Tuesday, January 17, 2006

VOIP for small buisnesses

Are you getting the best phone service for your hard-earned dollars? If you stayed on with whatever company got “dibs” on your area when phone service was deregulated, you may be paying more than you need to. Businesses have learned that there is a lot of money to be saved by comparing phone services options and choosing carefully. Why should they get all the benefits? Take a look at your phone service bills from the past year. Take note whether your make more long distance calls or if local and/or toll calls take a bigger bite out of your budget. Knowing what kind of service you need is the first step in taking control of your phone service costs.
If your long distance phone service is costing you an arm and a leg, here’s a secret—you can make those calls for free. There’s a new technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that lets you make long distance calls over the Internet. Because the signal is not carried over land-lines operated by a phone service, the only charge you pay is your regular bill to your Internet service provider. To use VoIP instead of a traditional phone service, you must have a computer with broadband, or high-speed Internet access. The cost for this access may see high at first glance, but when you realize you save the money you would normally pay for long distance phone service, the true cost comes way down.
You can also use VoIP in place of your local phone service. One of the great things about VoIP is that you can save money using it even if the person you are calling only has regular phone service. Another way to save money on local phone service is to use a cellular phone instead of a land-line. This tactic takes a bit more consideration, because if you don’t have a good cellular service plan, using your cell instead of a local phone service can end up costing you more. Before you decide to shut off your regular phone service for good, be sure to crunch the numbers and make sure a cellular phone or VoIP is the best way to handle the number of local calls you make on a regular basis.
Voice over Internet Protocol calling makes good sense for most small businesses. Large business spend enough money on their phone service to work out the best deal, but many small businesses don’t have that clout. Using an alternative phone service is one way small businesses can put their profits where they do the most good.

Craig Whitley is a freelance writer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a featured columnist for numerous business-related websites, including Your-Phone-Service.info.
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