Business Telephones Midrand

How to set up a Telephone System for a small business

A telephone system is a critical collaboration tool required for your small business. Your small businesses need a reliable telephone system to communicate effectively with prospective customers, existing customers, and partners, for internal communication and communication with many other strategic stakeholders. Today’s readily available technologies such as cloud and VOIP have made it easy for businesses to acquire a telephone system. The reality however is that there are so many choices available and many small business owners end up making a wrong choice or buying a solution that is not optimal for their business.

An article by Yeastar details some of the reasons why you need to have a telephone system for your business. Click here to access the article

This post guide small business managers on how to successfully set up a telephone system for small business. Thereby making it easy to have a cost-effective, world-class, and enterprise-level Telephone System for a small

1. Choosing a provider of Telephone System for a small business

The first decision in setting up a telephone system for your small business is the choose the right telephone service provider to partner with. As a small business, you can’t afford to lose customers due to unreliable telephone service providers. Your telephone service provider must be available, reliable and customers focused. This will ensure that there are always there when your business telephone system goes down, looking for any form of improvement or support. Your telephone service provider needs to have a telephone monitoring system that can detect faults without you as the customer having to call them and complain about a dysfunctional telephone system.

2. Geographical landline number

Having a geographic telephone number is one of the most important steps toward building your small business telephone system. This is the actual telephone landline number that your customers and stakeholders can get hold of you reliably, and also the number you will use to call out. A geographical business landline number tells your customers about your business office location and also shows that your small business is somehow legitimate and professional. By looking at your telephone number people already see where you might be located or where your offices might be. Businesses with office landline numbers draw a lot of customer confidence as the customer does know that you are legitimate, professional, and most importantly traceable. Small businesses with office landline numbers seem to get a lot of trust than those using only mobile telephone number. Make sure you have a geographically identifiable telephone number for your small business.

3. Small business Telephone Systems features

Now that you have decided on having a landline number for your business, it’s time to decide on the features you are looking for. This is what you exactly want to do with the phone. The decision on the telephone system features is critical as it is what will be your shopping specification. Having this beforehand avoids the mistake of being sold what you don’t need which in most cases can be costly and results in wasteful expenditure. Though there is room for nice to have when deciding on your small business telephone system, the focus should be on what the business need. An example of those might be the need for conferencing, the need to support mobile staff, and the need for conferencing, need for voicemail and transfer features. Need to also look if there is a need for integration with the call center solution, and the need to record conversations. If you are not sure of what features you need, speak to your telephone service provider for honest advice and recommendation. this will mean you need to share your business strategic objectives so that they will be able to provide you with a strategically aligned solution.

4. Choosing between analog and IP Telephone Systems

Analog telephone lines have dedicated, own separate cabling just for the telephone system. These are traditional telephone systems that are on their way out although they are still largely being used. Closer to this we also have digital telephone systems which to some level replaced the analog system. There is still a lot of analog and digital telephone instrument still being manufactured and sold at very low prices. These analog and digital telephone instruments are sold in most places including retail shops. The IP telephone system on the other hand is a system that uses your computer network or the internet. instead of having dedicated cabling just for the telephones, you use the existing infrastructure. That means you can buy a telephone system and plug it into your router or switch and then you are ready to be running. Though IP Telephones cost a bit more to buy than analog/digital phones, it is the best way for a small business to implement a telephone system and is very cost-effective in the long run as there is no need for dedicated cabling, IP telephones are highly scalable, feature-rich and flexible. IP telephones simplify deployment, the maintenance and also easier to make changes or moves.

Small business owners should consider using the IP telephone system as opposed to the analog/digital telephone system.

5. Small Business Telephone PBX System

If you have more than one person in your company, and all or more than one requiring access to a telephone you need to have a Telephone PBX system. PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. It is a system that interconnects business telephones together. The telephone PBX can be seen as a system that is at the heart of your business Telephone network. A telephone PBX is a system that is responsible for the distribution or interconnection of telephone calls. All calls will be controlled from the PBX and distributed from there. the PBX is the one that makes internal telephone calls without going through the telephone service provider’s network. As it can be seen, this is a very critically important component of the telephone network.

An example of where to use the telephone PBX system is when you have a receptionist responsible for answering all business incoming calls. The call will be answered by the receptionist. Then he/she might need to transfer the call to someone else who can assist the caller. The telephone PBX is the one that will be responsible for making this internal transfer without having to go through your telephone service provider’s network.

