Best Small Business Phone Systems for 2024

Vincent Hawley

May 16, 2024
minutes to read

So, you’re in the market for a business phone system – fantastic! It’s a crucial decision that can significantly impact your company’s communication and overall efficiency. But let’s be honest, wading through the seemingly endless sea of options can feel downright daunting. Different features, functionalities, and providers – it’s enough to make your head spin!

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to navigate this alone. We understand the importance of finding the perfect fit for your unique business needs, and that’s precisely why we’ve created this comprehensive guide.

In the coming sections, we’ll be delving deep into the top 5 business phone systems on the market today. We’ll break down their key features, pricing structures, and target audiences to provide you with a clear picture of what each one offers.

But wait, there’s more! We know you might be wondering why LimePhone should be your top choice, especially with so many strong contenders out there. Fear not – we’ll be dedicating a special section to showcasing exactly why LimePhone stands out as the ideal solution for small businesses,  highlighting its unique strengths and the value it brings to the table.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey to discover the perfect communication solution for your business! With this guide as your roadmap, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision that empowers your team and takes your business communication to the next level.

10 Must-Have Features Your Small Business Needs

Choosing a business phone system can feel overwhelming. There’s a vast array of providers, both established players and innovative newcomers, each offering a dizzying range of features at varying price points. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, wondering which features are essential and where to find the best value.

Fear not, small business owners! This handy guide dives deep into the top 10 features you absolutely need in a business phone system. Think of it as your checklist for navigating the world of business phone providers and selecting the perfect solution for your unique needs.

1. Multiple Phone Numbers: Building Local Trust

First impressions matter, and that applies to phone numbers too. People are far more likely to answer a call from a local number they recognize. This increases your chances of connecting with potential customers and fosters a sense of trust and familiarity.

2. Seamless Call Routing: Never Miss a Lead

Efficient call routing ensures your customers never get lost in the shuffle. Even when you’re unavailable, callers are directed to the appropriate person or receive a helpful message.

Here’s how it works:

  • Call forwarding: Route calls to another team member for immediate assistance.
  • Auto-reply: Send an automated message letting callers know you’ll return their call shortly.
  • Simultaneous ring: Distribute incoming calls to multiple team members, maximizing your responsiveness.

These features work together to keep your customers engaged and frustration-free. No more unanswered rings and feelings of being ignored!

3. Streamline Your Workflow with Call Management Solutions

Next-level call management saves you and your team precious time. The best business phone systems offer features like:

  • Auto-attendant/IVR: These virtual phone menus greet callers and prompt them to choose the department or extension they need. This automates call routing, freeing you and your team to focus on core business tasks.
  • Call forwarding and transfer: Seamlessly transfer calls to colleagues for efficient collaboration.

These features empower your team to work smarter, not harder.

4. Unlock Powerful Insights with Call Recording & Summaries

Call recording is a game-changer for small businesses. It offers a wealth of benefits for enhancing your operations and customer interactions:

  • Improved training: Review call recordings to provide targeted feedback to your sales and support teams, honing their communication skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Personalized customer service: Gain valuable insights into customer history and interactions. This empowers your team to deliver exceptional service tailored to each customer’s needs.

Call summaries take things a step further. Powered by AI, they automatically extract key points from recordings, allowing you to quickly grasp the conversation’s essence and plan your next steps with confidence.

Bonus Tip: Look for a provider like LimePhone that offers call recording and summaries as standard, saving you money and enhancing your communication strategy.

5. Build Trust with Clear Caller ID

Professionalism starts with caller ID. This feature displays your business name when you call, even if the recipient doesn’t have your number saved. It builds trust and establishes your legitimacy. While not available for toll-free or Canadian numbers, caller ID is a must-have for local US numbers.

Next Steps: Unveiling the Perfect Provider for Your Business

Now that you’re armed with this essential feature checklist, we’ll delve into comparing different business phone providers and selecting the one that perfectly aligns with your specific needs. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this guide to unlocking powerful communication solutions for your small business!

Essential Considerations Choosing a Business Phone System

While the features listed above form the foundation of any effective small business phone system, there are additional factors to consider when making your final decision. Here’s a breakdown of some key areas to keep in mind:

1. Scalability and Flexibility:

Imagine your business thriving and your team expanding. Will your chosen phone system adapt and grow with you? Look for a solution that offers flexible plans and easily accommodates additional features or phone lines as your needs evolve.

2. User-Friendliness and Training:

A business phone system shouldn’t add complexity. Choose a system that’s intuitive and easy for your team to learn and use. Providers that offer comprehensive onboarding materials and readily available customer support are a plus.

3. Security and Reliability:

In today’s digital world, data security is paramount. Ensure your chosen provider prioritizes robust security measures to protect sensitive customer information. Additionally, consider the provider’s track record for uptime and system reliability. Minimized downtime translates to uninterrupted communication and a seamless customer experience.

