Running a small business is no walk in the park. You rely on effective and consistent lines of communication between yourself and customers, employees and suppliers. The last thing you need is your phone lines provider leading you up the garden path.
Luckily this is an age of huge competition in the telecoms sector, so there will certainly be a provider out there that suits your business’ needs- and at a competitive price.
Price comparison is key, and with Approved Index it has never been easier to find the best deals and to switch providers. Whether you know what you want, or are just having a look at what is on the market, we can help.
Fill in our simple form and you can get access to competitive tailored quotes from up to 4 top-quality, UK based, business phone line providers matched to your requirements.
Approved Index's quote comparison is free, quick and easy, and is built to save you money on a top-quality installation.
If you are thinking about having new business phone lines installed, but aren’t sure whether it’s the right choice for you, keep reading. Our 2018 guide below outlines everything you’ll need to know.
If you are more interested in small business telephone equipment, then visit our top 5 business phone systems page.
Let Approved Index help you find the best Business Phone Lines Provider for your Small Business.
|On This Page:|
|Does My Business Need a Phone Line?||Business Phone Line Providers|
|The 3 Variations: Business Phone Line Options||Top Small Business Phones|
|Small Business Phone Line Rental||Comparing Business Phone Line Providers|
Does my Business Need a Phone Line?
If you are operating a small business you might be thinking “Why do I need a phone line? Everyone has mobile phones these days, and likely a landline at home too, surely that’s sufficient?” Hold the phone.
There are a number of advantages of having a phone line in place specifically for your business.
Business phone line providers have had to adapt to the modern market and offer more competitive and wide-ranging packages to suit. This competition in the marketplace has driven prices down meaning there’s never been a better time to switch to a business phone line.
✔ Business Phone Lines are Tax Deductible
Any costs that are incurred whilst trying to raise revenue for your small business is a cost that can be deducted from your turnover. This is directly applicable to a business phone line and easily evidenced when your bill has been split out from your other calls with a specific business phone line.
If you have incoming enquiries from multiple clients then even the most basic telephone system can portray a professional image. This can be done by playing holding music, enabling the quick transfer of calls between departments or playing a sales message when you are on the other line or out of office.
✔ Added features
By moving your telephone system to a business phone line, you will be immediately simplifying your communications, both for your staff and for your clients. Features such as caller ID, call logs and call forwarding often come as standard and will transform the way your business communicate both with clients and each other.
Is VoIP an option for my Business?
VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol allows you to make calls directly over the internet. This could be a great option if you operate your business from home where you already have phone and broadband package.
Your provider will almost certainly be able to offer a VoIP add on to this that could prove very cost effective.
VoIP also gives the added benefit of being scalable. Most small or start up businesses have the intention of growing at some point in the near future. For example if your peak workload is throughout the summer and perhaps you take on some temporary staff to meet demand, you’ll only need to add an IP phone to provide another phone line; likewise, when demand slows this line can simply be taken away.
Using only VoIP for calls can offer many of the same benefits as a dedicated business phone line, although downtime can be higher as it is reliant on a strong internet connection.
No matter what size your business is there will be package out there to suit you.
Just fill in one simple form to receive up to 4 free, no-obligation quotes for Small Business Phone Lines today.
Small Business Phone Line Options
Most business telecoms providers have arranged wholesale telephone line rental with the major carriers, which enables them to pass on significant savings to their customers. It also means that switching is a simple process as all the infrastructure is the same – just like switching your energy provider.
If you need new lines installed, checked or repaired, the companies can arrange this through contracted third parties like BT Openreach engineers.
The three main types of phone line are:
- POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) Lines or PTSN: These are analogue lines, which allow one call per line. Can be used singly or combined for a multi-line system with a PBX (exchange).
- ISDN: Digital lines that allow voice and data transmission at the same time. Each ISDN line has two channels. Clarity of calls is often better than with POTS.
- ISDN30: Each line has 8 channels i.e. 8 lines are available from just one cable. Ideal for larger businesses where 8 lines or more are required and each employee has a direct dial number.
POTS Small Business Phone Lines
POTS small business phone lines are the best option for the absolute smallest or newest companies (5 employees or less). This sort of line is the form that is used in most ordinary houses - this means that, while you can get premium options, it is unlikely to provide the power or versatility to suit even a slightly larger business.
You can get a rough price estimate for single POTS phone line by comparing the options available from most of the well-known suppliers; the most competitive of these are detailed below:
- TalkTalk - £24.50/month
- Post Office - £17/month
- BT - £17/month
- Vonage - £11/month
The suppliers listed above may be powerful enough for the very smallest businesses, but these sorts of contracts are unlikely to be enough whenever a larger capacity is required.
ISDN Small Business Phone Lines
An ISDN line, as mentioned in the list above, is a higher capacity option that can allow businesses to operate two lines consecutively. An upgrade from POTS, but this sort of phone line is still not ideal if you have several staff working that all require to use the phone at the same time.
ISDN quotes usually have to be tailored - with a variety of factors considered in the price- but an estimated monthly cost is between £15 and £25. The price is not dissimilar from a POTS line, so it is worth bearing in mind that you will need to be careful to select the correct option for your business.
