Staying connected is so important for your growing business – but most small business owners are looking to save costs wherever possible. So, while having a good phone system in place is still important, you don’t have to go the traditional route to reap the benefits.

With technology moving forward more each day, it’s time that you consider some modern, cost effective communication options that can save you money too. Options such as web conferencing and instant messaging can save you time and money while increasing productivity and mobility.

VOIP Systems

There is much talk about VOIP in the business world. What started as a small niche has turned into a business must-have. Not only is it more convenient, but cost effective as well. As an entirely internet based system, it’s easy to manage, update and keep track of call records – and, because it’s entirely dependent on internet alone, it’s much cheaper to utilize than your traditional phone.

•    Save more: VOIP offers a variety of features that can be beneficial for your business. So, if nothing else be sure to take advantage of the auto-attendant – not only does it make you appear more professional, but it allows you to avoid an administrative person to answer and direct calls. Business.com suggests, “Many systems have this popular feature, and here’s the great thing: auto-attendants never get sick, never go on vacation, and can take calls around the clock.”

Web Conferencing

As BYOD increases in the workplace, less and less companies are relying on extensive phone systems. Instead, online tools such as web conferencing are a more budget friendly option. Not only is more cost effective, but having the face to face contact will be beneficial in maintaining relationships for your business. After your initial investment in the proper equipment, you’ll pay minimal for the conferencing itself.

•    Save more: Not only are you saving on expensive phone equipment, but you can also save money on travelling. You can conduct product introductions, training sessions and be a involved in important meetings happening across the world without stepping foot on an airplane.

Online Instant Messaging

Finally, if you don’t want to eliminate the phone system as a whole, but would like use it minimally, you can broaden your communication efforts for little to nothing at all. Online instant messaging software is not only convenient, but very cheap as well. Microsoft Business suggests, “Many business people are choosing text-based IM over phone calls and e-mail—preferring its immediacy and streamlined efficiency in getting real-time information from partners, suppliers, and colleagues working remotely.”

Whether you choose to utilize the built in chat on Gmail or download a program like Digsby, you can communicate with anyone at any time, just as long as they are online.

•    Save more: Time is money – so, instead of writing up a lengthy email, IM the person. With a quick conversation you can complete what would have taken a few days via email.
Communication in business is critical to being successful. However, as technology evolves, there are increasingly more options that differ from the traditional phone system. Instead of investing in a land line for your business, consider utilizing web options that will save you time, money and productivity.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics that range from social media to teleconferencing and VOIP. She is a professional blogger and web content writer for ResourceNation.com.