4. Budget and Pricing Transparency:

Business phone systems come with varying price structures. Be wary of hidden fees or complex pricing models. Look for providers that offer transparent pricing plans that align with your budget and clearly outline the features included at each tier.

5. Integrations and Compatibility:

Does your business rely on specific CRM platforms, project management tools, or collaboration software? Ensure your chosen phone system integrates seamlessly with these tools to streamline workflows and maximize efficiency.

The LimePhone Advantage: The Perfect Fit for Small Businesses

Having explored these essential considerations, let’s see how LimePhone shines as the ideal communication solution for small businesses:

  • Scalable and Adaptable: LimePhone grows with you. Our flexible plans and a la carte feature options allow you to tailor the system to your specific needs, adding or removing features as your business evolves.
  • Effortlessly Easy to Use: We prioritize user-friendliness. Our intuitive interface and clear instructions make it a breeze for your team to get up and running in no time. Plus, our dedicated support team is always available to answer any questions.
  • Security at the Forefront: LimePhone takes data security seriously. We employ industry-leading security protocols to safeguard your confidential information and ensure complete peace of mind.
  • Rock-Solid Reliability: We understand the importance of uninterrupted communication. LimePhone boasts a stellar uptime record, guaranteeing your business phone system is always available when you need it most.
  • Budget-Friendly Solutions: LimePhone offers transparent and competitive pricing plans to fit any small business budget. You only pay for the features you need, with no surprises or hidden fees.
  • Seamless Integrations: We integrate with the tools you already use, such as popular CRM platforms, project management software, and collaboration apps. This fosters a unified workflow and boosts your team’s productivity.

Conclusion: Empowering Your Small Business with the Perfect Communication Solution

Choosing the right business phone system is an investment in the future of your small business. By prioritizing the features and considerations outlined above, you’ll be well-equipped to select a solution that significantly enhances your communication capabilities, fosters stronger customer relationships, and empowers your team to excel.

Types of Small Business Phone Systems

The world of business phone systems can feel like a jungle of acronyms and technical jargon. From PBX to VoIP, it’s enough to make your head spin! But fear not, intrepid entrepreneur! This section will serve as your guide, deconstructing the two main categories of business phone systems: on-premises solutions and cloud-based solutions.

On-Premises Phone Systems: Traditional Reliability with Modern Limitations

On-premises phone systems were once the undisputed kings of business communication. These solutions reside within your physical office space, offering a sense of familiarity and control. Let’s delve deeper into the two primary subcategories of on-premises systems:

  • Traditional Landline Phones: Remember the clunky desk phones of yesteryear? These analog systems, installed by phone companies, were the workhorses of communication for decades. While reliable and offering excellent call quality, they were expensive to set up and maintain. Today, their use is primarily limited to large institutions and areas with limited internet access. These systems are typically managed with key service units (KSUs).
  • Private Branch Exchanges (PBX): As technology advanced, businesses craved more functionality than simple call transfer and waiting. Enter the PBX. These systems essentially create a private phone network within your company, offering advanced features like call recording, voicemail, call queues, and interactive voice menus (IVR). They can be customized to meet your specific needs.

However, PBX systems come with their own set of drawbacks. They require significant investment in hardware, specialized office phones, and on-site expertise for maintenance. Additionally, with the growing mobile workforce, PBX systems can feel restrictive, tethering employees to their desks.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems: Unleash the Power of Flexibility and Scalability

The modern business landscape demands agility and adaptability. This is where cloud-based phone systems, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), truly shine. Let’s explore the advantages of VoIP solutions:

  • Unplug and Connect from Anywhere: VoIP says goodbye to traditional phone lines, utilizing your existing internet connection for voice calls. This eliminates the need for complex equipment setup. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a compatible device – computer, smartphone, or even a special VoIP phone – to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world.
  • Crystal Clear Communication: VoIP technology boasts superior call quality compared to traditional phone lines. No more crackles or dropped calls!
  • Feature-Rich Powerhouse: Many VoIP providers, like LimePhone, offer a robust suite of features beyond basic calling. Think unlimited calling within specific regions, shared phone numbers for team collaboration, text messaging capabilities, call recording for coaching purposes, and convenient call forwarding.

The Future is Cloud-Based:

There’s a reason why VoIP systems are rapidly becoming the gold standard for business communication. Their flexibility, scalability, and affordability make them a perfect fit for the modern business landscape.

3 Key Reasons to use a VoIP Phone System

We’ve explored the world of business phone systems, diving into the traditional on-premises options and the modern magic of cloud-based solutions (VoIP). Now, let’s get down to brass tacks and explore the concrete reasons why thousands of small businesses are enthusiastically embracing VoIP technology.

