Top Picks: The Best Phone Company Options for Small Businesses

Simple Phones
March 11, 2024

In the rapidly evolving world of telecommunications, small businesses are presented with a plethora of phone system options designed to cater to various needs, from cloud-based solutions to cost-effective choices. These systems not only facilitate communication but also serve as comprehensive collaboration hubs. With the right phone system, small businesses can enjoy seamless integration, enhanced customer engagement, and features that support growth, all while keeping an eye on the budget. This article explores the best phone company options for small businesses in 2024, ensuring that you make an informed decision to boost your business's productivity and bottom line.

Key Takeaways

  • Cloud-based phone systems like Nextiva and RingCentral offer advanced communication and collaboration features for small businesses.
  • Affordable options such as Ooma and Grasshopper provide small businesses with budget-friendly solutions without compromising on quality.
  • Remote working is supported by phone systems like Dialpad and GoTo Connect, which offer seamless integration and unified communications.
  • Integration with CRM systems is essential for customer engagement, with providers like Zoom and Nextiva offering robust solutions.
  • When selecting a phone system, small businesses should consider scalability, essential features, and a focus on small business needs.

Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Nextiva: A Leader in Cloud Communication

Nextiva stands out as a comprehensive unified communications platform, offering a suite of features that cater to various business needs. Nextiva's versatility allows for a tailored approach, enabling businesses to select and combine plans that align with their team's requirements and budget constraints. The platform's high average score in key areas such as pricing, ease of use, and customer support underscores its leadership in the cloud communication space.

Nextiva's VoIP service is not only robust but also includes unlimited domestic calling within the U.S. and Canada. The platform's collaboration and call management tools are extensive, offering video, team chat, conferencing, and faxing capabilities. Whether businesses choose to use their existing VoIP phones or opt for Nextiva's pre-configured devices, the transition to this system is designed to be seamless.

Nextiva's mobile app, powered by Cospace, enhances remote workforce management by integrating essential communication channels. The app's design focuses on facilitating remote collaboration, with features such as team messages and video conferences. Additionally, Nextiva's commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through their 24/7 customer support, comprehensive onboarding training, and a 99.999% uptime guarantee.

The platform's features are well-suited for businesses of all sizes, offering unlimited voice and video calling, call queuing, and an auto-attendant tool. Integration with popular CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot further streamlines customer interactions, making Nextiva a smart choice for businesses looking to enhance their communication systems.

RingCentral: Streamlining Collaboration

RingCentral stands out as a comprehensive unified communications platform, designed to meet the diverse needs of small businesses. Its robust feature set enhances team collaboration, making it a top choice for companies seeking efficiency and integration. With RingCentral, businesses can leverage HD video meetings, interactive whiteboards, and real-time transcriptions to keep remote teams connected and productive.

RingCentral's platform is not only about communication; it's about bringing order to the chaos of project management. The ability to turn messages into tasks, color-code personal folders, and utilize an interactive team calendar ensures that every project stays on track.

The platform's integration capabilities are particularly noteworthy:

  • Over 300 third-party apps integration
  • Seamless app switching
  • Enhanced productivity within CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot

RingCentral's commitment to small business growth is evident in its all-inclusive plans, which feature unlimited domestic calling, interactive voice response, and valuable analytics. The contact center solution, powered by AI, offers a strategic approach to managing customer interactions, providing business owners with insights to drive performance and customer satisfaction.

Zoom: Beyond Video Conferencing

While Zoom is synonymous with video conferencing, its phone system capabilities extend far beyond virtual meetings. Zoom Phone is a cloud-based solution that integrates seamlessly with the Zoom Meetings platform, offering a familiar interface for users who are already accustomed to the video conferencing software. This integration ensures a smooth transition for businesses adopting Zoom Phone, with features that support both voice and video communication needs.

Zoom Phone's versatility is evident in its ability to elevate a standard call to a full-fledged video conference or transfer it to a Zoom room with ease. The convenience of having voice and video capabilities within the same application cannot be overstated, as it simplifies communication processes and enhances collaboration.

Zoom Phone plans are not only rich in features but also offer unlimited calling and support for SMS and toll-free numbers. Here's a quick overview of what businesses can expect:

  • Unlimited auto attendants
  • Voicemail transcription
  • On-demand/automatic call recording with transcription
  • 3-way conference calling
  • Call queues for efficient call management
  • 24/7 live chat and phone support

The service's affordability and the inclusion of Zoom Meetings in the subscription make it an attractive option for small businesses looking to maintain high-quality customer interactions without breaking the bank.