ISDN30 Small Business Phone Lines
Another step up from ISDN, ISDN30 business phone lines are the perfect option for any small business. Capable of running 8 lines simultaneously, an ISDN30 business phone line allows a larger number of staff to work quickly and efficiently without having to worry about poor quality or overloaded systems.
As you would expect, an ISDN30 phone line will cost your small business slightly more, but the money is definitely worth investing. With this form of installation, you can feel more than safe in the knowledge that your staff can get everything done that they need to get done.
If you are interested in small business phone lines, then you may also want to consider some of our business broadband options.
Small Business Phone Line Rental
The vast majority of business landline packages will come with line rental included.
This rate will vary depending on your anticipated usage so it is important to make sure you have the most appropriate deal to suit your circumstances before you commit to a long term contract. With the average contract term being 18 months, signing up for something that is costing you more than it should could negatively impact your business over this time.
Depending on what you require from your phone system, your provider may be able to offer you additional features with your line rental. These could include, 3 way calling, call transferring, call diversion and call barring.
Business Phone Line Providers
Being one of the UK’s leading providers of business phone lines, BT have a wide range of products available to suit businesses of all sizes. Their three main packages are Standard, Featureline compact and Featureline standard.
These vary in price from £17 to £20.74 per month, depending on how many lines you need and the duration of the contract that you take out. Installation costs can be as high as £120 so it is worth considering each package as a whole before you commit.
TalkTalk offer business phone line installation from as little £14.50. This is dependent on the package that you choose and the number of lines that you require, so it is worth comparing with other providers before entering into the contract.
TalkTalk do offer a wide range of features which when packaged together in a way that is most suitable for your business can be very beneficial; these include call allowances, peak/offpeak, anytime and mobile options.
Virgin Media offer ultrafast and secure connections through some of the latest technology available in this market. With multiple packages available to suit businesses of every size, Virgin Media are one of the most competitive providers around.
However, in order to sign up to Virgin Media you must first have a BT line installed, if it is not already in place. Therefore choosing Virgin Media makes the most sense if you want to switch providers rather than starting afresh.
As a small business specialist XLN Telecom know what it takes to get your business up and running. With a combination of cheap line rental and generous call packages XLN are are serious competitor in this field.
With specialist features to suit small business and line rental starting from as little as £3.99 per month, it is well worth looking at XLN when comparing providers.
Chess Telecom’s flagship policy is that they will never be beaten on price; a bold claim in such a competitive market. With line rental starting from just £3.95 a month and line and call packages starting from £11.96 there’s no doubt that their start-up packages offer value for money.
When choosing a business phone line provider it is important that all companies are taken into account, Chess Telecom are no exception to this.
Small Business Phones
As well as requiring phone lines, small businesses also need telephone equipment suitable to their needs. For a number of reasons, small businesses may require different phones from larger operations.
First, it is important to understand why a small business might have different telephone requirements than those of a larger one.
- Use. Though it is not always the case, small business employees often need to fulfil multiple roles within the company - in order to this, often they will require access to a range of functions.
- Cost. As you might expect, a small business will often have a lower budget than larger operations, this means that they will need to make use of the best value possible, without sacrificing quality. Though larger businesses are unlikely to throw money away, it is far more of a concern when there is less money to begin with.
- Flexibility. As with use, flexibility is important in small businesses - this is not only flexibility in terms of who can use a phone and for what purpose, but also in terms of the features offered - conference calling or automated responses, for example, could be incredibly useful.
The table below highlights some of the best features of three small business phone systems worth considering.
|Panasonic KX-TG6824EB||An affordable cordless option with the ability to add more handsets as required||£75-£100|
|Orchid Telecom PBX 308+||Connects to up to 3 telephone lines and provides up to 8 extensions to desk phones||£275-£325|
|Siemens Gigaset SL910A||Includes 6 Bluetooth enabled portable handsets, with answering machine capability as standard||£600-£650|
For more small business telephone options, visit our telephone system prices page.
Comparing Business Phone Line Suppliers
When comparing business phone line providers, your two main considerations should be cost and customer service.
The first can be ascertained by gathering quotes, the easiest way of doing this is by completing the form above.
Many business phone line providers will offer discounted packages to new customers, these can offer real savings over the course of the first few months and are well worth looking into. Depending on the length of the contract you intend on entering into it these initial deals should be approached with some caution however. What may seem cheap initially could work out more expensive in the long run if you are tied into a deal that isn’t right for your business.
The second consideration is slightly trickier to compare. Check the suppliers’ websites for testimonials from previous clients (if they have them they’ll want to flaunt them) and that they’re from companies of a similar size or who might have similar requirements to yours.
If you’re purchasing or renting phone system equipment as well as lines from the company, check that adequate support for hardware and software is included – if your system suddenly stops working you’ll want engineers out as soon as possible.
If you’re also going for a broadband package, check exactly what speeds are on offer. If you’re reliant on your website this will be very important, so check with your hosting company or web designer that the offered speeds are adequate.
Small Business Phone Line Quotes
To find a Business Telephones provider that suits your business, simply tell us what you’re looking for today. Our fast, free service will match your needs to up to 4 leading UK suppliers, and enable you to compare price quotes to find the best deal.
Approved Index compare phone line providers to find the best fit for your business.