1. Unleash the Power of Location Independence: Work from Anywhere

Imagine a world where geography doesn’t restrict your business operations. With a virtual phone system, that world becomes a reality. Here’s how VoIP empowers your small business to transcend physical limitations:

  • The Solopreneur on the Go: Are you a one-person powerhouse who thrives on travel? No problem! A virtual phone system ensures you never miss a beat, allowing you to seamlessly manage calls from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Globally Distributed Teams: The modern business world embraces remote workforces. A virtual phone system bridges the distance, connecting your team members across continents and time zones. Imagine your virtual assistant in the Philippines calling and texting clients seamlessly using your business number, fostering a unified customer experience regardless of location.
  • Branching Out and Scaling Up: As your business expands to new markets, a virtual phone system adapts right alongside you. Easily acquire local phone numbers in new cities, establishing a strong presence from the get-go and demonstrating your commitment to your local customer base.

Shared numbers take location independence a step further. This ingenious feature allows you to assign a single number to a team of representatives, ensuring calls are always answered promptly and efficiently, no matter where your team members are physically located.

2. Scale with Confidence: A System that Grows with Your Team

The beauty of a VoIP phone system lies in its scalability. Unlike traditional phone systems that require costly upgrades or additional hardware, VoIP solutions adapt effortlessly as your business grows. Here’s how:

  • Pay-as-You-Go Flexibility: The best virtual phone system providers employ user-based pricing models. This means you only pay for the features and lines your team actually uses. Need to add new team members? Simply add them to the platform. Time to let someone go? Easily remove their access. This financial flexibility empowers you to manage your communication costs effectively.
  • A Number for Every Need: As your team expands, so do your communication requirements. VoIP systems allow you to acquire additional phone numbers with ease, ensuring each team member has a dedicated line for professional communication. Furthermore, you can strategically acquire local numbers in new markets, signaling your commitment to regional customers.

Continuous Innovation: A reliable VoIP provider like LimePhone understands that your needs evolve. That’s why we continuously release new updates and features, ensuring your communication system stays at the forefront of technology. This allows you to build stronger customer relationships and operate at peak efficiency.

3. Effortless Setup: Get Talking in Minutes, Not Days

Traditional landline phone systems can be a logistical nightmare. From hardware purchases to installation appointments and troubleshooting calls, getting operational can be a time-consuming and frustrating ordeal.

Virtual phone systems are a breath of fresh air. They leverage the devices your team already owns – computers, smartphones, or even specialized VoIP phones. This eliminates the need for expensive equipment, lengthy installations, and tedious phone calls. In a matter of minutes, your entire team can be up and running, ready to connect with customers seamlessly. And the best part? You can accomplish this entirely online, without ever having to speak to a customer service representative (if that’s your preference).

Understanding Small Business Phone System Costs

Several factors influence the cost of your small business phone system:

  • Service Provider: Different providers offer varying pricing models and feature sets. Carefully evaluate each provider’s offerings to ensure you’re getting the best value for your specific needs.
  • System Type: As explored earlier, there are two main categories of business phone systems: cloud-based VoIP systems and on-premises solutions. Generally, VoIP systems tend to be more cost-effective, with predictable monthly fees. On-premises systems often require upfront hardware investments and potentially ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Number of Users: Most VoIP providers employ user-based pricing models. This means the more users you have on the system, the higher the monthly cost. However, many providers offer volume discounts for larger teams.

Here’s a quick cost comparison to give you a general idea:

  • Starting VoIP Plans: These entry-level plans typically range from $15 to $25 per user per month. They offer basic calling features and might be suitable for small teams with low call volume.
  • Mid-Range VoIP Systems: These plans cost between $25 and $50 per user per month and often include additional features like call recording, voicemail transcriptions, and video conferencing. These options cater well to businesses with moderate call volume and a desire for enhanced functionality.

On-Premises Systems: A Different Cost Structure

On-premises solutions come with a different cost structure:

  • PBX Systems: Traditional PBX systems require a significant upfront investment in hardware, including the PBX server, phones, and installation costs. These systems typically range from $500 to $1,000 per user, not including ongoing maintenance expenses.
  • Analog PBX Systems: These outdated systems are even more expensive to set up, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for a basic setup suitable for a small team of five. However, their functionality is limited compared to modern VoIP systems.

Beyond the Bottom Line: Considering Value

While cost is undeniably important, it’s critical to look beyond the initial price tag. The best business phone system for your company will deliver significant value in terms of:

  • Increased Efficiency: Streamlined communication empowers your team to collaborate more effectively, saving time and boosting productivity.
  • Enhanced Customer Service: Advanced features like call recording and voicemail transcriptions allow you to deliver exceptional customer service and continuously improve your communication strategies.
  • Improved Scalability: Cloud-based VoIP systems adapt effortlessly as your business grows, eliminating the need for costly hardware upgrades or system overhauls.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that optimizes your communication investment and fuels your small business success.