Most Affordable Phone System Options

Most Affordable Phone System Options

Ooma: Budget-Friendly Without Compromise

For small businesses looking to make a smart investment in their communication infrastructure, Ooma Office stands out as a cost-effective choice. With a starting price of just $19.95 per user monthly, it's designed to be gentle on the budget while still offering a robust feature set. The entry-level plan includes over 50 standard communication features, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses that require a reliable phone system without a hefty price tag.

Ooma's interface is praised for its simplicity, ensuring that even businesses without dedicated IT staff can manage the system with ease. The straightforward setup and user-friendly drop-down menus facilitate quick and efficient administration, allowing you to focus more on your business and less on technical complexities.

While Ooma may not have all the advanced bells and whistles, its efficient system allows for a smooth transition from traditional PBX setups, ensuring that your business communication needs are met and anticipated for future growth.

Grasshopper: The Entrepreneur's Choice

Grasshopper stands out as a cost-effective solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to maintain a professional image without the complexity and expense of traditional phone systems. With Grasshopper, users can easily separate personal and professional calls on their smartphones, ensuring privacy and organization. The service offers a flat-fee pricing structure, which means small teams can share lines and save money without worrying about individual user costs.

  • Unlimited users across all plans
  • Monthly and annual billing options
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Call forwarding and business texting included

While Grasshopper provides essential services such as call forwarding and business texting, it does not include built-in video conferencing tools and lacks some advanced call management features found in other VoIP providers. Additionally, there are no CRM integrations or call recording options, which may be a consideration for businesses looking to scale or integrate with other systems. When comparing cloud-hosted and on-premises systems for IP telephone services, it's important to evaluate the total cost of ownership, hidden fees, and scalability.

Grasshopper's simplicity and ease of use make it an attractive option for solopreneurs and small teams who prioritize straightforward communication solutions over complex features.

8x8: Cost-Effective and Feature-Rich

8x8 stands out as a unified communications platform that caters to the diverse needs of small businesses. With its X-Series, 8x8 offers a seamless experience across voice, video, and chat functionalities, all accessible through the 8x8 Work application. This integration ensures that as employees' roles evolve, so does the technology they use, without the need for switching between different apps.

The service is known for its flexibility, allowing businesses to mix and match plans to suit the specific needs of knowledge workers, supervisors, and call center agents. 8x8's commitment to supporting global workforces is evident in its offering of unlimited international calling to up to 48 countries, depending on the chosen plan.

8x8's robust feature set, including high-capacity video conferencing for up to 500 participants and advanced call center tools, positions it as a top choice for businesses looking to grow without the burden of excessive costs.

While pricing details are quote-based and not publicly disclosed, the value proposition is clear. The platform's ability to provide a comprehensive suite of communication tools makes it a strong contender for small businesses that prioritize scalability and advanced features within a budget-friendly framework.

Top Picks for Remote Working

Top Picks for Remote Working

Dialpad: Seamless Integration for Remote Teams

Dialpad stands out as a unified communications platform that merges voice calls, messaging, meetings, and video into one seamless experience. Businesses benefit from a comprehensive suite of features including local and international numbers, sophisticated call routing, and unlimited ring groups, tailored to enhance team collaboration and customer engagement.

  • Teams seeking collaboration find Dialpad's video meetings and team chat invaluable, with tools like whiteboards and file sharing that bolster productivity.
  • Call centers and support teams leverage the platform's advanced queueing, custom call routing, and ring groups to efficiently direct inbound calls.

Dialpad's voice intelligence tools are a game-changer, offering live transcriptions, note-taking, and action item tracking, ensuring that critical details are captured and no task is overlooked. This AI-driven approach not only enhances the calling experience but also provides real-time access to information, aiding sales and marketing teams in responding to customer inquiries promptly.

Dialpad's innovative use of artificial intelligence sets it apart, offering live prompts and transcriptions that empower teams to focus on the conversation, confident that all essential information is recorded.

GoTo Connect: Unified Communications Anywhere

GoTo Connect stands out as a unified communications platform that caters to the needs of small businesses with its ease of use and quick setup. The system boasts over 100 built-in features, including real-time analytics and shared voicemail inboxes, which are accessible from both desktop and mobile devices.

With GoTo Connect, businesses benefit from a UCaaS platform that supports up to 500-participant video meetings, VoIP calling, SMS texting, and team chat, ensuring that team members can stay connected regardless of their location.

The platform's mobile app enhances flexibility, allowing employees to join meetings and calls from anywhere. This is particularly beneficial for teams that are frequently on the move or work remotely. GoTo Connect's all-in-one functionality facilitates seamless transitions between different modes of communication, such as video meetings, team chats, and calls.

