As a small business in a rural community, it’s all too easy to feel as though you’re at the mercy of a very limited pool of traditional phone service providers. High installation costs and limited telecom infrastructure make it difficult and expensive to add new phone lines and grow your business. You miss out on features and capabilities that businesses in more urban areas take for granted.
A lack of flexible working arrangements can make it hard for your business to compete. And traditional phone lines often lack robust redundancy and disaster recovery features, leaving your business and your customers in the dark for hours or even days if your lines are damaged.
Fortunately, there is a better way. WiFi VoIP phones are becoming more available for rural businesses than ever before, providing new and better ways for employees and customers to stay connected. In this article, we’ll show you what VoIP is, how it works, and how you can find the best VoIP phones for your small business.
How VoIP Works
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and as the name suggests, it replaces traditional telephone lines by allowing you to make voice calls over the Internet.
Traditional phone systems transmit analog voice signals through dedicated cables. VoIP phone systems, however, take those analog signals, convert them to digital data, and transmit them through the internet just like any other kind of data.
Think of VoIP and traditional telephone cables as the middlemen that sit between your phone and a customer’s. Both of them send your voice to your customers and your customer’s voice to you, but VoIP uses a more advanced method that takes advantage of newer technologies to make phone systems easier to use and more reliable.
What makes WiFi VoIP phones better than cable phone lines?
Sometimes, newer technology really is better than older technology. When you augment your phones with VoIP, your business’s phone lines become much more flexible and capable of keeping you in touch with your customers. Some of the advantages VoIP phone systems offer include:
- Cost savings compared to traditional phone lines
- The ability to easily add or remove phone lines without needing to build new physical infrastructure, such as laying new cables
- Expanded productivity features, such as voicemail, call forwarding, call recording, and video conferencing
- The ability for your employees to make and receive calls on your network wherever they have an internet connection
- Integration with other software platforms your business might use, such as CRM software or email tools
VoIP phone systems for small businesses can even provide better audio quality for your calls!
In the era of remote and hybrid work, small business phone systems with VoIP not only make it easier to keep in touch with customers and deliver better services but also for your employees to collaborate and improve their productivity.
How VoIP Helps Rural Businesses
Relying on traditional phone lines in rural areas can be a real pain for your business, but wireless VoIP phones make keeping in touch easy.
Your business is no longer tied down by expensive phone cables to telecoms who aren’t interested in providing reliable service to your area. In recent years, broadband internet has become much more accessible and affordable in rural areas than traditional phone lines, making WiFi VoIP phones easier to use than ever before.
Small business phone systems with VoIP provide reliable phone service for mobile employees and help rural businesses expand their presence and reach more customers without costly infrastructure upgrades. Many business VoIP offerings come as flat-rate plans that make communication costs predictable and easily manageable, and as a result, are often much cheaper than traditional phone services.
Business VoIP is an essential tool for modern rural businesses to remain competitive and expand your reach to new customers with better, more reliable, and more cost-effective phone service.
How to Choose the Best Wireless VoIP Phones for Rural Businesses
What is the best VoIP phone system for small businesses? To answer that question, you need to start by asking some questions of your own:
- How big is your business? How much do you expect to grow in the short term?
- How many of your employees will use your VoIP phone systems?
- What features do you need? (i.e. voicemail, call recording, conferencing, integration with your CRM)
- Do your employees often work in the field or from home offices?
With these questions under your belt, you can start making an informed search for WiFi VoIP phone systems in your area. VoIP depends heavily on a strong, reliable internet connection that doesn’t rely on phone lines like dial-up or have high latency like satellite. Fortunately, rural broadband has become much more available over the years and provides better, more reliable internet connectivity than satellite, dial-up, or DSL.
The broadband internet provider or providers in your area may have their own VoIP services. Carefully evaluate the features their small business phone plans offer, such as:
- Sound quality
- Call transfer, routing, smart voicemail, and other features
- Lines and extensions
- Redundancy and disaster recovery features
Other important questions to ask about your options at this stage include:
- Do they have multiple plans to accommodate the unique needs of different businesses?
- Do they charge monthly flat rates?
- Can you and your employees keep your existing phones with VoIP?
- Are the provider’s services compatible with existing hardware, such as IP phones or headsets?
- What new equipment do you need?
- How much will the provider help with installation and ongoing tech support?
- How secure are your provider’s phone lines?
- Does the provider support access to emergency services?
Choosing the right VoIP service provider for your small business also involves reading online reviews for their services and asking local businesses which service providers they have experience with to get a better sense of their reputation for quality service.
TISD: Better Phones Made Friendly
At TISD, we’re committed to providing the best possible broadband internet services to rural areas where big telecoms fear to tread. We provide the best VoIP phones for small businesses across South Texas, featuring flexible flat-rate plans, crystal-clear sound quality, and plug-and-play functionality right out of the box.