10 Best Small Business Phone Systems
When it comes to small business phone systems, there are a lot of different options to choose from. One of the most popular choices these days is a VoIP phone system or Voice over Internet Protocol. These types of systems allow you to use your internet connection to make phone calls, and can be a great option for businesses because it can save them money on their phone bills.
There are a lot of different VoIP providers out there, so it's important to do your research before choosing one. You'll want to find a provider that has good customer service, pricing within your budget, and the features your business needs to function. In this guide, we’ll explore the following:
- Features to look for in a small business phone system.
- Costs you can expect to pay for one.
- The 10 best small business phone system options on the market.
Product Comparison Table Overview
pricing is per month, per line
pricing based on quantity of phone numbers
- limited to 20 users
- limited to 20 users
- limited to 20 users
- 1 phone number, 3 extensions
- 1 license minimum
- 3 phone numbers, 6 extensions
- 3 license minimum
|Premium||N/A||$49.00||Premium||$44.99||$34.99||Pro Plus||$29.95||N/A||Advanced||$39.99||N/A||Enterprise||$45.95||$43.95||X4||$57.00||$44.00||Small Business
- 5 phone numbers, unlimited extensions
- 100 license minimum
|Public pricing not available||Public pricing not available||Pro||$29.99||$23.99|
Features to Look for In a Small Business Phone System
The first step is to determine what your needs are. Ask yourself:
Do you need a system that can handle a large number of calls simultaneously?
Or do you need a system that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business?
What features are important to you?
How much can you afford to spend? This is perhaps the most critical question you need to consider because as with most things in business, budgets will force you to filter out options that may be your top picks.
What's your timeline? This one is important considering that some of the options for a small business phone system require installation, and in some cases same day installs are not going to be available.
Once you’ve considered the questions above, you need to start thinking about the features that you want in a business communication system. Just a few of the features you should be looking for include, but might not be limited to:
Call and SMS messaging
It’s best if these are unlimited, and available for all calls and messages nationwide.
Phone numbers for each member of your team
Sharing phones seldom works out in small businesses. If you have remote team members, you will want to ensure these phone numbers are mobile/ accessible outside of the office.
If a team member can’t get to the call in time, options for voicemail are imperative.
Transcription for your voicemails
It’s not always feasible to listen to a voicemail. When you can’t listen to the recording, it’s helpful to have a transcript you can read for faster service. Transcripts are also beneficial if you need to keep thorough records for the calls you’re handling.
The option to record calls is helpful for revisiting things discussed while on the call, and to share with other team members for training purposes.
Options for international calling
If you’re business services/works with people outside of your calling area, you’ll need a means of reaching them and email correspondence might not be enough.
Video conference capabilitiesSometimes face-to-face meetings are easier than audio only interaction.
Great customer serviceIf something goes wrong, you need 24/7 support to get your business line back up and running quickly.
Another factor to consider is how easy the system is to use. Will your employees be able to learn how to use it quickly and easily? Or will they need training? Make sure you choose a system that is easy for your employees to use, and won’t require a lot of technical knowledge.
Costs of Small Business Phone Systems - What You Should Expect to Pay
Once you have determined your needs, you can begin to narrow down your options. One of the most important factors to consider is price. How much are you willing to spend on a system? Be sure to compare the features and prices of different systems before making a decision.
In our post “How Much Does a VoIP Phone System Cost?”, we covered this a little more in depth. However, here are the main points you need to know:
First, on pricing - the costs can range widely between $10 per month and $200 or more per month depending on the features you need and the company you choose to purchase your small business phone system from. It’s also important to note that the amount you’re paying, more often than not, will be per user, per month.
For example, if you have 100 employees and they all need phones and you choose a company that charges $10 per user, per month, your fees will be at least $1,000 per month. This cost will most likely not include any hardware either.
Now you might be thinking, “Hardware? I thought VoIP phones run online?”
While this is true, they still need a device for the call to come through.