Breaking Down the Best Small Business Phone Systems

Building strong customer relationships is the lifeblood of any small business. Exceptional customer support fosters loyalty and repeat business. And growth? That’s the ultimate goal! The right business phone system can be your secret weapon on all three fronts.

But with so many options on the market, where do you even begin? Worry not, intrepid entrepreneur! We’ve curated a list of the top 5 business phone systems specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses. Let’s dive in and discover the perfect communication solution to propel your business forward!


Finding the perfect business phone system can feel like searching for a unicorn: affordable, feature-rich, and easy to use. But fear not, entrepreneurs! LimePhone might just be the magical solution you’ve been waiting for. In this section, we’ll delve into the unique strengths LimePhone offers and explore how it can empower your small business.

Cost-Effective Calling: Unleash the Power of Unlimited Connections

LimePhone shines brightly in the realm of affordability. Here’s why it stands out from the crowd:

  • Unlimited Horizons: Unlike many competitors, LimePhone doesn’t restrict you with metered minutes. Their generous plans include unlimited inbound calling, letting you focus on conversations without worrying about surprise charges.
  • Global Reach at Your Fingertips: The team plan boasts an impressive perk: unlimited calling to a whopping 36+ local countries. This is a game-changer for businesses with international clients or remote teams. And guess what? This incredible value comes at a price point significantly lower than most competitors’ basic plans!

A Note on Emergency Services: It’s important to acknowledge that, similar to most virtual phone number solutions, LimePhone currently cannot support emergency 911 calling services. This restriction stems from the nature of VoIP numbers, which aren’t tied to a physical address.

Beyond Affordability: Features to Streamline Your Communication

While LimePhone prioritizes budget-consciousness, it doesn’t skimp on the functionality you need to thrive. Let’s explore some of the valuable features included in their plans:

  • Effortless Texting: Communication flourishes with unlimited text messaging across all plans. Stay connected with clients and colleagues with ease, ensuring smooth information exchange.
  • Expand Your Reach (Without Breaking the Bank): The base plan doesn’t include multiple phone numbers, understandably. However, LimePhone offers them as an affordable add-on, starting at just $2 each. This makes LimePhone the most cost-effective option for businesses that require additional lines, allowing you to strategically scale your communication as your needs evolve.

LimePhone’s Transparent Pricing: LimePhone believes in straightforward pricing structures. Let’s break down their basic plan, a steal at only $4.99 per month:

  • Your Local Presence: Acquire 1 UK/US phone number, establishing a professional identity for your business.
  • 250 Local Calling Minutes: Enjoy ample minutes for local outgoing calls, allowing you to connect with customers and partners in your area.
  • Single User Access: Get started with one user account, perfect for solo entrepreneurs or small teams.
  • A World of Incoming Calls: Never miss a beat with unlimited inbound calling, ensuring you’re always reachable for customer inquiries.
  • Slack Integration: Boost your workflow by receiving calls and SMS messages directly within your Slack workspace.
  • Feature-Rich Arsenal: Unlock a treasure trove of over 40 powerful features to enhance your communication experience. This includes call recording, a convenient SMS inbox, voicemail transcription for easy message retrieval, and more.
  • Flexibility at Your Fingertips: Enjoy free call forwarding to ensure you never miss a call, even when you’re unavailable. Additionally, personalize your greetings with auto-replies and implement a basic IVR system for a professional touch.

Experience LimePhone’s Simplicity:

LimePhone is the ideal choice for businesses seeking a budget-friendly communication solution packed with core functionalities. Sign up for their free trial and discover how LimePhone can transform your communication strategy and propel your business forward, all without breaking the bank!


OpenPhone emerges as a powerful solution, designed to empower your team and simplify communication needs. Let’s delve deeper into the app’s strengths and explore how OpenPhone can elevate your business operations.

Feature-Rich Collaboration: Fostering a Seamless Workflow

OpenPhone goes beyond the basic functionality of calling and texting. It boasts a robust suite of features that promote seamless collaboration within your team:

  • Unlimited North American Communication: Breathe a sigh of relief! OpenPhone eliminates worries about exceeding usage limits with unlimited calling and texting throughout the US and Canada. This fosters uninterrupted communication within your team and with your North American clientele.
  • Number Flexibility: Establish a strong professional presence that aligns with your business goals. OpenPhone provides the flexibility to choose from local or toll-free numbers. Even better, they offer a complimentary US, Canadian, or toll-free number for each team member, with the option to add more for a minimal monthly fee.
  • Teamwork Made Effortless: OpenPhone understands the importance of a unified team. Their internal threads, contact notes, and direct messaging features ensure everyone is on the same page, facilitating seamless collaboration and information sharing.
  • Increased Efficiency with Automation: OpenPhone equips you with tools to streamline call management. The auto-attendant (IVR) functionality empowers clients to route their own calls, eliminating the need for manual intervention and saving you valuable time.

