In a highly competitive market, small businesses need any leg-up they can find. It’s not enough to offer a unique product or better customer service – sometimes it all comes down to dollars. If small businesses and startups were able to significantly reduce their overhead costs, they could effectively expand their reach and have a greater impact on their market. This is exactly what voice over Internet protocol (or VoIP) technology is doing for small companies, and it’s a trend that is growing at astronomical speeds.
The Cold Hard Facts
It’s estimated that 79 percent of U.S. businesses utilize VoIP, and that companies are switching over to internet-based calling at a rate of 14 percent. This is a huge jump for one industry, and it has been a steady progression over almost ten years. This seems to suggest that not only is VoIP here to stay, but it must be doing a lot of things right. Small businesses especially have been benefiting from VoIP, as startups can slash their overall costs by nearly 90 percent simply by swapping out their traditional phone service for internet-based calling. This means money saved, but it also means money to pour into growing the business, thereby expanding their customer base so that revenue increases. So how exactly is VoIP creating these cost breaks for small businesses?
What Makes VoIP So Effective?
Internet-based calling is exponentially cheaper than traditional phone service, for a number of reasons. First, there is no need for installing costly phone systems. You can make calls directly from any desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Secondly, long-distance calls are typically included on a VoIP plan, and international rates are far lower than with traditional landlines. For small businesses that are trying to make connections and be in close contact with their employees, this costs a significant amount.
Beyond the cost benefits, one of VoIP’s big advantages is its mobility. You can make calls from anywhere, using any device you already have. And your calls don’t have to be limited to voice only – you can make video calls as well so that you can see your clients or employees face to face for more effective communication. VoIP also enables you to receive calls on multiple devices at the same time so you never miss a call. You can even set up your traditional landline phones with an adapter that enables them to make and receive internet-based calls – a huge plus for an office environment, as it practically eliminates any need for a landline service.
One of the big reasons many companies resist switching to VoIP is the idea that the quality may be poor, and for a startup business that is attempting to expand, dropping calls or being unable to communicate without static interference can be a huge disadvantage. However, as long as you are connected to a steady broadband connection, the quality is actually much better than with a traditional landline, and it continues to improve over time as the technology advances.
Small Businesses: Underdogs No More?
There’s no doubt VoIP is creating better environments for small businesses to thrive. Its flexibility helps to streamline the communication process while eliminating a huge source of spending that these businesses can funnel into other areas of growth. So does VoIP make smaller businesses into stiffer competition with the already established big businesses? Statistics and common sense both seem to indicate yes. The huge cost reduction and mobility that VoIP offers give small businesses the boost they need to become bigger players in an ever-advancing competitive market.
Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 31, 2016 at 06:15PM