There are two types of VoIP phone systems - hardware based and software based. Hardware based will require physical phones, and in some cases dedicated servers and wires. These phone systems are most like a traditional small business phone system.
Software based on the other hand can typically be run on your smart device. Ring4 for example runs off this model. When you purchase your subscription, you simply download the app to your smart device such as your Android or iOS and you instantly have a business phone system on the phone that is already in your purse or pocket.
For hardware based phones you could be looking at fees of $50-$200 per phone on top of your monthly subscription costs. And, because these are most like traditional systems, users will be tethered to their desks - meaning if you don’t have a call forwarding option, you can only reach team members when they are at their desks.
We’ve covered the features you should be looking for, and a very rough estimate of the expected costs, now let’s get to what you really came here for. Next, we’ll share our analysis of the best small business phone system options.
The 10 Best Small Business Phone System Options Are:
Ring4 is the software based VoIP option that works with the phones you and your team members already have - smartphones that is. The system makes it incredibly easy to get your business phone online in under five minutes. Download the app, sign up, choose a number - that’s it. Three simple steps and you’re instantly able to contact customers, coworkers, vendors and more from a business phone number.
Features of Ring4
Ring4 offers everything a small business needs including:
- Call and SMS messaging.
- Phone numbers for each member of your team.
- Transcription for your voicemails.
- Call recording.
- Options for international calling.
- Video conference capabilities.
- Great customer support 24/7.
Pros of Ring4
- No hardware required (provided your team members have a smartphone).
- No waiting on installation - download the app and get started immediately.
- Easy to use.
- Numbers are available in the US, UK, CA, and FR with nationwide calling.
- Add as many users as you like.
- Transparent pricing.
- Integrations with Slack, Google, Taggg, and Zendesk.
Ring4 Integrates with Slack, Google, Taggg, and Zendesk.
Cons of Ring4
- Your team members will all need to have a smartphone.
- Currently no options for a call center.
- No whisper/barge/call takeover options yet.
- Shared call recordings and shared call transcripts cost additional fees.
Pricing for Ring4
As we mentioned, Ring4 pricing is transparent. User plans begin at just $8/user/month for annual billing, and month-to-month is just $9.99/user/month. The rates for the few features that require additional fees are available on the website as well. No guesswork, just clear cut pricing.
GoToConnect has all the phone functions that a business needs to operate everyday.
Features of GoToConnect
- Call forwarding.
- Call on hold.
- Call routing.
- Extensions for your phone numbers.
- Toll Free and vanity number options.
- Custom greetings and messaging.
- Video conferencing.
- Dial-by-name directory options.
Pros of GoToConnect
- Easy to use.
- Reliable service.
- Integrates with other “GoTo” products including their meeting, webinar, and training platforms.
- Also integrates with Slack, ZenDesk, Microsoft, etc…
Cons of GoToConnect
- Price is high compared with other options, and even their lowest priced tier is capped at 20 users.
- Basic plans don’t offer all software integrations.
- Onboarding time can be lengthy and complicated.
- Toll-free pricing is limited to 5,000 minutes even with the most expensive plan.
Pricing for GoToConnect
Pricing plans begin at $19 and go up to $30. Pricing is charged per user, per month and doesn’t include any hardware should you require it. Lower priced tires don’t unlock all features.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on GoToConnect pricing and features.
RingCentral is one of the most popular VoIPs on our list and hosts a range of cloud-based communication tools including a softphone.
Features of RingCentral
The RingCentral small business phone system includes:
- Unlimited calls in the United States or Canada.
- SMS and team messaging.
- Document sharing.
Additional features that are included at Standard level include:
- Unlimited internet fax and audio conferencing.
- Video conference capabilities.
Additional features that are included at Premium include:
- Single sign on.
- Hot desking.
- Whisper/barge/call take over for calls.
Pros of RingCentral
- High-quality sound for calls.
- Lots of features that aren’t included with lower priced systems.
- Mobile app for iOS or Android devices.
Cons of RingCentral
- Lowest priced plan is limited to 20 users.
