VoIP for Business: How to Establish a Virtual Office Environment

As VoIP has grown in popularity, many businesses have bought into it to facilitate easy, inexpensive communication. The integration of two-way radios over the internet has allowed companies to pick up and make calls without having a traditional phone line. However, like with any new technology, there are still some growing pains involved for those who wish to use it.

Many people who have been introduced to VoIP have reported that their calls were not making it through. It is a frustrating experience, and the problem could be on either side of the phone line. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your business makes the most of your VoIP service each time you use it. By following a few simple guidelines, you can effectively establish your own virtual office and ensure that each call coming in and out of the company is managed and routed as efficiently as possible.

Know Where You Spend Most of Your Time

It's important to know where most of your time will be spent during the day – this makes it much easier for your business to operate. If you only work from home on Mondays, for example, then there's no reason to have a phone number that forwards calls elsewhere during those days. However, if most of your work is conducted elsewhere and the majority of your employees still work in-house at their desks or cubicles, then it might be helpful for them to have direct access to a phone line that runs through your business.

The same principle applies to no-answer forwarding – if you know you're unreachable for most of the day, it might be beneficial to forward calls elsewhere so they don't come through and ring endlessly. However, if you always want your calls forwarded to your cell phone so you can pick them up outside of the office, then it's important to have that number programmed into your business line. Not only will a virtual office allow you to have your cake and eat it too, but it will also help cut down on the amount of time you spend switching between lines.

Give Your Virtual Office Another Extension

Before pulling the trigger on buying equipment for your virtual office, give some thought to what type of business model you want to follow. If phone calls are a huge part of your business, then you should consider buying a dedicated system with at least four or five extensions. This might seem like a lot to invest in, but it will pay off in the long run because you won't have to worry about dropped calls as much as you would if each extension were using a different device. If your fax line is also using VoIP, then that should be included in the number of extensions you go with. For example, if you have five employees who will each need their own line plus a fax machine, then you'll want to buy one device for each of them.

If phone calls are less important for your business, then you could look into using Voice Over IP for your faxes instead. If this is the case, then it might be easier to buy one device with two lines so employees can pick up phones when needed and send faxes when they're not talking on the phone.

Buy Dedicated Hardware for Your Virtual Office

Once you know how many extensions you want and what type of devices you need, then it's time to buy. If you're looking into using VoIP for everything, then consider getting a network attached storage system that has at least four drive bays. This will allow you to have plenty of space for saving phone calls as well as any other files your company might need to store. Don't forget to include power back-ups for this system if you plan on using it as your virtual office's main hub!

You might also consider getting an analog telephone adapter that can be used to attach around eight devices into a single VoIP line. This will allow your employees to use the same number even when they're in the field, and it will also save you money when they make calls directly from their cell phones.

There's no telling what type of business model your company is going to follow in the future; however, if most of your employees work in-house and phone calls are a huge part of how you operate, then VoIP can help your business run more smoothly.

If you are in search of a business VoIP provider to partner with, parṭner with menetalk - leading business VoIP providers UK.

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