With the economy recovering at a snail’s pace, it’s still important to keep a sharp eye on all business expenses. This includes the monthly business telephone bill. Have you had this nagging feeling that you are paying a lot more for phone service than you could be? You are most likely right… and here’s why.
Most businesses start off by equipping their office or store with at least one traditional analog phone line that they get from the local telephone company. The smallest businesses get by with a single phone and its dedicated line. As they grow, the business may install a cordless phone system with two to four handsets all sharing that same line. Eventually, you may need to add a second line so two people can take or make calls without waiting.
SOHO (Small Office / Home Office) users may never get past this stage. You need an office full of staff to justify a PBX system or enterprise VoIP. You could be feeling left behind when you find out all the handy features these systems offer and how they can save money over just adding more and more analog phone lines to your location. Is there anything appropriate for small operators who just can’t justify the cost of these more sophisticated systems?
You bet there is. You can take advantage of the latest technology and cut the phone bill you have now by half or even more. How? By doing what the big guys do and move to a network voice solution.
Network voice? That’s another term for VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP can run on private networks or over the Internet, as the name implies.
The reason for the term network voice is that your phone calls, voice conversations, are converted to a protocol that will run on computer networks rather than the specialized telephone company lines. Why do this? Most every business now has broadband Internet service. You almost can’t do business without it these days. What you may not realize is that the broadband connection you already have can do double duty as a phone line as well.
This is where a lot of the savings comes from. Right now you pay for two lines. You pay one bill for your broadband line and second bill for your telephone line. Disconnect that telephone line and you save a chunk of change each month.
Sounds good, but if you get rid of your phone line what do you plug your business phone into? You can’t just plug it into your router. The connectors are completely different sizes.
What you need is an adaptor, also called an ATA or Analog Telephone Adaptor. This is the electronics that converts telephone signals to Internet signals. You plug your phone into one jack and your cable or DSL modem into the other. There is an additional jack to plug your router into. Now everything is connected to the Internet and it all works just like before… except you are minus one outside phone line and that expensive monthly bill.
You still need a phone company, don’t you. Yes, but with VoIP you can choose a lower cost provider that gives you dozens of calling features that you are probably paying for a-la-carte right now. Choose wisely and you’ll get a provider that will give you that telephone adaptor box for free.
One of the premier companies in this field is Phone Power. They specialize in VoIP phone service for small and home offices and other small business users. You can use this as your home phone service as well if you office is in your home. That’s because a cloned second line is included with your service.
That adaptor box I was talking about, the ATA, comes with not one but two phone jacks from Phone Power. This allows you to have two simultaneous conversations on separate connections. You still have a single phone number but you can share that line and not interfere with each other’s conversations.
On top of the cloned second line, you’ll get a total of 45 features including 3 way conference calling, call hold, call waiting, call waiting Caller ID, call blocking, call return, call forwarding, do not disturb, voice mail, speed dial and a lot more. You even get an hour’s worth of international calling included each month so you don’t have to pay extra for international calls. Oh, both local and long distance calling to the US and Canada are also included, so there’s no need for a pricey extra long distance service.
How much does all of this cost? Would you be shocked to hear $8.33 a month? Sorry if just did a spit-take, but it’s true. The best plan, prepaid for a year with a second year’s service added free, comes out to a $8.33 monthly average. If you prefer to go month to month it’s $19.95 a month. That's probably much lower than your current bill.
Do a lot of International business or need to talk to friends and relatives around the world? The Phone Power Unlimited World Plus plan gives your unlimited calling to 75 countries and 26 mobile areas for just $24.95 a month plus taxes that you pay no matter what service you have.
Intrigued? You really should check out all the details on Phone Power phone services and compare with what you are paying for what you get now. You may well do what other small businesses have done and make the switch, pocketing the considerable cost difference.