- Lower tiers don’t unlock all features.
- The best features are in the highest priced plan starting at $49.99.
- Toll-free minutes are limited based on the pricing tier of your subscription.
Pricing for RingCentral
RingCentral pricing starts at $19.99 per user, per month and goes up to $49.99 per user, per month. Their prices are significantly higher than other options in this guide, and like GoToConnect, the lowest price plan is limited to 20 users.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on RingCentral pricing and features.
Probably the most fun name on our list, Ooma boosts VoIP software that supports both home and business phones.
Features of Ooma
Ooma is the most similar to a traditional small business phone system and offers features like:
- Unlimited calls in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
- 3-Way calling.
- Virtual receptionist.
- SMS text messaging.
- One toll free number.
Pros of Ooma
- Mobile-compatible app (IOS and Android).
- Easy installation through auto-configuration technology.
- Flexible numbering.
- Low international rates.
Cons of Ooma
- A lot of standard features require a higher tier premium account.
- No desktop app with the lowest tier.
- Expensive for larger companies.
Pricing for Ooma
Ooma is priced at $19.95/user/month for the basic membership and goes up to $24.95/user/month for the pro version. Since Ooma is offered at a per user basis, this VoIP is better for smaller businesses.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on Ooma pricing and features.
Vonage was founded in 1998, and is an experienced provider of cloud-based telecommunication services.
Features of Vonage
Vonage offers a decent list of features that make it stand out as a top VOIP:
- Busy lamp field.
- Team messaging.
- 3-way calling.
- Call announce.
- Call queue.
- Automatic call rerouting in case of emergency.
- HD voice.
Pros of Vonage
- Simple set up.
- Main local company number included with purchase.
- Enhanced 911 support.
- Multiply features that go beyond calling (e.g. AI virtual assistant).
- Phone numbers can be customized.
- Most features are available with the base plan.
Cons of Vonage
- No desktop app with the lowest tier.
- No video or text messaging with callers.
- Poor customer support (not 24/7 as claimed).
- No number to reach customer support.
Pricing for Vonage
Vonage tiers start at $19.99/line/month and go up to $39.99/line/month. Unfortunately, features like recording calls and making group calls are not available in the lowest tier.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on Vonage pricing and features.
Nextiva is a dedicated VoIP company that has been used by over 150,000 small businesses.
Features of Nextiva
Could Nextiva have the features you need to run your small business? Here’s what they offer:
- Free toll-free number.
- Call recording and rating.
- Unlimited web conferencing.
- Anonymous call rejection.
- Push to talk.
- Voicemail and voicemail greetings.
- Conversational AI.
- VoIP caller ID (see who’s calling before answering the phone).
Pros of Nextiva
- Ease of use.
- Unlimited calling in North America.
- Included online faxing.
- You can keep your existing number with number porting.
Cons of Nextiva
- Customer support can take a while to respond.
- Outdated helper tutorials and guides.
- Some users report frequent static that disrupts calls.
Pricing for Nextiva
Just like with the others on our list, Nextiva offers several monthly tiers. The basic version of the service starts at $25.95/user/month and prices can go up to $40.95/user/month. There is an option to pay annually, and can help you save 27% off. Still, the monthly prices for Nextiva are expensive compared to other VoIPs on our list.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on Nextiva pricing and features.
8x8 is another poproducts,pular name on our list, and offers a range of VoIP products including cloud-based voice.
Features of 8x8
Let’s take a look at what 8x8 has to offer in terms of features:
- Visual voicemail.
- Multi-level auto attendant.
- Call monitoring.
- Call transfer and forwarding.
- Unlimited SMS, calling, and fax.
Pros of 8x8
- Global coverage.
- Easy administration with role-based access controls.
- Initial live meeting from an expert to guide your set up.
- 30-day free trial for the basic plan.
Cons of 8x8
- Basic version is limited to 10 users or less.
- Certain features are locked for the basic plan.
