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What to Look For When Buying a Telephone System

Small business telephone systems are one of the ways that companies can achieve computer technology integration. Integration, for any business, can make the difference between life and death regarding costs. Any efficiencies gained, will enable companies to increase profits or reinvest in more equipment or additional personnel.

As important as business telephone systems are, it would not be wise to buy the first thing that you come across. It takes consideration and careful choosing to find the system that will suit your needs perfectly. Here are some things that you should look for when you are buying a telephone system

Because telephone systems are so essential to any business, it should take some thought and careful consideration to find a new improved system that meets your needs now and in the near future. There are so many different systems with different capabilities to study; this will only increase in the future. Not to rush into anything is always the best way forward but, of course, we always have to make a choice, so below are some ideas on facilities you may consider:

The choice of available telephone systems is now quite surprising, take a look at any website that offers systems for sale and there are so many pages it’s confusing. It is best not to rush into the purchase, study the facilities you would like now and in the near future, decide which ones you require. Below are some ideas that may help your decision:

System capabilities

The one big difference in telephones today is that they can do things that telephones 10 or 15 years ago could not do. These system capabilities are an excellent way to technologically transform your company’s communications. Here are some basic ones that should be included in any modern telephone system:

You should be able to see the number that is calling you. This way, you will never be ambushed, you can leave unimportant calls for later and you can be prepared with the right information for each call.

The system should enable call barring to certain numbers. It works to reduce the number of personal calls made from the office telephone.

It should have an automated answering service which can receive calls on your behalf in case you are away from your desk or are busy.

It should allow you to identify different departments with numbers that you assign yourself, the same way that you do a speed dial on a mobile telephone.

All these features are usually supported by an LCD screen so any phones you consider buying sh0uld have screens.

Your particular requirements

As a business, you may have certain requirements that you have to take into account if you are going to get the right kind of small business telephone system. If, for example, you communicate abroad frequently, you may have to choose one that allows VoIP, At present, If your internet connection will be through your telephone system, then you may need to get broadband. Even smaller considerations, like whether several desks will be expected to share a phone are important. Think about whether you want a system where employees can call out direct from their desk phones or whether they have to request the switchboard to do it for them.

The installation and maintenance of the phone system

This is a very important factor for small business if they want to avoid downtime. Sometimes, businesses can afford to call in experts for repairs and maintenance, but in many cases, budgets are tight which means that the business has to have an in-house person, like an IT expert, who can repair and maintain telephones. This person needs to be taken along when the phones are purchased so that he can get first hand demonstrations from the vendor on how to fix basic problems. If the internet connection relies on the phone system as well, they should discuss basic fixes for this as well.


As with anything else, you want to compare vendors of small business telephone systems before you buy. Ask them to send you a list of what phones they have and their capabilities. There is another great consideration here: you want to buy a system that you can add on to in the future without great cost. Networked phone systems can sometimes be exorbitant when additional users (phones) are added to the system. Do a little research and then discuss with different vendors what options are available, in case you need to expand.

Increased reliability

For whatever reason that you are acquiring a new telephone system, you must make sure that it comes with increased reliability over the last one. It must be able to do what the old one could do and more. One thing that is commonly overlooked is features for the future. Technology is at a place where you can get a few additional features in the equipment based on what the immediate future is looking like. The best small business telephone systems should have some expansion possibilities already built in.

Lastly, and not many employers consider this, ask your employees what they think would work better for them in the new system. Talk to the ones who spend a lot of time talking on the phone – the receptionist, sales staff and customer service staff about making their job easier, and use the feedback to get phones that can increase their performance.