Telephone systems for small business
Small business telephone systems are an essential part of any office. Take a look at the options on this page to find the right one for you
Telephone systems for small business remain a hugely important tool. Though other forms of communication – including smartphones and laptops – have quickly improved in popularity, many people still require a desktop phone to be able to complete their work.
Having mentioned the rise in smartphones and laptops it is also important to remember that, though telephones still work in basically the same way as they always have, there have been plenty of evolutions in the industry to ensure that your small business phone system will be as effective a communication tool as you could need.
On this page, we have collected together information to help you find the small business phone system you need. Take a look now for details about the best small business phones, VoIP, PBX and analog small business phones, as well as about the brands that manufacture and sell small business telephone systems.
Best telephone systems for small business
What is the best phone system for a small business? It can be difficult to answer that question simply because every business is different. In certain industries it may make sense to opt for a specific type of phone, whereas in others it may make sense to choose a completely different type. In this section we have tried to help by providing a range of examples.
The best telephone systems for small business will generally offer a range of features that suit the business in question. Of course, the features required will vary depending on the roles and tasks that are being addressed with the new equipment; the short list below includes some of the most common features that you might expect to find:
- Conference calling
- Video calls
- Dashboard and call management
The best small business telephone systems may include one or two, or even all, of the features listed above. Deciding which is best for you though, will depend on a number of factors.
Top 5 small business telephones
The section above provides a little information about what you may need to consider when purchasing a new small business phone system; in this section we have tried to help more by providing examples of five systems that you may want to consider.
These telephones have been selected based on a range of factors, including:
- Price and value for money
- Range of features
- Provider reputation
- Role suitability
- Manufacturing quality – including appearance and durability
The table directly below includes a brief side-by-side comparison of the five best small business telephones, with more information about each included below.
|BT||Converse 2300||General office use||£41|
|Gigaset||DE410 Pro IP||Management use||£96|
|Cisco||SPA 525G2||Sales and customer service||£148|
|Unify||Openscape IP35G||Sales and customer service||£166|
|Tiptel||2030 ISDN||Sales or customer service management||£195|
For more information about the small business phones included in the table above, simply keep reading.
BT Converse 2300 Telephone
This BT telephone is ideal for new small businesses in need of cheaper telecommunications equipment that still offers a high level of quality.
BT’s Converse 2300 phone is available in either black or white, and offers a range of features and functions that could help a small business to complete a range of tasks.
Some, though not all, of the features are listed below:
- BT services menu – with call divert, call waiting, etc.
- Call ID display with call timer
- Handset and ringer volume control
- 10 one-touch memory buttons
- 3-line LCD
Though it does not offer as many features as some of the more expensive small business phones on this list, BT’s Converse 2300 is an excellent choice.
The BT Converse 2300 telephone is available for £41.00
Gigaset DE410 Pro IP Phone
Gigaset’s DE410 Pro is a surprisingly cheap option, which certainly places it among the best small business telephone options.
Offering a range of features, this phone is also stylish and durable, providing small businesses with a sense of security. As with the other phones in this list, Gigaset’s DE410 Pro offers a range of functions sure to help small businesses improve efficiency.
The Gigaset DE410 includes the following features:
- Large adjustable display for easy caller ID tracking
- High level of sound quality
- Professional handsfree option
- 3-way conference call ready
For the price, you will not find many better small business phone options than Gigaset’s DE410 Pro.
The Gigaset DE410 Pro IP phone is available for £96.
Cisco SPA 525G2
Cisco are widely regarded as being one of the phone providers, not only for small business, but for medium and large companies too. The SPA 525G2 is an excellent addition to that legacy, and offers a range of features that make it the perfect small business phone.
Though it is not quite as multi-functional as some of the more expensive Cisco phones available, the SPA 525G2 does offer a range of features that will allow your staff to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Some of the best features of the Cisco SPA 525G2 include:
- Colour display
- 5-line IP
- Wideband audio for excellent clarity
- Dedicated buttons for commonly used features
- Five additional programmable keys
This model is one of the best small business phones in part because Cisco are so well regarded. Though slightly more expensive than the two options above, this phone is a brilliant choice.
