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Quick Summary: Small Business Phone System Costs
On average, a PBX phone system will cost $800 to $1000 per user. A key business phone system will cost a business less as they run from $300 to $1,000 per user. A KSU-less system is the best option for businesses with under 10 employees. These inexpensive systems price out at about $100-$250 per phone.
While businesses today have more means of communicating with their customers than ever before some situations demand the directness of voice communication. The telephone, as a business tool, is far from outdated. In many situations email, instant message, and social media just won't do. Thanks to advances in technology office phone systems are smaller, more powerful, and more capable than ever before. Whether you have a small business that is looking for a secure and reliable means of reaching customers and boosting efficiency or a large business in need of maximum flexibility and capability, an office phone system offers a distinct competitive advantage.
Advantages of an Office Phone System
A dedicated phone system is beneficial for businesses of every size. Some of the greatest benefits you'll gain from a phone system are:
- Efficiency: By sharing voice resources your business can run much more smoothly. For example, a phone system gives you the ability to transfer calls from one worker or department to another, allowing a customer to get the information he or she needs as soon as possible. It also allows other features such as voicemail, fax line conferencing, and messaging to be integrated and streamlined. And for the busy independent business owner, the ability to have an office phone call forwarded directly to your wireless device is a huge plus. Of course, all of this efficiency equals lower costs for you business.
- The Ability to Grow with Your Business: After an initial investment in a business phone system upgrading it to meet the needs of your growing business is relatively simple. Locations and functions can be added, ensuring that the capacity of your phone system keeps pace with your business needs.
Types of Office Phone Systems
There are three major types of business phone systems:
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system
- Key System
- KSU-less System
The major differences between them have to do with the number of extensions and types of features they can handle.
The PBX phone system is meant for businesses with more than 40 employees or those that require complex functions. PBX systems were once massive units. While they can still take up quite a bit of room for a large corporation, a small-business PBX system can fit on top of a desk. Generally, a PBX system is best for a business with numerous departments and subdivisions, as it can support a wide range of features such as auto-attendant, conferencing, computer-telephony integration (CTI), voicemail, and more. A PBX system can also be programmed to meet specific demands, no matter how complex.
As you might expect, a PBX system is at the top of the business phone systems price range at approximately $800-$1,000 per user. Large businesses can expect a lower cost per user up front, and small business will pay more. Remember, however, that a high initial cost is usually offset in the long run, especially as your business grows and its needs expand.
A key system is suitable for the business with 5-40 employees. It utilizes a central unit that controls multiple lines and extensions as well as telephones with multiple buttons and lights that show which lines and extensions are in use. Typical features in a key system include all those a business would expect and need such as hold, intercom, memory dialing, music-on-hold, paging, speakerphone, and more.
The average user may have difficulty distinguishing between a key system and a PBX system, as many of them have overlapping capabilities. And while key systems are typically less flexible and customizable than a PBX system, they are also cheaper, costing around $300-$1,000 per employee.
A KSU-less system is a suitable small business phone system for a business with fewer than 10 employees. The "less" aspect of the KSU-less system refers to a lack of a centralized control unit. Rather, each individual office phone has the capability to link to others in the system. Because of this, they don't require professional installation or permanent wiring and can easily be unplugged and relocated. The simplicity of a KSU-less system makes it the least expensive small business phone systems option, at around $100-$250 per phone.