Small Business Brief

Business Advice

How to Select the Best Business Phone and Internet Providers

How can you choose the best business phone and internet providers for your company? Follow these tips to help you find the right criteria before making your selection.

Are you frustrated with slow website speeds?

Do you feel like you spend far too much time returning missed calls — or on the phone to tech support?

Are you worried about the business that you’re losing due to buggy websites and glitches in your phone system?

If so, then it sounds like it’s time to look into getting new business phone and internet providers.

However, especially in today’s world, it can be tough to choose the right commercial internet providers and phone companies.

Read on to learn how to make the right decision for your company.

How to Choose the Right Phone System

When you’re in the market for quality business phone and Internet providers, you need to think about the features you need, your company priorities, and even the type of system that will work best for you.

In this section, we’ll take a look at the things you need to consider when choosing a business phone.

Understand your Needs

First of all, make sure that you’re able to clearly define your priorities when you’re on the hunt for a phone provider.

Would you like a cloud-managed system, a VoIP system that lets your employees dial from their computers, or a more traditional setup?

Would you like for your employees to have a single business number, or should their company cellphones be different from their office lines?

Can you host your own phone service in your office, or do you need offsite hardware to keep things running?

If you’re going with a landline through a more local company, then you’ll definitely need some kind of on-site system. However, be aware that this means you likely won’t be able to access your phone system from anywhere other than your desk.

If you choose a VoIP system, then you’ll need to ensure you have a stable enough internet connection in your office to support it. You can also opt for cloud hosting, which should be able to scale in size with the needs and growth patterns of your business.

Consider Functions and Features

You should also take a look at the kinds of features that you’ll need from your phone system.

For example, will you need to have your business calls forwarded to a personal cell phone? Would you like to be able to access your voicemail from anywhere?

Are you looking for lines that come with a virtual receptionist, or a 24/7 answering service that can help you to schedule business appointments and handle follow-up/reminder calls?

How many phone lines will you need to install? And will a professional representative and tech come to install it, or will you be expected to handle those costs on your own?

Above all, how will support and employee training be handled? If there is a problem with your phone lines, how long will it take the issue to be repaired?

Remember, a downed phone line can have a serious impact on your business. You need to know you’ll be able to get the help that you need.

What to Look for in Commercial Internet Providers

When you compare internet providers, there are lots of things that you’ll need to take into consideration.

From tech support to speed, let’s take a look at the most important aspects when it comes to how to choose internet provider options.

Know the Right Questions

The best internet providers should be able to provide you with certain guaranteed uptime. In general, that number should be somewhere between 98-99%. You should also ask about how long the average outage lasts.

You also need to know how your internet provider will work to keep your internet and client data safe and secure from hackers. With 14 million small businesses hacked over the course of only a few months, it’s time to take security seriously.

How will they encrypt your data, which antivirus software will they install, and how often will they run updates on your system? How do they monitor for unusual activity or suspicious login attempts?

Also, ask whether or not they provide 24/7 support in the event of a crisis.

Finally, be sure that you ask about the overall length and cancellation policy of your contract. You need to be sure that you’ll be able to get out of it safely and with relative ease if it isn’t working out.

More Things to Consider

When it comes to both your business phone and internet providers, you need to make sure you’re working with companies who can attend to your needs.

Make sure that the company can provide you with the appropriate amount of bandwidth and speeds that will work with your business’s size. Also, make sure that they’re able to scale that bandwidth as your business grows.

Ask about any potential data caps they impose, and understand the amount of cloud storage space they can provide you with.

Also, ask about any equipment that you’ll need to purchase alongside your connection.

Finally, understand that it’s often possible to bundle your business phone and internet providers together. View here for more information about how companies like Gamma can make it happen.

Ready to Upgrade your Business Phone and Internet Providers?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand the key things that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to your business phone and internet providers.

Remember to ask about uptime, tech support, and the specific features and scalability of each option.

When you think you’ve found the right provider, be sure to draw up a contract to protect yourself. Use our templates to help you get it right.

Looking for more advice on how to increase your business’s operating efficiency? Be sure to check out our blog to learn more.