Choosing a new business phone system can be difficult if you don’t know what type of phone system your business needs and have no idea what to budget for. I came across a great article about how much to expect to pay for a new business phone system written by Compare Business Products and thought I would summarize it for you. Although the price will always vary with your industry and how you do business, use this summarization as quick price guide reference.
Identifying Your Needs
Research should be your top priority when considering purchasing a phone system. Speak with employees to find out what functions are necessary and which could help improve your efficiency. Once you have a general idea of what features you need, or even if you have no idea at all, it’s time to talk with a phone system vendor. Be prepared to answer some of the following questions:
How many employees will be using the phone system initially?
Do you anticipate growth over the next 3-5 years? If so, could you be opening new locations or adding new employees?
What features will you need?
The vendor will help steer you in the right direction, but it’s best to have done as much research possible before your meeting so you truly understand what your business needs are.
Main Types of Phone Systems
The two main types of phone systems you will choose from are a PBX system or a VoIP system. The PBX system uses existing telephone lines and the system hardware is physically at your place of business. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol uses your internet connection to function and is often time hosted by a provider off-site. Becoming more popular is hybrid of the two, known as PBX VoIP. PBX VoIP is a PBX system that has VoIP services.
What Pricing is Based On
Base Phone System: This is your actual phone system. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for your base system.
Phones: There is usually a wide variety of phone available to buy. Try talking to your vendor to see if there are any promotions or if you can receive any discount for buying from them. You can also go the route of buying used equipment on Ebay, but just make sure the phones you are buying are compatible with your system.
Features and Add-ons: Knowing what features your company needs can save you money by not splurging on features you will never use. Ask your vendor if there are bundled packages available that can lower your cost and still include all the needed features.
Installation & Maintenance: Talk to your vendor about the total cost of ownership for your new phone system. In addition, find out what installation and maintenance fees usually are.
Rough Prices for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
The prices listed below are per employee, per month. Remember, these are just rough numbers, as pricing will be different for every business, even if in the same industry.
Small Businesses (1-50 Employees)
PBX Phone System: $800-$1,000 per employee per month
VoIP Phone System: $50-$600 per employee per month
Medium Businesses (50-500 Employees)
PBX Phone System: $700-$1,000 per employee per month
VoIP Phone System: $250-$500 per employee per month