Beyond Efficiency: Streamlining Workflows with Automation

OpenPhone takes automation a step further, allowing you to:

  • Craft Personalized Auto-Replies: Save time and ensure consistent messaging with auto-replies and snippets. OpenPhone even offers AI-generated responses, allowing you to personalize communication while minimizing manual effort.
  • Simplify Text Communication: Streamline text messaging workflows through automation features. This includes auto-replies, pre-written snippets, and AI-powered responses, ensuring you stay connected with clients efficiently.

Beyond a Second Phone Number: A Unified Communication Hub

OpenPhone transcends the limitations of a simple second phone number app. It’s designed to act as a central hub for your entire business communication flow, encompassing both phone calls and text messages.

Let’s explore some additional key functionalities at your fingertips:

  • Cost-Effective Communication: Keep your communication budget in check with free calls and texts within the US and Canada.
  • Cross-Device Accessibility: OpenPhone offers unparalleled flexibility and convenience. Respond to calls and texts from your computer, smartphone, or tablet, empowering your team to stay connected regardless of location.
  • Affordable International Options: The world is your market! OpenPhone provides affordable international calling options, so you can maintain seamless communication with global partners.

A Feature-Rich Arsenal for Every Need

OpenPhone caters to a variety of communication needs, including:

  • Shared Numbers for Team Coverage: Ensure someone is always available to answer calls or respond to texts by assigning specific team members to shared phone numbers.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Boost teamwork with internal messaging, threaded conversations, and other collaborative tools embedded within the app.
  • Capture Every Detail: Never miss a beat with call recording and voicemail transcriptions, ensuring you can refer back to important conversations whenever needed.
  • Automated Client Interactions: Set up auto-attendants for self-directed call routing and auto-replies to manage incoming texts when team members are unavailable. This streamlines client interactions and ensures a positive customer experience.
  • Professional Call Management: Establish professional business hours and optimize client experience with these features.

Connecting Your Business Ecosystem:

OpenPhone seamlessly integrates with over 5,000 business apps, including industry leaders like Slack, Salesforce, and HubSpot. This allows you to create a centralized communication platform, eliminating the need to juggle multiple apps and fostering a streamlined workflow.

OpenPhone Pricing: Tailored Solutions for Your Business

OpenPhone recognizes that different businesses have varying needs. They offer a tiered pricing structure to ensure you get the perfect fit:

  • Starter ($15 per user per month): This plan includes core features, ideal for small teams getting started with VoIP communication.

Business ($23 per user per month): This plan caters to growing teams and unlocks a wider range of functionalities:

  • Advanced Call Management: Take your call management to the next level with features like call recording, call transfers, and multi-party conferencing.
  • Invaluable Analytics: Gain valuable insights into your communication trends with detailed analytics. Track metrics such as call volume, average call duration, and call resolution rates. This data empowers you to identify areas for improvement and continuously optimize your communication strategy.
  • CRM Integrations: Streamline your workflow by integrating OpenPhone with your existing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. This allows you to manage customer interactions seamlessly within a centralized platform, eliminating the need to switch between applications.

Enterprise (Custom Quote): For larger teams with complex needs, OpenPhone offers a customized Enterprise plan. Contact their sales team to discuss your specific requirements and receive a personalized quote. This plan typically includes features such as:

  • Increased User Capacity: Accommodate the needs of your growing team with additional user licenses.
  • Priority Support: Enjoy dedicated customer support to ensure you receive prompt assistance whenever needed.
  • Advanced Security Features: Benefit from additional security measures to safeguard your communication data.

Finding the Perfect Fit: OpenPhone offers a free trial, allowing you to explore the platform firsthand and experience the benefits it can offer your team. Take advantage of this trial to test-drive the features, assess its suitability for your business, and determine which pricing plan best aligns with your needs.


Sideline emerges as a unique solution, prioritizing text messaging functionalities to streamline your client interactions. Let’s delve deeper into Sideline’s strengths and explore how it can enhance your communication strategy.

Streamlined Text Communication: A Text-Focused Arsenal

Sideline shines when it comes to text-based communication:

  • Effortless SMS and MMS Messaging: Seamlessly handle both standard text messages (SMS) and multimedia messages (MMS) with Sideline. This versatility allows you to share images, videos, and other rich content, fostering engaging and informative client interactions.
  • Automated Responses: Save Time and Maintain Consistent Messaging: Free up valuable time and maintain consistent communication with pre-programmed auto-replies. Whether you’re unavailable or simply responding to frequently asked questions, Sideline’s auto-replies ensure your clients receive timely responses.

