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Best Phone Systems for Small Businesses in 2021

A simple and dependable phone system is crucial for your small business. Pick the perfect one with this guide to the best phone systems in 2021.

60% of customers prefer to contact small businesses by phone. Are you ready to answer?

Your phone system is a crucial part of your business infrastructure. You want to pick the right system, but sorting through all of the choices can be complicated. Don’t get stuck with less than the best.

Find out more about the best phone systems for small businesses. You’ll be prepared to choose the right system for your business.

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Types of Phone Systems for Small Businesses

Small businesses usually have three types of phone systems to choose from: multi-line, PBX, and VoIP. Many businesses choose a VoIP system. The specific needs of your business will determine which is best for you.

Multi-Line Phone System

A multi-line system is a basic option that can meet the needs of many small businesses. Multi-line systems use telephone landlines. They don’t rely on power or the internet, which makes them ideal for locations with spotty or slow internet access.

business phone systems

You can choose how many lines you want, from two to six or more.

The major disadvantage of multi-line phone systems is that many providers are phasing them out. Maintenance and repair are becoming more difficult as providers shift to other technologies. Eventually, you won’t be able to get a multi-line system at all.

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Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

A private branch exchange (PBX) phone system is a centralized telephone network. You can make calls to other people within the business. You can also make and receive external calls.

best business phone systems

A PBX phone system differs from a multi-line system because the phones don’t connect directly to the lines. They connect to the PBX system, which automatically routes calls and switches phone lines. This centralization makes PBX systems easy to scale up or down.

With a PBX system, you can have one main phone number for your business. Extensions identify specific phones. This is easier for your customers and can give you a more professional image.

The disadvantage of PBX systems is the cost. Upgrades can also be expensive and complicated.

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Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A voice over internet protocol phone system uses the internet instead of traditional landlines. You still dial a number and make calls as usual, though.

phone system for business

VoIP systems give you a wide range of features that were previously only available with an expensive PBX system.

A VoIP system is very flexible. It uses the internet, so you can use most internet-enabled devices to make calls. Your VoIP provider’s app lets you make and receive calls anywhere from your mobile device.

VoIP is often the least expensive option for small business phone systems.

The one downside of VoIP is that it relies on power and the internet. If you’re in an area with poor service, you won’t get good results from VoIP.

Top Ranked Phone Systems for Small Businesses

When choosing a phone system for your small business, you have many factors to consider. Here are some of the best phone systems for small businesses. They offer good functionality, ease of use, and competitive pricing.

RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral is a cloud-hosted VoIP unified communications system. It has rich features for calling, collaboration, and mobile. Some of these features include:

  • Virtual receptionist
  • Call forwarding, recording, and screening
  • Call logs
  • Message alerts
  • Video conferencing
  • Document sharing
  • Online faxing
  • Desktop and mobile apps

The system requires a high-speed DSL, cable, or fiber-optic connection. A RingCentral specialist will help with the installation to be sure everything works correctly.

RingCentral is extremely reliable. It has an uptime of almost 100%.

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You can choose from four service plans depending on the features and number of users you want.

Nextiva

nextiva

Nextiva provides a single platform for business phones, video conferencing, collaboration, and customer management services (CRM). The system is cloud-hosted.

The VoIP phone services offer a variety of features including:

  • HD voice
  • Auto-attendants
  • Voicemail to email
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call recording

Most phone systems integrate with mainstream CRM software like Salesforce. Nextiva gives you the option of this integration while also offering its own software. This is a benefit for your sales and customer support teams.

Nextiva is very reliable and secure. Call encryption is an optional feature. Nextiva regularly monitors its system to prevent cyberattacks.

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You can choose from four service plans. The price depends on how many users you have, the features you want, and the length of the contract. You get a better rate if you prepay.

8×8

8x8 logo

8×8 is a cloud-hosted VoIP unified communications system. It gives you the features you need at a low price.

You get a range of tools for calling, collaboration, and mobile. Some of these features are:

  • Automated attendants
  • Call forwarding
  • Call waiting and transferring
  • Online voicemail
  • Conference calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Integration with platforms like Office 365 and Salesforce

The 8×8 mobile app lets you make and receive calls from your mobile device. You can also make video calls and check your voicemail.

You have several plans to choose from with 8×8. The basic Express plan is the least expensive plan you’ll find. It’s geared towards businesses with less than 10 employees.

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Higher-tiered plans have additional features and support more users. 8×8 offers several combined plans if you want full contact center solutions.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper Logo

Grasshopper is a basic cloud-based VoIP phone service. It’s designed for startups, solo entrepreneurs, and small companies. You get some PBX features and tools without paying for a more comprehensive VoIP system.

Grasshopper connects business phone lines to remote workers on their mobile or home phones. The features you’ll have include:

  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to email
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call screening
  • Online faxing
  • Conference calls

The mobile and desktop apps let you separate personal calls and texts from your business ones. You make and receive calls using the internet instead of cell reception.

Grasshopper differs from other phone systems in that the service plans only vary based on the number of users you have. Each plan has all of the features Grasshopper offers.

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Choosing the Best Phone System for Your Small Business

Comparing the features and costs of several phone systems will help you decide which system is right for your business. Then you can find the plan that best fits your needs.

Side By Side Reviews makes it easy to compare your options for small business phone systems. Just click the “Compare Rates” button and we’ll match you with up to five services that meet your criteria. You can compare their competitive quotes and choose the best phone system for your small business.

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Author: mcynar

Capturing over 30,000 leads/month, Mike Cynar is B2B lead generation expert. Mike manages multiple buyers guides helping people navigate through purchasing decisions for their business. His guides include consumer reviews, buyer tips, and free price comparisons from over 2,000 leading companies across the USA.