When you run your business out of your home, you face a particular set of challenges. Not only do you generally have limited funds, but you face the stigma of a less-than-professional appearance. The low cost of a VoIP phone system, as well as its digital features, can help your business run more smoothly and develop a professional image.
The first thing anyone will tell you about VoIP service is that it is less expensive than a traditional phone system – but they can’t tell you why. VoIP phone systems are less expensive because the hardware requirements are far less extensive and the service is much cheaper through an IP.
- Hardware: A simple VoIP system appropriate for a home-based business can comprise of a single handset that plugs directly into your Internet router. In contrast, connecting a comparable land line directly into your home office may require significant wiring to be installed by the phone company.
- Service: Depending on the provider you choose, VoIP service can be far less expensive than a land line – especially if you frequently need to dial long distance or place international calls. Many services allow you to place purely online – VoIP to VoIP – calls for free. Furthermore, if you are unhappy with your current VoIP service or price, you can easily switch providers. Not so with the local phone company.
Your VoIP phone system is run through your computer or Internet modem, but you don’t have to be tied to your desk in order to use it. According to, The 5 Newest VoIP Apps on the Market, a recent study by Analysys Mason found that, “20 percent of VoIP users used mobile VoIP more than traditional voice services.” These apps are often easy to use and improve efficiency.
- Many VoIP systems can route calls from the handset in your office to the handset in your shop to your mobile phone. This is convenient for home business owners, who may spend a significant portion of their time out of the office engaging with clients, contractors, and customers.
- Because VoIP is a digital system, voicemails left on your home office phone can be accessed from anywhere – including on a computer or through another phone.
Possibly the most important feature of VoIP for a home-based business is the professional phone number – for which you have a number of options, including 800 numbers or a specific area code.
Having a business phone number that differs from your mobile and home phone lines gives your business an air of professionalism that can be difficult to attain when you run your business out of your home.
- VoIP systems utilize features that are not available on the simple phone systems typically used by home-based businesses. Only complex corporate phone systems used to have access to features like caller ID and directories, conference and multiparty calls, and call parking, call transfer and call hold. Now that these call functions are available through VoIP, your home business can take on the appearance of a large office by utilizing these same features.
VoIP phone systems can range from simple handsets that plug into your modem, to large systems with extensive hardware and PBX-style exchanges. However, the same features, mobility, and lower costs are available to all customers big and small.
Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for ResourceNation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as VoIP apps. Follow Resource Nation on Facebook and Twitter, too!