  • Smart call routing with a user-friendly dial plan editor
  • Customizable real-time analytics for monitoring call volume and queue status
  • Free international calling in 53 countries, ideal for global teams

GoTo Connect offers two plans that include team messaging, unlimited extensions, and the ability to port existing numbers. An upgraded softphone feature also allows users to make and receive calls from their computer, providing even greater versatility for business communication.

Vonage: Flexibility for the Mobile Workforce

Vonage stands out for its exceptional customization capabilities and mobile flexibility, catering to the dynamic needs of small businesses with remote or mobile workforces. The platform's microservice architecture ensures rapid adaptation to market changes, offering a variety of hardware options and a customizable phone system that integrates seamlessly into existing infrastructures.

Vonage's commitment to mobility is evident in its fully functional mobile and desktop apps, which empower teams to stay connected and productive from anywhere.

The service boasts a 99.999% uptime guarantee and a suite of over 50 business phone features across all plans, including on-demand call recording and team messaging. Here's a quick glance at the pros and cons:

Vonage's approach to communication solutions is designed to ensure that small businesses never miss an important call, providing the tools necessary for a highly mobile and flexible workforce.

Best Phone Systems Integrated with CRM

Best Phone Systems Integrated with CRM

RingCentral and Salesforce: A Powerful Duo

RingCentral's integration with Salesforce epitomizes the synergy between a leading unified communications platform and a top-tier CRM system. Businesses can take calls directly within Salesforce, streamlining workflows and enhancing productivity. This powerful combination allows for a seamless experience, with RingCentral's advanced calling features enriching customer interactions.

  • Multilevel auto attendant
  • Unmetered domestic calling
  • Advanced analytics
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
With over 300 third-party app integrations, RingCentral eliminates the need for constant app switching, making work more efficient and centralized. The platform's AI-driven contact center solution provides valuable insights into customer feedback and team performance.

RingCentral's comprehensive suite caters to a diverse range of business needs, from startups to large enterprises. The platform's versatility is evident in its support for remote work, offering features like HD video meetings, interactive whiteboards, and real-time transcriptions. Task management tools and team calendars ensure that projects remain on track, while personalization options like color-coded folders enhance organization.

Nextiva's CRM Integration: Streamlining Customer Interactions

Nextiva's CRM integration is a game-changer for small businesses aiming to enhance their customer service. In-call access to CRM data allows for a more personalized approach, directly impacting customer satisfaction and agent productivity. The seamless integration with popular CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot ensures that customer information is always at the agents' fingertips, enabling them to provide a tailored experience.

Nextiva's AI analytics add-on is a notable feature that aids in identifying customer journey roadblocks and monitoring satisfaction influencers. This advanced tool empowers businesses to adapt and improve their strategies for better customer experiences.

The platform's ease of use is also a significant advantage. With a quick installation process and intuitive dashboards, Nextiva simplifies the transition to a more integrated communication system. Training resources are readily available, ensuring that teams can leverage the full potential of the CRM integration without a steep learning curve.

Here are some key benefits of Nextiva's CRM integration:

  • Personalized customer service through direct CRM access during calls
  • Increased productivity with workflow automation and real-time collaboration tools
  • Advanced features like auto attendants and agent assist to enhance customer experiences

While Nextiva excels in many areas, it's important to consider the full scope of your business needs when evaluating phone system options.

Zoom and HubSpot: Enhancing Customer Engagement

Zoom's integration with HubSpot brings a new level of customer engagement to small businesses. By combining Zoom's robust video conferencing capabilities with HubSpot's CRM platform, businesses can enhance the customer experience through more personalized interactions. This integration allows for seamless communication and efficient management of customer relationships.

  • Ease of Use: Quick setup and intuitive dashboards.
  • Productivity: Workflow automation and real-time collaboration.
  • Customer Service: Personalized interactions with access to customer history.
The synergy between Zoom and HubSpot empowers businesses to create better customer experiences, with advanced features like auto attendants and CRM integrations leading to more satisfying interactions.

Scalability is also a key benefit, as businesses can select specific features that match their needs without being locked into bundled packages. The Business Inbox add-on is particularly noteworthy, allowing team members to manage communications across various channels from a single point.

Optimal Phone Systems for Small Business Growth

Choosing a Scalable System

When selecting a phone system for a small business, scalability is a critical factor to consider. A system that grows with your business not only supports expansion but also ensures that you're not paying for features you don't need at the outset. Cloud-based PBX systems offer the flexibility to add virtual phone lines and features seamlessly, without the need for physical installations.

