Graham Williams, VP of medium-sized businesses (SMB) at Vtech sat down with Mediaplanet to discuss the importance of business communications.

Mediaplanet: Question: How can a telecommunications system make a small business?

Graham Williams: One of the most important things to consider as a small business is the need to be flexible and adaptable. As your business is going to change, your phone system should change with it.  You should find a phone system that can scale with your business.

MP: What kind of features should small business owners look for when selecting a telecommunications system?

GW: Small businesses want simple solutions. They don't want all of the bells and whistles of high-end PBX systems. They need something that is straight-forward to install and configure, and that is easy to use. Auto attendant is a very popular feature that enables users to set up a directory, so that incoming calls are quickly sent to the right person. SMB owners are always juggling a lot, so they need the ability to manage multiple lines, and easily make the most of the key phone features of voicemail, speakerphone, call forward, transfer, etc.

"Transitioning to new technology and communications is a challenge you want to make as simple as possible."

MP: What are three mistakes SMB owners make when selecting a system?

GW: The first mistake is not assessing what their employees want ahead of time. Transitioning to new technology and communications is a challenge you want to make as simple as possible. The second mistake is not planning the implementation of a new service, as you don’t want to start unplugging only to realize you don’t have the correct elements. And finally, a back-up plan is needed. Many times, businesses have a crisis, which causes their phones to go down. Your phone system needs to have built-in battery backup in case of emergency.