A Note on Feature Availability: It’s important to understand that some advanced features require upgrading to Sideline’s Pro plan. We’ll highlight these distinctions throughout this section to help you choose the ideal plan for your needs.

Exploring Additional Features for Enhanced Functionality

While text messaging takes center stage, Sideline offers additional features to consider, particularly for businesses with expanding communication needs (available on the Pro plan):

  • Expand Your Reach with International Calling: Break down geographic barriers and connect with clients globally with international calling capabilities offered on the Pro plan.
  • Streamline Workflows with Enhanced Call Management: Elevate your call handling with an auto-attendant (IVR) feature (available on the Pro plan). This empowers clients to self-direct their calls, freeing you up to focus on other tasks and streamlining your workflow.

Sideline: A Breakdown of Pricing Plans

Sideline caters to different business needs with tiered plans:

  • Standard Plan ($9.99/month): This plan is ideal for businesses prioritizing core functionalities. It includes auto-replies, unlimited calling and texting within the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska), and the ability to manage one user and a single second phone number per account.
  • Pro Plan ($14.99/line/month): Unlock advanced features with the Pro plan, including international calling, auto-attendant functionalities, and the ability to add multiple lines (additional costs may apply). This plan is ideal for businesses requiring expanded communication capabilities.

Understanding Sideline’s Limitations

While Sideline excels in text communication, it’s essential to be aware of its limitations before making a decision:

  • No Shared Numbers for Team Collaboration: Currently, Sideline doesn’t support shared phone numbers. This means only one person can access a specific number at a time, potentially hindering team-based communication.
  • Call Recording Not Available: If call recording is crucial for your business (e.g., capturing client interactions or training purposes), Sideline won’t fulfill this need.
  • Limited Integrations for a Disconnected Ecosystem: Sideline doesn’t integrate with popular business tools like Slack, Zapier, or CRM systems. This can lead to a disconnected workflow and require switching between multiple platforms.

Finding the Perfect Sideline Plan: Sideline’s pricing structure can be a bit complex, with features spread across different plans. To ensure you get the most value, carefully evaluate your communication needs and identify the plan that best aligns with your priorities.


Hushed emerges as a compelling solution, catering to businesses seeking a customizable second phone number app with a focus on affordability. Let’s delve deeper into Hushed’s strengths and potential drawbacks to help you determine if it aligns perfectly with your needs.

Tailored Pricing to Fit Your Budget: Flexibility at Your Fingertips

Hushed understands that budgetary needs vary across businesses. This is reflected in their diverse pricing structure, offering a solution for every wallet:

  • Multiple Plans Available: Hushed empowers you to choose the perfect plan based on your usage patterns. This includes pay-as-you-go bundled minutes and SMS credits, ideal for occasional users, or unlimited subscriptions for businesses with high communication volumes.
  • Cost-Effective Options: Starting at a mere $2.99, Hushed’s prepaid plans provide a budget-friendly solution. These plans offer bundled minutes and SMS credits, ensuring you only pay for what you use. For high-volume communication, the unlimited subscription plans offer exceptional value, starting at just $4.99 per month.
  • Third-Party Integrations (Limited, But Useful): While the selection is limited, Hushed seamlessly integrates with popular platforms like Dropbox and Slack. This streamlines workflows for users who already rely on these tools in their daily operations.

A Note on Feature Availability: It’s important to consider that some features require upgrades or additional fees. We’ll continue to highlight these details throughout this section to ensure you make an informed decision.

Exploring Additional Functionalities Beyond Basic Communication

Hushed does provide more than basic calling and texting by offering a range of functionalities to enhance your communication experience:

  • Effortless Call Forwarding: Never miss important communications again. Hushed allows you to route incoming calls to a different number, ensuring you can always be reached.
  • Automated Responses: A Time-Saving Solution: Manage incoming calls and texts efficiently, even when you’re unavailable, with pre-programmed auto-replies. This ensures your clients receive a timely response and keeps communication flowing smoothly.
  • Enhanced Call Management with Call Routing: Hushed empowers you to direct calls to specific numbers based on pre-defined criteria. This sophisticated feature streamlines call management and ensures callers reach the appropriate representative within your team.
  • Professional Voicemail Greetings: Leave a lasting first impression on callers with custom voicemail greetings. Hushed allows you to craft professional messages that accurately reflect your brand identity.

Pricing Breakdown:

They offer a tiered pricing structure to cater to different usage needs:

  • Prepaid Plans (Starting at $2.99): These pay-as-you-go plans are ideal for occasional users. They provide bundled minutes and SMS credits, allowing you to control your communication costs.
  • Unlimited Subscriptions ($4.99/month and Up): For businesses with high communication volumes, Hushed’s unlimited subscriptions offer exceptional value. These plans start at $4.99 per month and provide unlimited calling, texting (SMS and MMS) within the US and Canada. Additionally, you can manage one to three phone numbers on a single account.
  • International Calling (Additional Fee): For international communication needs, Hushed offers separate add-on plans starting at $6.99. This brings your total monthly cost to $11.98, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your communication expenses.

