As your business grows from a one-person shop to a team of professionals, you need a phone system that will grow with you. You shouldn’t expect your employees to use their personal numbers to answer business calls, just as you shouldn’t answer business calls from your personal number, either.
You could get separate numbers for each employee, but that may get expensive. You also need one number for customers to call so they don’t need a lot of numbers to reach different sections of your company.
That’s where a PBX comes in. But what exactly is a PBX?
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. It’s a telephone system, usually at a business or organization, that provides extensions for users. You may have used a PBX at a company that you worked for, where you may have dialed “9” to get an outside line. PBX lets users share phone lines while all being part of a central line. PBX systems save the cost of purchasing a line for each user.
You may have dialed into a PBX before. Usually you’ll hear a recording that says, “Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for billing…” This is a PBX in action. When the caller presses one of the buttons, he or she is directed to the extension on that number associated with that department or person. Each person or department has an extension.
In the past, PBX required lots hardware – miles of telephone wires, a computer server that managed the switching of the calls, and special phones for each employee. These systems cost tens of thousands of dollars and required a maintenance and support contract. Sometimes the vendor required licenses to use the software.
Virtual PBX systems
With the Internet came the rise of virtual PBX systems. These systems live in the cloud, using online servers to direct calls. The system allows users to set up their extensions the way they wish – for example, have it forward calls to their personal cellphone or home phone, or transfer them to voicemail. That way, your employees are always reachable with the touch of a button, no matter where they are.
Customers also don’t have to have several numbers for different departments in their contact list. They call one number and press a key to be transferred to the appropriate department or employee.
What’s great about virtual PBX systems is that there are no licensing costs, no setup fees, no hardware to install, and no contract to sign. Most systems also come with features such as voicemail and call forwarding if you don’t want a PBX system and just need a regular phone number.
Ninja Number plans start at $9.95 per month. That’s two lattes at Starbucks. For that price, you get one phone number and three extensions – perfect for the business that’s starting to bloom. You also get texting, detailed reporting and voice-to-text transcription – all accessible from our mobile app, Ninja Number Business. You can cancel at any time.
If you find you’re growing even larger, you can try one of our premium plans, or go with unlimited minutes as well. You can transfer an existing number and get a vanity number.