6. In-house vs cloud-hosted PBX

The choice between having an in-house telephone system vs a cloud-hosted telephone system is never an easy one. there are so many things to look at that affect this decision. ideally, either in-house or cloud-hosted solutions should be able to support any business feature. however, some of the things affecting the decision are more than just features but strategic and operational.

below are some of the things to look at when making this decision

Quality of the internet line

The internet line plays a very important role when deciding on the type of hosting you choose. This is because if you decide to host your business telephone PBX in the cloud, all the calls will be controlled from the cloud. This is also so even if you are making a call to someone next door. Should the internet line not be available, you won’t be able to make even internal calls as the PBX won’t be reachable. So you need to make sure you have a very stable internet line should you decide to host on the cloud. When the PBX is hosted internally, you can make internal telephone calls even when the internet line is down.

Availability of hosting space

One of the drawbacks of hosting internally is that you need to have a host space to accommodate your telephone system. This might be in the form of a server or a rack space for the equipment.


One of the advantages of hosting your small business telephone system in the cloud is backup. Most of the cloud service providers do offer backups. though some companies do have internal backup systems, as a small business owner this can be overkill and beyond budget.


If you decide to host the PBX internally, you need to consider day-to-day support. the service provider can log in remotely via VPN or have an internal person look at the system. now the small business might not have the capacity for internal IT support. in this case, you might need to look and remote support from the telephone service provider.

7. Choosing a Telephone PBX System

As it can be seen, this is a very critically important component of the telephone network. The PBX is the heart of your telephone considerations. After you have decided on what from your telephone systems and the features, you need to look at the operational issues as these are critical to ensure stable telephone service for your small business. The following should be taken into consideration when choosing the PBX system

Reliable Telephone System

The Telephone PBX System must be highly reliable and stable

Scalable Telephone System

The System must provide enough extensions for current and future users. That means it must be easy to scale up and down according to business requirements

High availability

The telephone PBX system must be highly available. it must be easy to recover when there is a failure.

8. Telephone Billing System

Telephones are prone to abuse. In most cases, it is very easy for employees to base the business telephone line for unauthorized calls which becomes a big unbudgeted expense for the small business manager. Abuse of business telephones is not only just costly to the business but also takes critical business time away as the abuser will be doing personal calls during business hours. It is therefore important that as a small business manager you should be able to detect, identify and quantify telephone abuse behavior. a good telephone system, either a built-in PBX system or a separate will be able to assist with this problem. not only will you as a small business owner be able to see that there was abuse, but you will be able to quantify the abuse. you will be able to see to what extent the abuse was. This includes things like how must time was stolen from the company, who was the person calling, and how much in terms of the telephone costs. Depending on your company policy, you can either recover the costs, take necessary internal disciplinary measures or combine.

most importantly, when staff members are aware of these kinds of measures in place they are more likely to stay away from any illegal activities. This will result in increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

9. Call recording solution

As a small business manager, it is important to always want to improve customer service. you want your customer to always want to do business with you and give your good referrals. Having great customer service is most important in growing your small business and attracting new customers due to the great referrals you will be getting. One of the ways to ensure good customer service is to have good business communication skills across your business. This means your staff must know how to communicate and give reliable information to your current customers, potential customers, and any stakeholders. Those on the frontline of your business communication should the trained well and qualified. having a good call recording solution will help you as a manager to be able to review how your staff communicates with the customers and identify any training gaps which might need to be filled. This is a great way to ensure continuous service improvement.

10. Support for multi-vendor telephone handsets

Telephone handsets are the most important part users see and use in the telephone system. Your staff might not know that you have a PBX, or what it is but they can see what is on their desk. That will be the actual telephone instrument. The instrument needs to be very professionally appealing, user-friendly, and suitable for the work. Having a telephone system that supports different handsets is critical as that ensures you don’t buy what is imposed on you but what your business needs.

Look for a telephone system that allows you to use the telephone instrument you need for your business and does not lock you to only their own equipment. One of the reasons why this is very important is to protect your investment. you might have invested in a certain brand of telephone handsets that works well but you have issues with your PBX or it needs an upgrade due to the end of its lifespan. you need to be able to replace your PBX without having to through away your telephone handsets.


When you are looking at building a telephone system for your small business, there are a few things to consider. It all starts with selecting the correct service provider which will be able to understand and help your business meet its strategic objective. The telephone service provider needs to be available and professional. you need to be clear about your business objectives and how the telephone system will help you achieve those goals. select features according to your requirements and do not ignore the forward vision, growth, and scalability. the Telephone system must be scalable, and provide call recording and billing capabilities.

Motsebone Technologies is a telephone services provider in South Africa specializing in designing and managing telephone systems for any business size. if you looking for a telephone service provider to take you through the journey of building your business telephone system, click here to leave your contact details and we will come back to you. We offer obligation-free consulting services.

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