Telephone Systems for Small Businesses

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Last Updated: 27 January 2017

Find the Best Telephone Systems for Small Businesses in the UK

Communication within a company and between employees and customers is an important step in creating an effective business. Choosing the right telephone system for small business is as essential as in the case of big companies. It can influence the costs associated with your business communication and optimise the daily operations.

Telephone systems for small businesses in the UK vary on a number of factors such as the number of employees, the features needed and the amount of lines required.

Market Inspector provides professional advice and reviews about telephone systems! You can compare price and quality of different phone solutions on the market that best fit your business needs! Fill out the form and get four non-binding quotes, totally free of charge!

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Telephone Systems for Small Businesses

Small businesses are defined as employing less than 50 people. Therefore, choosing the right office phone system can help you from investing in a more expanded business telephone systems than your small business needs.

The key difference between the office phone systems is that some are analogue whereas the others rely on Internet to connect receivers.
Telephone systems for small businesses can be divided into two types: Key telephone systems (KSU) and VoIP systems.

The two types of office phone systems are available as both on premise and cloud versions in the UK. Depending on your requirements, some telephone systems might be more suitable than others. Costs related to installation and maintenance of the phone system vary and also depend on the type of system chosen.

Key Telephone Systems for Small Businesses

Key telephone system is the most basic phone system available. It allows the manual selection of phone lines through a switching device called the Key System Unit (KSU). It is easy to use and very similar to a home phone system. The key telephone system includes all basic features you would expect.

This type of telephone system for small businesses has a limited number of phone lines and it allows for a maximum of 40 users to connect. This is one of the factors that make key telephone systems a suitable solution for small businesses. Key telephone systems can be classified into Key System Unit (KSU) and KSU- less systems.

These two type of key telephone systems differ in terms of costs associated, number of users and features.

KSU Systems

The KSU systems are office telephone systems that are easy to install and maintain. This is the reason why they are a very suitable solution for small businesses and start-ups. They are connected to the key system unit that keeps the information and allows to switch between the phone lines.

Although they make a good choice small companies, their disadvantage comes with regard to flexibility and mobility as they need to be connected to the key system unit. This type of system is basic and therefore does not provide any of the advanced features that VoIP systems do.

In the UK, prices for the KSU systems range between £100 and £200 without the installation costs.

KSU-less Systems

KSU-less systems follow the same principle with KSU systems, except that phone lines are no longer operated by the key system unit. Phones are wireless and this makes it a more flexible and user-friendly business phone system. The lack of the key system unit makes it a cost- effective choice. There is no infrastructure to install and the mobility is increased as the KSU- less systems can be easily transferred to new office locations.

The disadvantage of KSU- less is the scalability restriction. This telephone system only supports a maximum of 10 users. It is a phone system more suitable for small businesses that do not forecast immediate growth and do not receive or make a large volume of calls on a daily basis.

In the UK, prices for KSU- less systems start below £100 without the installation costs.

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VoIP Systems for Small Businesses

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol or Voice over IP. VoIP systems are one of the most recent innovations when it comes to business telecommunication. This type of telephone system for small businesses uses Internet connection to make phone calls. This way of communicating makes it easier and cheaper to make long-distance calls. It is a great choice for an office phone system in terms of flexibility, functionality and features. VoIP systems provide absolute freedom in terms of the number of users that can be added to the system. 

For a good operation of a VoIP system, businesses need a computer, reliable Internet connection, a phone and a VoIP provider. When a call is made using this business phone system, it is sent over Internet to the receiver where it is transformed into a phone-line friendly format. In this way, the call can be received by any type of telephone system.

VoIP systems are a more expensive option compared to the KSU systems. It fits businesses of all sizes. It is a great option for small businesses that plan to expand over time and have the necessary resources to invest into a performant telephone system.

In the UK, prices for VoIP systems range from £2000 to £15000. If you choose the hosted version of VoIP, costs are per end user and can be around £12 - £30 monthly. In addition, the price for a single phone set is £60.

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Costs of Telephone Systems for Small Businesses

Before choosing between KSU systems and VoIP systems, you need to consider not only the costs involved but also the features each system brings. It is also important to consider the possibility of business expansion. As mentioned before, KSU systems start at under £100 up to £200 whereas VoIP can go up to £15000.

KSU systems are a suitable solution to start with but not when it comes to flexibility and additional costs for international calls. If you are also considering the possibility of expanding your company, you need to understand the limitation regarding the number of users. Even though this telephone system for small businesses may save you money in the beginning, it may affect your business telecommunication once your company starts growing.

VoIP systems are an expensive investment. The biggest advantage is that they offer you the chance to pay depending on the number of users. There is also the possibility to increase the number of users at any time without a complicated process. In the long run, it may prove to be a good choice when it comes to telephone systems for small businesses.

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Features of Telephone Systems for Small Businesses

Business communication has evolved over the years becoming easier, faster and cheaper. Depending on the provider chosen and the model of telephone system, you can incorporate some advanced and features and upgrades. Normally, business telephone systems have the following features:

  • Call waiting
  • On- hold music
  • Automated attendant 
  • Call redirecting or forwarding to mobile phone
  • Conference calls
  • Call recording
  • Speed dial
  • Private voice mail

Choosing the Suitable Telephone System for Your Small Business

These are few of the reasons and features of the telephone systems for small businesses. In order to make the best choice, it is important to have a clear plan for communication within your office and be aware of the features and advantages of each type of business telephone systems. No matter if you choose KSU Systems or VoIP systems, you will have a stable business telecommunication and features tailored for your needs!

Market Inspector offers businesses professional reviews for telephone systems as a completely free service! You can compare prices and quotes from different suppliers by filling out the free quote form on the page! Our team will assist you with up to four free non-binding quotes totally customised to your company’s business needs!