Software for Getting Your Home Office Running
(Part 3 of 5)
Another key component to setting up your home office, after your accounting system is in place, is the phone system. You've likely heard about VoIP, which has been growing in popularity, and with good cause. As an entrepreneur the important thing to know is that VoIP can save you a lot of money on phone bills.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and what that means is that the call information travels over the Internet instead of through traditional telephone landlines. Essentially, the only cost for sending information over the Internet is the Internet connection; the transmission itself costs nothing. That means calls between VoIP users will frequently be free.
The only cost associated with VoIP calls come from connecting to other telephone networks that service cell phones and landlines. Even in this case, there are significant cost savings because the VoIP phone providers can use the Internet to travel long distance, and then switch the call to a standard phone line in the local area of the destination, and you pay only for the local call, eliminating long-distance charges. The benefit to this is that you can increase the reach of your business, because you won’t be worried about your long-distance phone call budget.You business can potentially be more functional—providing new opportunities to increase your productivity and responsiveness.
With that in mind, here’s an example of the cost savings. For your home office, the telephone line and long-distance charges using a traditional landline phone system can cost upward of $100 per month. Compare that to the cost of using a VoIP system, where the total cost can be as low as $3.25 to $4.30 per month, a savings of more than 90%! With those savings, the initial cost of a business-oriented softphone will be paid for in less than a month.
A VoIP phone, or softphone like the Express Talk softphone only takes a few minutes to set up and will work with any VoIP provider. Express Talk is designed for professionals and has all the features you expect from a business telephone including do not disturb, conference calling, and even the ability to record conversations. It can be used with a USB phone to give the feel of a traditional phone, or with a headset, or microphone and speaker setup—which you may already have—making the cost of setting up your office with VoIP only a matter of buying the software.