The Cisco SPA 525G2 phone is available for £148.
Unify Openscape Desk Phone IP35G
Unify’s Openscape IP35G desk phone is an energy efficient ethernet and PoE class 1 phone that would make an excellent fit for any small business. Offering a solid range of features, this mid-budget option could significantly improve staff efficiency.
The Unify Openscape IP35G phone is a modern, ergonomic telephone with a range of high-class features includes. Though it is less function-heavy than some of the more expensive options available, it is certainly well placed among this list of the best small business phones.
Some of the Unify Openscape’s best features include:
- Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch
- Rick SUP feature set
- Dedicated keys for common functions
- Three additional keys for extra features
- Message waiting LED
This phone from Unify is one of the best telephones for small business because it offers a range of strong features that can help staff to complete a range of tasks.
The Unify Openscape desk phone IP35G is available for £166
Tiptel 2030 ISDN Business Telephone
With an answering machine built in, Tiptel’s 2030 ISDN business telephone is an excellent small business option, with features and functions to help even the most telephone-focussed staff complete their work to a high standard.
The Tiptel 2030 ISDN business telephone is an excellent small business option not only because it offers a range of high quality features, but also because it is durable and resilient too. Additionally, this phone can be connected to PC dashboard where call management can be made significantly easier, across whole teams and departments if necessary.
Some of the top Tiptel 2030 ISDN phone top features include:
- PC interface
- Built-in answering machine
- 14 programmable keys for custom features
- Appointment manager
- Extended redial function for up to 20 numbers
This phone from Tiptel offers excellent features sure to improve the management of any team. Whether you need phones for a sales team or customer service team, this is an excellent choice.
The Tiptel 2030 ISDN business telephone is available for £195
VoIP phones for small business
Voice over internet protocol, more commonly known as VoIP, has evolved in-line with high-speed internet. As costs fall and speeds rise, it makes more and more sense for businesses – and especially small business – to opt for VoIP rather than the traditional wired alternatives.
VoIP phones for small business are the same in most ways to wired phones – indeed, the only differences are technical, and will not affect or alter usability or function in the slightest. For information about how this technology works, our ‘what is VoIP’ page may be useful.
Because it requires less equipment and installation, having a VoIP phone system implemented at your small business is likely to cost significantly less than having a wired version. Of course, as with any new equipment installation, this may depend in part on the infrastructure of your office or business space.
There are several factors that need to be considered when deciding on whether to choose VoIP or not:
- Cost – as you would expect, it is important to understand what you will be paying for your small business voip.
- Internet speed – unlike with wired phones, VoIP requires an internet connection. For your staff to be able to make calls efficiently, this internet connection needs to be strong enough to handle the calls.
- Equipment – knowing what equipment you need is important. Small businesses in need of VoIP will need to opt for telephone handsets that support this functionality.
For more information, visit our other VoIP pages.
Small office PBX phone system
Small office PBX phone systems are increasingly similar to VoIP phones, with IP points having been added to allow businesses to host their PBX system within the cloud.
PBX actually stands for private branch exchange, with the functionality meaning that an entire phone system will be hosted within your small business. Traditionally small business PBX systems would have their own proprietary telephones; this would mean that to change the phone system, a business would also need to change all of their equipment too. This was, of course, an expensive way to operate.
Today, most small businesses are more likely to opt for a VoIP phone system. Indeed, it offers far more flexibility and value than a PBX system. As businesses continue to grow it is possible that they may need to look into other forms of phone system.
The best way to work out which option is going to be best for your business is to speak to suppliers today – just fill in the form at the top of the page to do so.
Best small business telephone system providers
The best small business telephone system providers will understand what is required of them. They will know what kind of installation is needed, what kind of equipment should be used, and what kind of plans will be best.
