The most crucial form of communication between companies and their customers remains the business phone system, with 72% of consumers opting to seek assistance through this traditional method. Despite the numerous alternatives available today, such as Instagram DMs, Twitter DMs, chatbots, and emails, customers still prefer to reach out over the phone.

For those looking to establish a business phone, the multitude of options can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. This comprehensive guide will offer insights into the current business phone landscape, delve into the associated costs of setting up a business line, and propose a few notable contenders. Let’s embark on this journey.

The business phone landscape
To navigate through the vast array of business phone providers and features, let’s start by familiarizing ourselves with the three primary types of business phones at your disposal.


1. Desk phones – The prevalence of desk phones as the primary communication tool for businesses has declined in recent years. It has been surpassed by the widespread ownership of personal cell phones, which started to outstrip landline usage more than seven years ago. Consequently, businesses of all sizes are now adopting this trend.

For small businesses, choosing desk phones entails an initial investment ranging from $50 to $300 per phone. Conversely, medium and large businesses face higher costs in this regard.


2. Mobile phones – For more considerations, take a look at our article comparing the advantages and disadvantages of both options: equipping employees with company-issued cell phones or allowing them to use their personal devices. Keep in mind that while a company-issued device may cost $1,234 per employee, letting staff bring their own device requires a well-established policy in place. So, before rushing into a decision, ensure you have a solid policy in place.


3. Virtual numbers – Utilizing an internet connection instead of a network connection, a virtual phone number, often referred to as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) number, grants access to make and receive calls. Virtual numbers eliminate the need for a physical phone line or reliance on cell towers and are not restricted to a particular device. Accessible on any device with an internet connection, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet, virtual numbers can be utilized irrespective of the source of internet connectivity, such as a hardwired line, WiFi, or a data plan.

With their affordability and ease of implementation for remote employees, virtual numbers have gained popularity among businesses. Additionally, in the subsequent section, you will discover the distinctive features of virtual numbers that facilitate effortless setup, scalability, and optimization of your business communication.


What is the expected cost of a business phone system?
When considering a desk telephone system, there are various expenses to consider. As per HomeAdvisor, the initial cost for installing a desk phone system falls within the range of $4,000 to $7,200. If you decide to set up your own computer network to host the phone system on-site, installation fees can range from $410 to $6,000.

In terms of monthly expenses, hosting charges from the phone service provider typically range from $15 to $40 per user per month.

Now, let’s explore other alternatives.

If you opt to provide your team with company-issued smartphones, the average yearly cost per employee is approximately $652. On the other hand, with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, most companies reimburse employees with monthly payments ranging from $31 to $50.

For a virtual phone system, the expected cost is between $10 and $40 per user per month. Generally, virtual phone systems charge on a per-user basis. However, some providers may not disclose additional fees upfront on their pricing page, so it is advisable to verify costs before committing.

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