Purchasing a telephone system for any size of business is no simple matter. A certain amount of research is always required before entering into any contracts or buying equipment.
2 line phone systems are commonly used in small home office run businesses whilst 4 line systems are more suitable for small to medium sized businesses.
Most residential properties generally have only one line entering the building.
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What is a 4 Line Phone System?
2 or 4 line systems, when used within a business environment, increase the number of people who can use the telephone at the same time.
A 4 line system allows up to 16 stations/telephones to be used with 4 incoming or outgoing calls made simultaneously.
Assessing how many lines your business requires is a good starting point. If your business has a relatively low call volume then 3 or 4 lines would be sufficient for up to 12 employees.
Companies with a high volume of calls may benefit from 1 line being allocated for 1 or 2 employees.
Also, take into consideration potential expansion of your business to avoid the cost implications of a new telephone system in the future.
What are the Costs?
Before your 4 line system can be up and running there are initial set up costs you should be aware of:
- Your phone company will need to install the lines required at a cost of approximately seventy dollars per line.
- A phone jack is required for each extension you need. The wiring can cost between sixty and one hundred dollars per hour or may be charged per jack. Shopping around is advisable, and costs can be cut by asking your installer to place 2 lines on each jack.
- A service which ensures a call is answered is called 'call rotation'. When an incoming call comes in and line 1 is busy the call will automatically be transferred to the next available line. Your phone company will be able to set this up for a small charge.
Here are a few examples of 4 line phone systems currently available:
Costing $142 this model is HAC (hearing aid compatible), has a 60 minute digital answering service, speakerphone and call waiting caller ID. (Please note costs are for the main base unit and extensions need to be purchased separately).
AT&T SynJ SB67138
Priced at around $800, this system comes with the base unit, 3 cordless desk phones and 2 cordless handsets. Features include 3-way conferencing, paging and push to talk. The base unit supports 4 lines and can host up to 10 cordless phones.
Verizon Landmark 416
This is a base unit expandable for up to 16 stations. This model has many features including 3-way call conferencing, speed dial, intercom, paging, do not disturb and many more. The Landmark 416 currently costs $220.