Knowing which provider is best for your business can be difficult. In this section we have tried to collect together information to help you make that choice as easily as possible.
The table below includes a quick side-by-side comparison of the small business phone providers on this page.
|Panasonic||1918||Long established with a reputation for technology|
|BT||1969||One of the UK’s leading telecommunications company|
|Cisco||1984||An expert in telecommunications|
|Ringcentral||1999||An expert in telecommunications|
Panasonic small business telephone systems
Panasonic is a Japanese, multinational technology company that has been operating since 1918. Having worked in a huge range of industries, creating electrical equipment in a huge range of sectors, they are among the most well recognised companies in the world.
As with many of their products, Panasonic’s small business telephone systems are of an incredibly high standard, with handsets and other hardware designed and manufactured to the highest level. Additionally, with Panasonic’s global reach, they are able to offer these products at excellent prices, with servicing, repair and replacement coming in a lot cheaper than with some other – more niche – suppliers.
Though Panasonic has never made small business phone systems their primary concern, they are sure to provide your office or work-space with quality equipment that will help your staff to complete their work as efficiently as possible.
- Founded – 1918
- Headquarters – Osaka, Japan
BT phone systems for small business
BT – or British Telecommunications – is a UK multinational telecommunications services company with a proud history in the industry.
Unlike Panasonic above, BT started out as a telecommunications company, and have invested a huge amount of time and resource into both their phone hardware and software packages. Additionally, having moved into the world of broadband, they have been able to offer the cutting-edge of telephone technology as VoIP phones have increasingly become the more popular option for small businesses.
Though they are, perhaps, less well-known that Panasonic, BT are among the most trusted brands in the UK and world. They can provide software and hardware that is sure to match any requirements that your small business may have.
- Founded – 1969
- Headquarters – London, UK
Cisco phone systems for small business
Cisco Systems – more often known simply as Cisco – is a US, multinational technology company that develops, manufactures and sells networking and telecommunications hardware and software.
Like Panasonic, Cisco has developed into a huge technology company, involved not only telecommunications but in a range of other tech services too. However, their products and software are still an incredible investment for any small business, with phone products more than suitable for most work environments.
Cisco phone systems for small business are an ideal investment for any manager or business owner in need of quality equipment that will improve and aid staff efficiency. With so many hardware and software options available, Cisco clients are sure to be satisfied.
- Founded – 1984
- Headquarters – San Jose, US
RingCentral small business phone systems
RingCentral is a US based cloud-based phone systems company, that is focussed solely on the development, production and distribution of high-quality telephone hardware and software.
RingCentral small business phone systems are among the most sought after option in the world for many reasons, but the most important one is quality. Though the other companies included on this list create and sell excellent products, RingCentral are absolute specialists in the industry, and can promise a wealth of knowledge that only comes with experience.
For any small business that needs a phone system, RingCentral is an excellent choice. With years of experience, and teams dedicated to the design and production of excellent equipment, they are sure to provide your teams with the very best telecommunication support possible.
- Founded – 1999
- Headquarters – Belmont, US
Small office phone system options
Many of the small office phone system options have already been mentioned earlier on in the page. Choosing between different handsets and suppliers, for example, is an important process; likewise, deciding whether you should opt for VoIP or PBX is a necessity.
It is also important to remember other factors too though – what do your staff need their telephones for? What kind of functions are required?
It is vitally important that, whatever other choices are made, your staff are able to complete their work effectively. Ensure that each team has the functionality it needs. Sales teams, for example, will require a strong call management system, whereas others may not.
Find the software and hardware plans that will most suit your business. It is easy to just opt for the first plan mentioned, but it should not be done like that. Speaking to experts is the best way to find the perfect system for your business. Fill in the form at the top of this page to do so today.
Compare small business phones
The information on this page should help you to understand what your small business may require. The best way to compare small business phones though, is to speak to suppliers – we can help here.
To get quotes from top UK telephone suppliers, simply complete the quick and easy form at the top of the page. This process is free, and it could help your company to save both time and money.