There are countless advantages to owning a virtual company, but the biggest advantage by far is the low startup and overhead costs. Instead of paying for a brick-and-mortar office or storefront, if you run a virtual business, you already rely almost solely on the internet to complete tasks and achieve business goals. This means, however, that your technology must be up to speed, and this includes implementing a way to keep in touch both with employees and clients. As a result, VoIP systems have become a popular option for virtual offices.
VoIP stands for “Voiceover Internet Protocol.” While the term may sound like a mouthful, VoIP is actually a simple concept: phone service over the internet. The phone, headset, and speakers are the same, but instead of using phone lines, your calls travel through the web as data – just like email or an instant message.
Why Use VoIP?
While many online businesses have embraced VoIP as a viable replacement for landline or cell phone service, some owners of remote businesses are still uncertain about this technology. According to an article recently published on Entrepreneur, VoIP has advanced immensely since its inception. You can now receive calls with a standard phone or through a specially designed IP phone. Whatever the medium, most users report excellent sound quality and high usability.
There are a number of other reasons why VoIP is a great option for virtual business owners. For example:
· Connect from anywhere. Most businesses that have employees and clients from multiple parts of the country require an 800-number for each area of operation. VoIP eliminates the need for this dialing hub. You can assign a different area code for each of your offices – no matter where they’re located.
· Voicemail storage – safe, easy, and fast. Another feature of VoIP is that you’ll have the option to keep all your voice messages in one convenient place: your email. Simply set up an email folder for your voicemails, and anything you receive will go straight there. You won’t have to check the messages on multiple phones or for multiple numbers, because your VoIP system will consolidate everything to increase efficiency.
· Customizable caller ID – and more. All business owners have distinct needs for running their companies smoothly, but those who run virtual businesses often run into larger hurdles, such as the difficulty of keeping tabs on clients or employees in different time zones. One customizable feature of VoIP is that you can program it to whatever specifications necessary. For example, you can set up the system to provide detailed caller information for anyone who contacts you.
· No more phone tag. Another customizable feature of VoIP is that you can set up the system to follow you wherever you go. If you’re in the office, you can have VoIP connect to a landline phone. But if you need to run an errand and still remain available, you can have the call redirected from your unanswered office phone to your cell phone.
· Increased productivity. According to VoIP solution company sipVine, investing in an IP optimized phone will boost workplace production. Additionally, a study conducted by Sage Research showed that businesses made leaps and bounds in saving time by using VoIP. Because of its efficiency, internet telephony allowed each employee to save almost 4 hours every week. If that doesn’t seem like much, do a little math: 4 hours per week is almost 200 hours per year. Imagine what you can accomplish if each employee puts in an extra 200 hours.
VoIP technology continues to improve, with capabilities for online chatting, holding video conferences, and screen sharing during a call. No matter what industry you’re in, VoIP is the way to go for online businesses.