“This has been an insane year!” is a phrase usually uttered by small business owners most years, but for 2020, it’s particularly relevant. A pandemic blew up the traditional notion of how business is done—with many small businesses, unfortunately, being done for in the process—and other natural disasters have whacked businesses further. What it all shows is that small business need to be as flexible as possible to be able to anticipate whatever it is that comes their way. And the best way to do that is with a small business phone system.
Small business phone systems allow rising entrepreneurs to get a leg up on the competition and for old hands to reinvent themselves. When used correctly, they allow business owners to maximize flexibility in ways that help them across the board.
Small business phone systems can, for one, offer the benefit of not needing a physical central location, both for where you physically do business and where you physically store your data- all while offering a digital option for both. Adding (or subtracting) new numbers and employees in many newer small business phone systems, such as MightyCall’s, is often a seamless process. Plus, many small business phone systems come with tons of extra features which, when combined together, significantly up the professionality of your business…even if you are just in a one-person office.
Follow along with us as we explore all of these key concepts in more detail.
Ditch the traditional “office space”…
Everyone loves “The Office” (both the UK and US versions) and “Office Space,” so we’ll make apologies to those fans- but you’ll forgive us for noting that 2020 has effectively shown the weakness of actually relying on literal, physical office space.
Having a central location works for huge companies or for occasionally having to make big presentations. But relying on it five days a week, eight hours a day is increasingly making less and less sense- and it makes even *less* sense for small business owners. Renting out a space to do work is not cheap, requires all of your employees to schlep on over to wherever it is you decide to plant your flag. This in turn dramatically limits your hiring potential- there could be some absolutely great employees who could really help take your business to the next level, but live 50 miles away and won’t be interested in three hours of driving each day.
Small business phone systems turn this whole concept on its head. With modern small business phone systems, most work can be done online and in a central digital location (the benefits of which we’ll be getting to a couple of paragraphs from now). With all of your employees linked to an online portal, and all employees able to make calls through the said portal on their computers (or on their cell phones, as many newer small business phone systems allow for), the need for a central office location is completely diminished. Sure, there will be times when you need to have that physical meetup- but you could do that by renting out a coworking space (the idea of which has, not coincidentally, been increasingly growing in popularity) for when those meetings have to take place. Or heck, if people live close enough, you could even just meet in your local downtown coffee shop.
Aside from being able to hire better people, you’ll be able to save huge amounts of money on rent. Modern clients are not going to expect you to have a brick-and-mortar office- they’ll expect to get their products or services on time. Ditching the traditional office setup in favor of a modern small business phone system will help you to do that.
…and ditch the traditional way of doing digital.
A lot of traditional offices and small businesses rely on physically-based computing systems. As in, if you want to do your work, and your work is on your work computer, then you have to work from the office. This is a system that was necessary for the 1990s and early 2000s, but even then, it was a pain. What happens if you’re too sick to go to the office but not sick enough to check your emails? Well, back then, you wouldn’t be checking your emails. It was annoying, but a necessity.
Nowadays some small businesses have found ways around that with remote work, but that’s usually an incredibly clunky process, and involves downloading VPNs that take forever to get working and take even longer to load when you need them to work.
With modern small business phone systems, you have alternative options. Many telephony companies allow you to store all of your information on the internet, easily accessible from any internet-connected device. As was mentioned above, your employees can oftentimes easily log in and do work as well. Many companies allow you to do things like edit contacts and leave notes about different calls, allowing for your digital hub to actually be a hub, as opposed to being a digital cubicle. Modern filesharing services (many of the major ones being completely free to use and secure) have made the process of moving away from the older office and toward a modern small business phone system even simpler.
Essentially, this all means that the modern office has been moved both physically and digitally to wherever you need to go, whenever you need to access it. You are totally unmoored from having to drive 30 minutes into your office because you forgot to save a file to your laptop. You’re unmoored from rent and unmoored from geographic restrictions, free to sail the 21st-century small business seas without your anchors driving you down.
Expand (or Shrink) Your Business as Necessary
Here’s another problem with the older hard phone-based small business concepts: growing and shrinking your business usually means you have a lot of extra material lying around. Likewise, growing dramatically or shrinking dramatically means you usually will have to get a new office space, which—as anyone who has ever moved anything ever can say—is incredibly obnoxious.
But with a modern small business phone system, all of those disadvantages go out the window. If you are on a roll and feel comfortable with adding new people, you just need to go onto your online portal and add them into the system (some telephony companies like MightyCall allow for free limitless phone extensions, effectively allowing you to quickly add as many people as you need).
This is a massive boon to small businesses that need to add short-term workers in different seasons or need to pare down operations for a bit (like if, say, a global pandemic strikes). Not having to go through the hassle of calling an external company to come and take your extra desk phone will be more relieving than you realize, and being able to add new employees in minutes—without ever having to have physically met them at all—without jumping through hoops will be incredibly helpful.
Add a Professional Touch to Your Small Business with a Modern Small Business Phone System
Finally, many modern small business phone systems offer loads of extra features, many of which are things you will actually use (as opposed to features that are just chucked on there to look impressive to potential clients of said phone systems). Features like call recording, voicemail transcription, shared contact lists, texting, call forwarding, simple VIP and block listing, and simple access via a mobile app are all features which actually help you to run your business in a way that allows you to be a little bit more professional.
No more forgetting what you said to a client- you have it automatically recorded. No more clogged phone lines with spam callers- you’ve got easy access to blocklists. And what makes this all even better is how easy it is to use these features; many are often automatic, and those which you need are easily turned on or off. This contrasts with those standard desk phones, where you usually have to navigate small little menus that are impossible to read or understand.
The last feature, the mobile app, is worth focusing a little bit more on because it’s really a symbol of all of the things we’ve discussed thus far. Having all of your information on your cellphone—without even needing a computer—completes the idea of a modern small business phone system being the way of the future. Who needs office space when all of your information is on your phone? You can do work from the beach! Looking professional? Well, you’ll never need to tell a client “Well I’m not at my office now but tomorrow I can get that for you.”. You can get whatever it is you need right that minute.
Don’t drag it out any longer (and don’t let that anchor drag your small business down!). Getting a modern small business phone system is the solution to problems you may not have even realized you had- and it’s the answer you need.