As a consumer, you may have already ditched your home landline in favor of your cell phone. What was once commonplace 10 years ago is quickly fading —  60 percent of homes today don’t have landlines, and it’s estimated the majority will be landline-free by as soon as the end of the year. But what about your business? Chances are it still depends on copper-wired telephone service to make and receive calls. While you may not have given much thought to the state of your business’ phone system, you should start now. Like the home landline, the business landline is on the way out. In fact, it could be gone as soon as 2017. Some 30 states are working to deregulate the landline in favor of a VoIP alternative, meaning your business will be forced to switch to an alternative phone system sooner rather than later. Make the right decision for your business by being informed. Here is what you need to know to prepare your business for the end of the landline.

Know What Your State is Doing

Kentucky is the latest state to pass a bill deregulating the landline. It joins several other states following suit. You’ll want to be up to speed on if your state has or will pass similar legislation. Some states have shorter deregulation timelines than others, and this will allow you to plan accordingly. You don’t want to be caught off guard when you’re forced to switch to new technology, which can result in a rash decision.

Consider Features You Need

VoIP isn’t just for home phone service. Today’s VoIP technology is designed with business needs in mind and provides a wide variety of features to make things more productive and efficient for you and your employees. Not only that, it provides disaster recovery options landline phone services lack. When evaluating technology options, ask your employees what features they’d like to have. Is your workforce mobile? Do you have remote workers? Do people prefer desktop phones or softphones? Also, consider what features  — like customizable hold music — could provide a better experience for your customers.

Research Your Options

If you’re like most business owners, the idea of switching to a new technology can make you anxious. You may be worried about the prospect of giving up your phones, not know how VoIP technology works or need guidance on where to look for providers and what to look for. Switching to VoIP technology doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your phones — you just get more options. For instance, with VoIP you can still take advantage of traditional desktop phones (with more features), and you can route calls to your cell phone or you can use a tablet or computer as a softphone. You’ll also want to take into consideration the platform your provider uses. Is it homegrown? Can it easily scale with your business? And lastly, when researching providers, consider the needs of your business. What features do your employees use most often, or what features would they like? Do you have call centers? Do you anticipate growth? You may be tempted to “just wait” when it comes to preparing for the end of the landline, but don’t. Preparing now will ensure you make the right decision for your business needs. Get more insight into how to prepare, what features to look for in a provider and expert advice from an industry thought leader in our new eBook “How to Prepare Your Business for the End of the Landline.” Download your free copy now!
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Star of Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire,” Grant Cardone owns and operates seven privately held companies and a private equity real estate firm, Cardone Capital, with a multifamily portfolio of assets under management valued at over $4 billion. He is the Top Crowdfunder in the world, raising over $900 million in equity via social media. Known internationally as the leading expert on sales, marketing, and scaling businesses, Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author of 11 business books, including “The 10X Rule,” which led to Cardone establishing the 10X Global Movement and the 10X Growth Conference, now the largest business and entrepreneur conference in the world. The online business and sales educational platform he created, Cardone University, serves over 411,000 individuals and Forbes 100 corporate clients throughout the world. Voted the top Marketing Influencer to watch by Forbes, Cardone uses his massive 15 million plus following to give back via his Grant Cardone Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring underserved, at-risk adolescents in financial literacy, especially those without father figures.