There are over 32 million small businesses that dot the American landscape, not to mention the Internet, and serve very diverse customers and niches. Yet, all of those businesses share a few needs of their own. One of the biggest is a way for customers, partners, and vendors to contact them.

For the millions of solopreneurs, you can often get away with nothing more than a smartphone and email address. Bigger businesses with multiple employees, though, often need a business phone system.

Of course, there are multiple systems out there to pick from. Keep reading for a quick overview of the available systems and some tips on choosing.


KSU or key system units are your basic multiline phone systems. They offer very few bells and whistles. You will get some basic features, such as:

  • Hold
  • Paging
  • Speakerphone
  • Intercom

What you do get is the capacity to run up to 40 individual lines. That is often more than enough for an office phone system that serves businesses that may only employ 40 people in total.

These systems do require on-site installation of hardware. Each phone must also physically connect with the hardware to operate.

Traditional PBX

The next step up from the KSU system is the traditional PBX system. As with the KSU system, you need on-site installation of hardware.

Unlike the KSU system, a PBX system lets you create a set of in-house numbers for individual offices or departments. Those phones communicate with each other via the PBX system, rather than touching the public phone system.

The PBX comes with switching and routing software that directs incoming calls to the appropriate office. However, they only provide a finite number of outside lines. So, anyone calling outside the business must essentially dial into one of the outside lines to make calls.

These systems often work best for midsize companies with a lot of internal calling.

VoIP Phone System

The final option is a VoIP phone system. VoIP phone systems direct calls primarily over the Internet. That gives these systems a kind of flexibility you don’t see in KSU or traditional PBX systems.

You can get a VoIP account for an individual and use that for business. You can also get virtual PBX systems that use space-conserving onsite hardware to mimic the function of a traditional PBX. You can even get cloud-hosted VoIP PBX systems through a managed IT company.

VoIP systems often offer the most extensive feature options. Just as importantly, they are often comparably priced or cheaper than their copper wire-based alternatives.

Picking a Business Phone System

Picking the right business phone system for you can hinge on a couple of factors.

For example, do you need multiple lines? Do you need a robust set of phone features? What options are available locally?

On balance though, VoIP systems often prove the best option for small businesses because they offer so much more flexibility in terms of scaling and features.

Inception Network Strategies specializes in Business IT solutions like VoIP phone systems. For more information about service options, contact Inception Network Strategies today.