Pricing for 8x8
8x8 pricing starts at $15/user/month and goes up to $44/user/month. Just like with Nextiva, there are options available to purchase annual bundles and save. If you aren’t sure about 8x8, remember that a free trial is available.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on 8X8 pricing and features.
Offering both WiFi and VoIP calling options, Grasshopper is a virtual phone system to meet everyone’s needs.
Features of Grasshopper
Grasshopper is particularly appealing to single entrepreneurs and small businesses. Here are some noteworthy features:
- Voicemail transcription.
- Business texting.
- Instant responses.
- Custom greetings.
- Call data reports.
Pros of Grasshopper
- All features unlocked for all tiers.
- Designed for small businesses in mind.
- Does not bill by per user.
- Free trial.
Cons of Grasshopper
- On the expensive side.
- Requires existing landlines or mobile phones.
- Some users report calls occasionally dropping.
Pricing for Grasshopper
As mentioned, Grasshopper tiers share the same features. It’s the number of people that determines what tier you;’ll be getting. Tiers range between $26 to $80 a month depending on the amount of phone numbers and extensions that you’re looking for.
For a detailed analysis, you can read this Ring4 blog post on Grasshopper pricing and features.
Should you consider dialing on Dialpad as your go-to VoIP? It made our list for a reason.
Features of Dialpad
Here are some of our favorite Dialpad features:
- Unlimited calling, SMS, and MMS.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
- Calls can be delegated by multiple call operators and customized departments.
- Built-in team web conferencing features.
- Automatically generated post call notes.
- Supports certain models of deskphones if necessary.
Pros of Dialpad
- Strong uptime and connectivity.
- Great customer support when onboarding.
- Free trial.
- Integrates with Google Workspace and Office 365.
Cons of Dialpad
- Problems when connecting with wireless headsets.
- Poor transcription accuracy.
- Some struggled to transfer their number out of Dialpad.
- Certain features are locked for the lowest tier.
Pricing for Dialpad
Dialpad offers 3 individuals tiers. Standard is $15/user/month, Pro is $25/user/month, and you’ll need to contact the company directly to assess a price for their Enterprise option. Standard and pro tiers are available for 14 day free trials.
Last but not least, Phone.com is an affordable (though not the most affordable) option on our list. The company offers both VoIP and team communication tools.
Features of Phone.com
Phone.com is a budget-friendly VoIP, but what exactly are the features? Here are some of the most noticeable to consider:
- SMS text filtering.
- Free number porting.
- Email notifications each time you receive a voicemail.
- Multiple ways to get into contact with customer support.
- Team texting.
- Team video conferencing.
- Money-back guarantee for dissatisfaction.
- Free mobile and desktop apps at any tier.
Pros of Phone.com
- Supports older phones.
- Core VoIP features included in all plans.
- Individual team members tiers can be upgraded or downgraded based on current needs.
Cons of Phone.com
- Limited app integration options.
- Lowest tier does not include unlimited minutes or video conferencing.
- Potential to pay overage fees.
Pricing for Phone.com
Phone.com offers 3 plans based on the amount of minutes your business needs and what features you want. The lowest tier starts at $11.99/user/month and comes with 500 pooled minutes. Plus Users and Pro Users have unlimited minutes and texting, and are $15.99/user/month and $23.99/user/month respectively.
What is the Best Phone System for a Small Business?
After reading this guide, we hope that you’ve decided that Ring4 is the best phone system for a small business. In our short time in the VoIP business we’ve seen what everyone else is offering and we stand by our low prices and features. We believe in transparency in pricing, and affordable phone plans for all. That’s why we chose to intentionally keep our fees below $10 per user, per month regardless of the size of your team.
With all the options available these days, we know it can get pretty overwhelming trying to decide on a small business phone system. Therefore, we’d like to offer you a free 7-day trial of our software. If you like it, awesome. If not, no hard feelings. That said, we’re betting that you’ll quickly see why business owners nationwide are making the switch from many of the providers mentioned in this guide to Ring4. Get your free trial today!
10 Best Small Business Phone Systems
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