Budgeting for VoIP: An SMB owners guide

Budgeting for VoIP: An SMB owners guide

More and more businesses are shifting to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems for their communication needs. This may lead you to wonder, “How much does it cost to own and maintain this technology?” This article sheds light on the critical expenses you need to factor in before switching to a VoIP solution.

1. Initial costs

These are expenses related to getting the VoIP system. Some large corporations with specific security needs may choose to invest in building their own VoIP infrastructure, incurring higher upfront costs. However, most businesses opt for a more affordable route: monthly subscriptions. Subscription fees vary depending on the provider, number of users, features included, and contract length. Remember to also factor in potential additional charges for toll-free numbers, international calling, and other add-ons.

Beyond the subscription fee, you may also need to purchase hardware. While you might be able to use your existing devices to access your VoIP system, dedicated IP phones can enhance call quality and give you access to advanced features. Additionally, headsets and webcams for video conferencing can contribute to the initial cost.

2. Setup costs

Setup or implementation costs refer to expenses related to configuring the VoIP system. While some businesses might tackle installation themselves, many opt for professional help. If you've enlisted the services of a consultant or a managed IT services provider (MSP) to customize and deploy your VoIP setup, their service rates become part of setup costs. You should also factor in costs associated with hiring network engineers to install new routers, cables, and security software to support your VoIP systems.

Moreover, don't neglect employee training. Mastering the new system can minimize frustration and downtime. Take into account training costs or allocate internal resources to guide your team through the transition.

3. Operational expenses

Keeping your VoIP system running smoothly involves recurring costs. These include the cost of your internet connection, as call quality relies heavily on bandwidth. Upgrading your internet plan might be necessary to support VoIP traffic. You should also consider the costs you may incur from local and long-distance calls made through your VoIP system.

Regular system maintenance and data charges for call routing are often covered in your subscription fee. However, if you manage your own on-premises VoIP system, these costs become your responsibility.

4. System upgrade budget

Technology evolves rapidly, and your VoIP system needs to keep pace. Allocate funds for potential hardware and software upgrades to ensure your system keeps pace with the latest advancements and maintains peak efficiency.

You may also consider integrating VoIP with your business intelligence and customer relationship management tools. While there might be additional costs, the valuable insights gained can boost productivity and decision-making.

Moreover, as your business grows, you may need to increase your internet bandwidth and acquire additional hardware. Make sure to budget for these potential upgrades to avoid disruptions and maintain smooth communication.

Finally, allocate a budget for consultations with your MSP to ensure that your current communication technology remains efficient. These experts can evaluate your setup, streamline processes, and suggest improvements while considering your company's needs and budget constraints.

Don't let VoIP setup headaches get in your way. Our managed IT services ensure a smooth transition to a reliable and cost-effective VoIP system. With our personalized support, you'll enjoy superior call quality and unlock the full potential of your communication infrastructure. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.