 and the monthly costs to be in the hundreds on dollars. Not only is this usually cost prohibitive for a company just starting out but, once they start growing and need to add lines or employees, they will have to upgrade their PBX and purchase all new equipment. A virtual phone service has a low start up cost in the range of $50 - $100 on average and then a monthly cost anywhere from $10 - $50 depending on the features required and number of employees it needs to support. Virtual phone service providers many times offer a month to month contract so that when a company is ready to expand, features and employees can be easily added.
When looking to start a new company, it is important to pay special attention to the phone system. After all, in many cases it may be the first impression a customer gets of the company. With funds being tight in the beginning the company may not have enough cash on hand to invest in an office space, a lot of employees, nor an expensive standard PBX phone system. Because of this, work needs to get done as flexibly and efficiently as possible. The ways a virtual phone service addresses all of these issues makes it the perfect phone solution for a start up company.