It's an obvious statement, but the telephone is vital to your
business, Customers book shifts, workers need to be chased and
supported. Sending texts (SMS) and User web pages can help.
What is less obvious is that there is a wide range of choices for
your telephone or telephone system.
As a start-up, as an existing agency looking to cut costs
without reducing service or an agency looking to be more flexible
as they expand, the wrong choice of telephone system can be
expensive and very disruptive both for short periods when moving
offices or redirecting lines on a permanent basis. This is true if
your office needs to move, you need more space or with the glut of
office space available you can just bet a better deal. Maybe with
the upturn, you just need more phone lines.
There are three choices, each with a range of service providers.
They are in order of historical popularity: Fixed land line
(conventional phone), mobile phone and much less well known:
Internet Phone. Greater saving can be achieved by cutting out
A mobile phone:
- With you wherever you are. (Mobile!)
- Can be replaced quickly, on the same number if broken or lost:
though usually at some expense.
- A mobile "07….." number may not portray the right image when
you are trying to get new customers: a fixed line local number says
"permanent" and "local company".
- Possibly much more expensive.
- It can be difficult if you have more than one person in the
office and more than one mobile number.
- Mobiles can be lost or stolen leading to added expense and
being out of communication whist a replacement SIM and phone is
sorted with your local phone shop.
- They do go flat regularly, gone are the days when a mobile
would last a week on a single charge.
- The signal can be quite variable and even with a good signal
reading, networks can and do reach saturation, stopping you making
or receiving calls.
A fixed land line (conventional
- A fixed line local number says "permanent" and "local company".
A wide range of providers (you do not have to put up with BT's
India support when there is a problem). For example Sky.
- Lower cost.
- Can have broadband (preferably fibre) bundled in at little or
no extra cost, for your email, and updating your web site.
- Fixed location.
- If you use BT as your phone supplier, you are in for large
bills if there is a line fault which needs an engineer to call.
Also BT is not the speediest when it comes to repairs. Compared
with nipping down to the local mobile shop for a new SIM and phone,
it can take days. Moving a BT number can take months or even a year
and still not be successful. They still keep charging you and the
Ombudsman is not necessarily your friend. Be prepared for a
terrible experience when things go wrong.
- If you use BT then appalling service is a predictable norm: any
company that values its customer so highly that it places its
support centre on the other side of the world almost as far away as
possible without being in outer space, need no further
Internet phone. Also known as "voice
over IP" or VoIP:
- Good support (with the right provider).
- Very inexpensive.
- Choices of Local (geographic) numbers giving local
- Very flexible: (the phone can move with you to anywhere you
have a reasonable broadband connection and be up and running in
- Very flexible, your phone can ring simultaneously at your home,
office or offices on the same number at minor or no extra
- Easy to set up if with the right provider.
- Can be Mobile.
- With a good fibre supplier and excellent customer support and
service from companies like Sky fibre broadband and Voipfone issues
just melt away.
- A bit mysterious or un-known.
- Needs setting up.
- A poor internet connection can give poor call quality.
Useful links for further investigation:
(From experience we recommend)
Sky fibre broadband
Voipfone (not to be confused with