Whether your business is new or already established, telecommunication is an important method of communications between your potential clients, clients, suppliers and yourself. Two immediate areas of consideration are in the office and on the go (mobile).
Your office should be well equipped to handle all your calls. Types of systems range from single line sets to large multi-line configurations. The type of system you require will depend on the number of staff and the number of calls you receive. It is wise to consider a system that can grow as your company grows. You may spend a little more money up front but it will save you much more as your company expands. Other considerations in telecommunications are voice mail and an auto answering system (Auto Attendant). These types of features keep your business open virtually 24 hours a day.
While deciding on the type of phone system for your business you should also think about your cabling infrastructure. If you are going to have a computer network it is economical to get networking wiring done at the same time as the phone wiring.
There are many types of phone and cabling systems available. Look for a supplier with a proven track record and ask for references. Look under TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT, SYSTEMS & SERVICES in the local yellow pages for a list of qualified suppliers.
If you and/or your staff are out of the office a fair amount of time you may want to consider a cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Consider the following when choosing your mobile device
- Do you need to make or receive phone calls while away from the office?
- Do you need to receive emails and respond while away?
- Do you need a calendar and/or contact list on your device?
- Will you need internet access away from the office?
- Do you need to take and send pictures?
- Do you need GPS (Global Positioning System)?
As you can see, mobile devices come with many, many features. They can also listen to your favourite MP3's and play games. Remember, when in business, take time to have some fun! Check the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Members Directory for a listing of local information technology services.