Understanding Potential Limitations: Transparency is Key

While Hushed boasts flexibility and affordability, here are some limitations to keep in mind before making a decision:

  • Upgrade Required for Unlimited Minutes: The basic plan doesn’t include unlimited calling and texting. If these functionalities are essential for your business, you’ll need to upgrade to an unlimited subscription plan.
  • Reported Bugs and Glitches: Some users have reported experiencing bugs and glitches within the app, even after upgrading or using a stable internet connection. It’s advisable to explore user reviews and consider the potential impact on your business operations.


Airlandline offers a robust virtual landline service designed to empower your business with a professional and feature-rich communication platform. Let’s dive deeper into Airlandline’s strengths and explore how it can elevate your business operations.

Uninterrupted Communication: A Breath of Fresh Air (Literally)

One of Airlandline’s standout features is its ability to function without a constant internet connection. This sets it apart from traditional VoIP solutions, which can be susceptible to disruptions in areas with spotty internet access. With Airlandline, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your communication remains uninterrupted, ensuring you’re always reachable for your clients, regardless of your location.

Security at the Forefront: Keeping Your Conversations Safe

Airlandline understands the importance of data security, especially when it comes to business communications. That’s why they prioritize security by implementing robust measures to safeguard your calls and information. These measures give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on building productive client relationships.

Feature-Rich Communication: Beyond a Simple Second Phone Number

Airlandline goes beyond simply providing a second phone number. It offers a comprehensive suite of functionalities designed to enhance your business communication:

  • Establish Local Presence and Build Trust: Gain a competitive edge by acquiring a local phone number that aligns with your target market. This fosters a sense of familiarity and builds trust with clients in your local area.
  • Never Miss Important Calls: Ensure you’re always reachable with call diversion features. Airlandline allows you to route incoming calls to your preferred destination, such as your mobile phone or a colleague’s number, guaranteeing you never miss a crucial client interaction.
  • Set Clear Communication Expectations: Maintain professionalism and establish clear boundaries with customizable business hours. This allows clients to understand when you’re available to receive calls and manage their expectations accordingly.
  • Streamline Call Distribution: Optimize call handling within your team with features like sequential call diversion. This distributes incoming calls across multiple phone numbers in a sequential order, ensuring that calls are always answered by someone on your team, eliminating the risk of missed opportunities.
  • Time-Based Routing for Efficiency: Take call management to the next level with time-of-day routing. This feature allows you to direct calls to specific numbers or voicemail boxes based on the time of day. For example, you can route calls to a dedicated sales team during business hours and divert calls to voicemail after hours.

Advanced Features to Take Communication Further (Upgrade Required)

Airlandline recognizes the need for advanced communication functionalities in growing businesses. Their premium plan unlocks additional features such as voicemail to email, call recording, and business WhatsApp integration. These features can significantly enhance your communication workflow and streamline your operations.

Airlandline Pricing: A Transparent Structure

Airlandline offers a clear and straightforward pricing structure:

  • Basic Plan ($15/month): This plan caters to businesses starting out with virtual landline solutions. It provides core functionalities including 400 minutes, a local business number, call diversion, and business hour settings.
  • Premium Plan (Upgrade Required): Unlock advanced features like voicemail to email, call recording, and business WhatsApp integration with the premium plan (price may vary). This plan is ideal for businesses seeking a more comprehensive communication solution.

The Top 5 Side by Side

Here’s a quick look at how each provider stacks up:

ProviderStarting PriceIncluded MinutesUnlimited CallingSMSShared Phone NumbersAdditional Phone Numbers
LimePhone$4.99/month250Unlimited Local Outbound Calling in 36 Countries – Team PlanYes (all plans)NoYes (paid add-on)
OpenPhone$10/month100Add-on availableYes (all plans)NoYes (paid add-on)
Hushed$4.99/month (Premium)Vary depending on planAdd-on availableYes (all plans)NoYes (paid add-on)
airlandline$15/month400Add-on availableYes (all plans)NoYes (paid add-on)
Sideline$12/month250Add-on availableYes (all plans)NoYes (paid add-on)

Conclusion: Best All Round Small Business Phone System

Running a small business requires juggling a million things, and effective communication is definitely at the top of the list. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could find a phone system that’s not only packed with features but also affordable and easy to use? Well, look no further than LimePhone!

Let’s talk features. Remember that laundry list of functionalities we mentioned earlier? Those are all standard inclusions with LimePhone! What does that mean for you? It means no more nickel-and-diming for essential communication tools. With LimePhone, you get the whole package for just $4.99 per user per month. That’s a win-win in any business owner’s book!

