The telephone system you will need is dependent upon how many staff members you have. If yours is a one-person office, then you won't need more than a single phone on your desk.
Your telephone line should be separate from that of your home, even if you work in a home office. You will want to be able to separate business calls from personal calls and turn off the ringer on the business line aft hours.
We also recommend that you invest in some type of call display service so that you can be more prepared for clients calling.
For example, if you see that it's Kama Marine on the line, you can grab their file before picking up the phone. This not only allows you to spend your telephone time more efficiently, it makes you appear more organized and professional.
Also, make sure you have an adequate voicemail system. If you're speaking on the telephone and someone dials in, they should get your voicemail rather than a busy signal so that they can choose to leave a message or call you back.
Voicemail also allows your clients to leave you messages 24/7, even when you're not there. Anything that enhances the transfer of information will improve communication with your clients.
Whether you're looking for a single telephone or a phone system, try to get one that has visual message notification. It's easier to see a light on your telephone flashing to show that you have a message waiting than to have to pick up the telephone every now and then to get an audio message notification.
Have a separate fax line from your telephone line. As your business grows, both of these lines will get more use, and they shouldn't be tied up.
If you have staff, you will need a more sophisticated telephone system with which you can transfer calls from one extension to another and call each other internally. When purchasing a system, make sure you get one that can grow with your company.
For example, if you plan to have six employees three years from now, it makes no sense to purchase a system that has a maximum three users. Always look ahead to make sure current purchases will integrate with future needs.