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Running your business on Skype

by trevor. Average Reading Time: about a minute.

 

I am just setting up a business (well two actually) and I have decided to manage the phones using skype, dispensing with landlines altogether.  I may live to regret this, but I thought I would share my reasons.

Alongside computer to computer calls, Skype also has a feature called a Skype-In number where users get a phone number which can be rung from any landline or mobile. I can therefore give out a number on my business website etc. which goes directly into skype.  Skype also provides voicemail and call forwarding at very reasonable rates.

Pros 

Cost Effective 

These numbers are pretty cheap (£35 per year + VAT, or £16 if you join Skype pro which is £1.50/month).  The other option I had was to get a landline at £15/month + calls.

Convenient:  Pick up calls from any computer

I use my computer at home and at work, and my skype calls are routed to the terminal which I have open at any time.  This means that calls are automatically directed to where I am.

Multiple phone numbers from the same location

It is possible to have more than one skype-in number running off the same skype account.  The only downside here is skype does not tell you which number has been rung.

Cons

Quality of skype calls can still be an issue

6 comments on ‘Running your business on Skype’

  1. Will says:

    We tried this at the start. It’s fine if you’re just one guy. A biz dev colleague is in Turkey and uses Skype daily. But, I tried talking to him today and the call was interrupted multiple times due to bad line. On the other hand, Zach, our lead developer, is based in NYC and we simply could not have built the business without the comms afforded by Skype.

    I get the feeling that skype to skype is much better.
    Two other points –

    1. you can pay a skype out rate to forward any calls to you mobile rather than go to voicemail.
    2. it’s tricky with a cs team as skype doesn’t allow one id to be shared across multiple users (so, if you call our CS team on skype id arenaflowers, everyone’s skype rings). Still, that’s not (I don’t think) going to be a problem for you…at least not yet!
    🙂

    My bet – you’ll end up using a mix of both, as neither blowing too much money nor being solely skype is ultimately satisfactory. Let me know how you get on!

  2. Chris C says:

    We changed to Skype 6 months ago at our company (about 10 employees) and it works like a charm. The quality is sometimes an issue but completely acceptable. We have also found that the IM and file transfer capabilities extremely useful internally.

  3. Steve says:

    Trevor

    Here’s a regret for you, try a free service that gives you a locall 0844 number that diverts call to your chosen landline number and you can set opening and closing times. 2nd regret? you can monitor where the call comes from too plus loads of other options. I have used it for a couple of years without complaint.

    Where? http://www.switchboardfree.co.uk

    Steve

  4. Will says:

    For internal comms, it’s incredibly useful, I agree!

  5. Sun Kim says:

    GrandCentral is better. I tried SkypeIn and SkypeOut for $20 USD worth. Not happy with service. Trying to have a conversation is unreliable if you’re several thousand miles away (West Coast to East Coast or Int’l). 500 miles (Northern California to Southern California) was reliable enough. If any service wants to compete, you have to provide the reliability and immediacy of Ma Bell. GrandCentral is not perfect, but it comes a lot closer than Skype.

  6. Guest says:

    How's that working out for you?

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