Business Telephone Systems Buyer Guide

Compare Top 10 Brands like 3COM, Shoretel & Samsung

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: May 16, 2011

One of the first steps of starting a small business is to purchase a telephone system for the office. This buyer's guide will provide readers with a series of tips that should assist with the process.


You should start by determining what features you want with the business telephone system. Some important ones:

  • Auto-Attendant – This will automatically answer the phone and show callers how to connect to the person or department they are looking for.
  • Conference Calls – If you’ve got employees in different offices, this will allow you to still have meetings and discuss business strategies.
  • Voice Mail – You can receive messages from customers after hours, or when no one is available to talk on the phone.


There are also several cost considerations that you should take into account before purchasing a business phone system.

  • How much is the central base system?
  • How much are the physical phones?
  • Do you have to rewire the office building?
  • How much will maintenance of the phone system cost?
  • Do you have to pay for the training?

These factors will determine the total cost of ownership (TCO). It tends to be much more than the main phone system, and it’s easy to go over budget if you don’t remember the additional issues.


Negotiating with a vendor might seem a little tricky, but there are a few steps you can take to improve your position. If you know the number of phone lines and extensions that you need, it can prevent them from overselling you. It can also help to mention the competition and how much their phone systems are going for. They might counter that their system is better, but you still may be able to get extra perks thrown in.

You can learn more tips about purchasing a new business telephone system by filling out the form below. It takes less than a minute, and you’ll gain access to the numerous free guides on our website.

Featured Research
  • 7 Reasons Your Business Communications Need to be Headed for the Cloud in 2018

    If your business communication systems aren’t already cloud based, making the switch from traditional systems should be a priority for your business in 2018. The advantages of cloud-based systems are numerous and significant. The cost savings are one well-known aspect - but there are many others like mobility, speed, and security to consider as well. more

  • QTS Communications

    QTS Communications is a Colorado company since 1999, delivering highly reliable Unified Communications to small, medium and enterprise businesses. Our business is Communications, and we understand the technologies that make businesses work. more

  • 7 Ways VoIP Helps Your Business Adapt to Change

    A key trait of successful businesses is their ability to quickly adapt to change. Adaptability allows you to take advantage of changing trends and differentiate your business in even crowded markets. As it turns out, one of the simplest ways to become more adaptable is to use VoIP. There are several reasons this is true - including lower costs, increased mobility, and faster decision making. more

  • 8 Ways to Get More From Your VoIP System

    Many businesses adopt VoIP to take advantage of the cost savings without spending enough time reviewing the features and benefits made available by different solutions. If this is true for your business, there’s a good chance you could be getting more from your VoIP system in the form of even lower costs or improved employee productivity. You may even find that your current software offers features that you aren’t taking advantage of! more

  • The Future of Mobile VoIP

    Business communications have changed a lot in the last few years, and the landscape will only continue to change in 2018 and beyond. These changes are important to stay on top of if you want to maintain or grow a competitive advantage. Things like 5G mobile networks and artificial intelligence have the potential to be extremely disruptive. more