Here’s a quick glimpse at what LimePhone brings to the table:

  • Essential Features, Standard: Enjoy features like auto-attendants, call recording, and call forwarding without any additional fees. These functionalities are crucial for streamlining your communication and ensuring you never miss a beat.
  • Advanced Functionalities for Growth: As your business expands, LimePhone scales with you. They offer advanced features like multi-party conferencing and CRM integrations (think seamless customer relationship management) that can be added on as needed.
  • Constant Innovation: The LimePhone team doesn’t rest on its laurels. They’re constantly innovating and adding new features to keep your communication experience cutting edge. This ensures you always have access to the latest and greatest tools to stay ahead of the curve.

Beyond Features: A Focus on User Experience

But LimePhone isn’t just about features (although they truly do impress!). They understand that a user-friendly experience is critical. That’s why they’ve designed their platform to be intuitive and easy to navigate. No more tech headaches here! You’ll be up and running in no time, focusing on what matters most – growing your business.

The LimePhone Advantage: Value, Simplicity, and Growth

With LimePhone, you get a powerful virtual phone system packed with features at an unbeatable price. Their commitment to user experience ensures a smooth transition and a platform that grows alongside your business. If you’re looking for a communication solution that empowers you to focus on what matters most, LimePhone is definitely worth checking out!


If you still have questions about small business phone systems as you consider making a switch, check out our answers to these frequently asked questions.

1. What is Voice over IP (VoIP)?

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that transmits voice calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. This allows you to make and receive calls using a computer, mobile app, or special VoIP phone.

2. What is a small business (SMB) phone system?

A small business phone system is a set of tools and features that facilitate communication within your company and with your clients. It can include features like voicemail, auto-attendants, call forwarding, and conferencing.

3. How do I set up a small business phone system?

Setting up a system like LimePhone is typically easy. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Sign Up: Choose a plan and create an account with your desired service provider.
  • Port Numbers (Optional): If you want to keep your existing business phone number, initiate a porting request with your current provider.
  • Download the App: Install the phone system’s app on your computer or mobile devices.
  • Configure Settings: Personalize features like voicemail greetings and call routing rules.

4. Traditional PBX vs. Cloud-Based Phone Systems:

Traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems require on-site hardware and are complex to manage. Cloud-based systems, like LimePhone, operate through the internet and offer greater flexibility, scalability, and affordability.

5. Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems:

Cloud-based systems offer numerous advantages:

  • Cost-Effective: Eliminates the need for expensive hardware and maintenance.
  • Scalability: Easily add or remove users as your business grows.
  • Flexibility: Access your phone system from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Advanced Features: Enjoy features like auto-attendants, call recording, and integrations with other business tools.
  • Easy Management: Manage settings and monitor call activity through a user-friendly online portal.

6. Using Your Existing Phone with LimePhone:

Yes, LimePhone offers number porting for US and UK..

7. Is VoIP Worth it for a Small Business?

Absolutely! VoIP offers significant cost savings, increased flexibility, and access to advanced features, making it a valuable tool for small businesses.

8. Can I Use My Cell Phone as a Business Line?

While technically possible, it’s not ideal. Using a separate business line offers advantages like:

  • Professionalism: Projects a more professional image to clients.
  • Separation of Work and Personal Life: Creates a clear boundary between work and personal calls.
  • Advanced Features: Business phone systems offer functionalities not typically available on cell phones.

9. Separate Business Phone vs. Cell Phone:

Having a separate business phone line offers several benefits:

  • Professionalism: Creates a dedicated line for client communication.
  • Improved Call Management: Features like auto-attendants and call forwarding streamline call handling.
  • Scalability: Easily add additional lines as your business grows.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Business phone plans can be more cost-efficient for high call volume.

10. Why is LimePhone Dependable?

LimePhone offers several features that make it a dependable solution:

  • Reliable Infrastructure: Built on a robust and reliable cloud platform.
  • Security Features: Provides safeguards to protect your communication data.
  • Scalability: Grows with your business needs.
  • Customer Support: Offers dedicated support to ensure smooth operation.

11. Key Features for Entrepreneur Phone Systems:

Here are some key features to consider for effective communication:

  • Auto-attendants: Automate call routing and greetings.
  • Call forwarding: Direct calls to mobile devices or other numbers.
  • Voicemail: Ensure you never miss a message.
  • Call recording: Review calls for training or quality assurance.
  • Conferencing: Host multi-party calls for collaboration.
  • Integrations: Connect with CRM, project management, or other business tools.

By prioritizing these features, you can choose a phone system that empowers effective communication and streamlines your business operations.

, May 16, 2024, Vincent Hawley

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