Start-ups are a dime a dozen. There are constantly new ideas and businesses surfacing. Some fail but some actually do really well. The one thing they all have in common is the fact that in the beginning they need to cut costs as much as possible. Now it’s a fact of life and common business practice that a lot of communication is going to happen both in B2B and B2C aspects. Also, when you start hiring people they will need to communicate with each other. Normal landlines services are dying out fast thanks to VoIP. VoIP services make a whole lot of sense. You are able to contact anyone, anywhere – whether they are in another office the other side of the world or on-the-go. They also cost a lot less than the normal landlines that have been the typical staple of business communication for the past few decades. So let’s take a look at the steps for implementing VoIP for your Start-Up.
1. Deciding Which VoIP Provider Appeals To You
There are many VoIP providers on the market. If you are new to VoIP you will want to look at a comparison chart of the best VoIP services on the market to give you a better sense of what you need. There are a few that stand out, really making an impression on the market today that will service you in the best way possible.
Here are some of the cheapest VoIP phone services:
Plans & Pricing
- RingCentral prices range from $19.99 to $49.99. Great plans exist for any small, mid-market, or enterprise business.
- Standard – $19.99 per user This offers Business SMS, unlimited calling, conferencing and fax. You will have multi-point mobile and desktop online meetings and screen sharing.
Toll-Free Minutes: 1,000mins
- Premium – $34.99 per user This offers unlimited calling, fax, Business SMS and conferencing. It offers integration with Desk, Salesforce and Zendesk. You will also be able to have multi-point mobile and desktop online meetings and screen sharing.
Toll-Free Minutes: 2,500 mins
- Enterprise – $44.99 per user This offers unlimited calling, conferencing, Business SMS as well as fax. It offers screen sharing, multi-point mobile and desktop online meetings. It integrates with Salesforce, Desk and Zendesk. Toll-Free Minutes: 10,000 mins
Plans & Pricing
Vonage business plans start at as little as $19.99 and go up to $39.99 per month, per user, depending on the inclusive features.
Vonage’s base plan suits residential use and is offered at $9.99 per month. Included in that price is unlimited calling to any phone in the following places: US, Puerto Rico as well as Canada. Take note though that this is only a first-year special price. After one year it goes up to $25.99 monthly.
You will need to be aware that users will have to pay an extra $10 per month in order to use their softphone, which can come as a free extra with certain VoIP providers.
Plans & Pricing
Grasshopper appears pricier but offers a nice set of added features.
With Grasshopper four plans are offered to you:
– Pay as You Grow (@$12 per month)
– Ramp (@$24 per month),
– Grow (@$49 per month)
– Max (@$199 per month).
All these plans ask for less than a 1 month commitment and all offer free activation as well as unlimited extensions.
You will get one local or toll-free number included in the ‘Pay as You Grow’ and ‘Ramp’ plans, two numbers included in the ‘Grow’ plan, and three with the ‘Max’ plan.
The biggest differentiator between the plans is the amount of minutes that comes with each. With the ‘Pay as You Grow’ plan you pay $0.06 per minute towards every call. ‘Ramp’ comes with 500 minutes per month. With ‘Grow’ you get 2,000 minutes, and you will get 10,000 minutes of usage per month with ‘Max’. With this plan you will also receive unlimited access to the Voice Studio for professional messages.
All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Plans & Pricing
Alliance Phones offers three plans. Their plans are monthly, with no annual contracts included. This VoIP phone service doesn’t charge a setup fee and provides unlimited minutes along with rich PBX features. The plans follow:
- Easy Plus: This suits a 1-3 person team at only $29.97 monthly per user.
- Simplicity Plus: This is perfect for a 4-20 person team at $24.97 monthly per user.
- Effortless Plus: This is ideal for a 21-100+ person team at $19.97 monthly per user.
A free trial is included with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their plans. In the free trial, you are able to access a free phone number and unlimited calls for a period of 30 days.
2. Deciding on Integration
There are two different types of hardware you can buy for VoIP:
- Landline phones (otherwise phones that will be hooked into the wall)
- “Smart” mobile phones obviously compatible with the VoIP service you have decided to purchase.
You may need to buy some hardware but that’s only a big “may”. You just need to talk with different VoIP provider’s customer service departments in order to find out exactly what the process will be.
It’s amazing how uncomplicated using VoIP is. Usually there will be a waiting period of five to seven days for new phone deliveries. There may also be the chance that some VoIP services may be able to activate using the phones you already have. Every start-up has different needs so speak with your VoIP provider for the best advice regarding all of the above.
Another great function you can use from the start is call-forwarding so that you can use your new toll-free number from the get-go. If you’re a start-up you’re going to want to do this as it makes you look a whole lot more professional than clumsily using your cell phone as a business line.
Stop being scared of this new technology. After all, it isn’t so new really. You have been using VoIP for ages when speaking to friends and loved ones around the globe from your mobile. The only difference now is that you will apply this to business and your Start-up!