  • Ease of adding lines: Cloud-hosted systems allow for quick addition of hard or soft phones.
  • Customizable features: Choose only the features you need, avoiding unnecessary costs.
  • Support for remote work: Scalable systems accommodate an expanding remote workforce.
Modern voice services enhance company image and client confidence. Scalable PABX systems and Unified Communications support growth, efficiency, and global reach for businesses.

Before committing to a phone system, assess its ability to scale. Can it handle an increasing number of lines without significant delays or costs? Does it offer a range of features that you can tailor to your business's evolving needs? These considerations will help ensure that your communication infrastructure is a boon, not a bottleneck, to your business growth.

Features That Support Expansion

When selecting a phone system to support business growth, scalability is a critical feature. A system that can adapt to your changing needs without requiring significant overhauls or downtime is essential for a growing business. Look for providers that offer tier-based plans and the ability to add users or features with ease.

For instance, a cloud-based solution often allows for rapid adjustments directly through the provider's website, whereas traditional systems may necessitate physical installations. The flexibility to mix and match services caters to the unique demands of expanding companies, accommodating new roles and locations efficiently.

  • Scalability: Adjust service levels and features as your business grows.
  • Business Inbox: Aggregate messages from various channels in one place.
  • Unified Communications: Integrate with tools for collaboration and productivity.
Emphasizing scalability in your phone system ensures that as your business evolves, your communication capabilities can keep pace without hindering progress.

Providers with a Small Business Focus

When selecting a phone system provider, small businesses often have different considerations than larger enterprises. Providers that focus on small businesses tailor their services to meet the unique needs of smaller teams, offering flexibility and cost-effectiveness without requiring large user minimums.

  • Nextiva
  • RingCentral
  • Ooma
  • Zoom Phone
  • Grasshopper

These providers often offer tiered service plans, allowing small businesses to choose a level that fits their budget and feature requirements. It's important for small businesses to scrutinize the pricing details, as some advertised rates may assume larger user numbers or annual payment commitments that don't align with the realities of a smaller operation.

Small businesses should ensure that the phone system they choose can scale with their growth, providing the right balance between features and affordability.

As your small business flourishes, ensuring seamless communication with your customers is paramount. Simple Phones offers an AI-powered phone system tailored to support your growth. With features like AI voice agents, call logging, and integration with your CRM, we make sure you never miss a customer call. Our plans are affordable and customizable to fit your unique needs. Ready to transform your customer interactions? Visit our website to start your 14-day free trial and experience the future of business telephony.


In the quest to find the best phone company options for small businesses, it's clear that the market offers a variety of solutions tailored to meet diverse needs. From cloud-based systems like Nextiva that offer scalability and advanced features, to cost-effective choices such as Ooma, small businesses can now enjoy the benefits of robust communication systems without the hefty price tag of traditional setups. Companies like RingCentral and Zoom are redefining collaboration, providing platforms that support not just voice calls but also video conferencing and team chats. As we've seen, the key is to select a system that aligns with your business's size, workflow, and budget, ensuring that it can grow and adapt with you. With the right phone system, small businesses can enhance productivity, streamline communication, and maintain a competitive edge in the digital era.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a cloud-based phone system for small businesses?

Cloud-based phone systems offer scalability, cost savings, and advanced features such as HD phone, team chat, and conversational AI. They also facilitate remote work by allowing teams to communicate from anywhere with an internet connection.

How can a small business phone system improve client interactions?

A good phone system can support client interactions by providing reliable and clear communication channels, integrating with CRM software for seamless customer data access, and offering features like call forwarding and voicemail to email.

What features should I look for in a phone system for remote working?

Look for features such as mobile apps, video conferencing, seamless integration with other tools, unified communications, and the ability to use your business number from any device to support a remote or mobile workforce.

How does CRM integration benefit a small business phone system?

CRM integration allows for better customer relationship management by syncing call data with customer profiles, enabling personalized interactions, and facilitating efficient follow-ups, ultimately enhancing customer engagement.

What factors should I consider when choosing a phone system for business growth?

Consider scalability, the range of features, and customer support. Choose a system that can grow with your business, offers features that support expansion, and provides dedicated support for small businesses.

How can I ensure the phone system I choose is cost-effective for my small business?

Evaluate the pricing structure, check for hidden fees, and compare the cost against the features offered. Consider VoIP options that typically have lower costs than traditional systems and look for plans that can be customized to your business's call volume and needs.