How to start a VOIP Business
23 Apr 2016
One of the markets that’s growing really fast these days is the VoIP market. Many companies and homes want to save money on their phone bills and this is an easy way to do it. With such a big demand for VoIP services, there is a big potential for people willing to start a VoIP company. If done properly it can become a very lucrative business.
Here is a guide on how to start a VoIP business and be successful
So first, you need to decide what part of the VoIP market you want to go into.
There are many different options including:
- VoIP Call Center Solutions: a VoIP call center is a call center hosted by a VoIP provider and not a physical location. By offering VoIP call center solutions, you will help companies set up call centers so that they can handle calls correctly, minimize wait time for callers, and improve company efficiency all while keeping costs low.
- VoIP Wholesale provider (wholesale termination): sell VoIP minutes to people so they can make VoIP calls
- Prepaid calling cards: you can either provide pin calling cards or pinless calling cards. With pin calling cards, you provide an access code with your calling cards so that people can make national and international VoIP calls from their landline and mobile phones without the need of a computer. The customer will need to put in their unique pin, found on the back of the calling card before they can start talking. These calling cards can then be bought by the customers in news agents, local retailers, grocery shops or online.
With pinless calling cards, the customer will need to put in their access code but either the system will recognize the phone number they are calling from or they have a unique access code so a pin is not needed.
- Residential VoIP: by offering residential VoIP services you will help people set up VoIP in their homes which they can use for international calling instead of regular landlines.
- Mobile VoIP: The Mobile Dialer is a software used on mobile phones. They are used to make VoIP calls from a mobile. The Mobile Dialer uses SIP signalling and can be connected to a Voipswitch or an IP device to work as a device for Voice, Video and SMS.
Making calls from a mobile phone is easy and customers can switch from their regular phone plan to VoIP for international calla as it is more affordable.
Because mobile dialers are used on mobile phones they can be used anywhere and thereby remove the traditional VoIP limitation of using a computer or other VoIP device which are restricted to home environment. To use this software, clients will need to install a mobile dialer into their mobile phone.
- IP PBX: An IP PBX is a home or business VoIP system for making internal and external calls. It consists of an IP PBX server, one or more SIP phones or VoIP phones and sometimes a VoIP Gateway. The phones are connected to the server. When someone wishes to make an internal call, they will go through the IP PBX server which has a directory of all the phones and their SIP addresses in the system and the call will be connected to the recipient. If one wishes to make an external call using the IP PBX it can be done with a VoIP Gateway or VoIP service provider.
The IP PBX business is growing really fast as many companies and homes are looking for PBX solutions. By providing IP PBX you will help your clients set up their systems.
In order to choose the right service to offer, I suggest you decide what your strengths and weaknesses are, what do you like doing and what not? For example; are you good at sales? Are you good at helping people? Choose a service where you will need what you are good at.
Here are a few more tips on how to choose the right service to offer
- Many VoIP companies allow you to rent their software, by renting you can try out the software without investing a lot of money into it. This way you can try it out and become a VoIP reseller and if you don’t like you can just stop.
- It is also useful to speak to people already in the VoIP industry and ask them what they like and dislike about it. Based on that you can decide what is best for you. If you go to tradeshows you can speak to people there and you will also get a clearer view of the different VoIP services.
- Read on blogs, forums, websites as get as much information as you can before you start
Once you have decided what part of the VoIP industry you want to go into, it’s time to start looking for a company to buy or rent the different elements from.
I suggest looking for a company that has been around for some time so you know it is reliable. Beware of fraud companies trying to sell you their products. Their services might look like they are cheaper but in the end they will cost you a lot of money because they don’t work.
Depending on the service you wish to offer, you will need different products in order to start.
For most services you will need:
- A website to allow the customer to sign up and see their options and minutes used (optional but much recommended).
- A provider of minutes so that your customers can call regular PSTN phone numbers.
- A DID provider which allows your customers to have regular PSTN phone numbers for incoming calls.
- A VoIP softswitch to route traffic from the DIDs to your customers and allow them to call out. Some companies will allow you to rent your softswitch which is great if you are just starting off your company and don’t have a lot of capital to invest.
- A hardware provider for the ATAs and IP phones needed to have your customers connect to the VoIP server.
If you want to offer mobile VoIP services, you will need mobile dialers as well.
You may also need additional modules such as callback, callshop, fax, IP PBX, transcoding or tunnel depending on what you are offering.
Whatever services you choose, your hardware and software provider will be able to tell you exactly what you need in order to successfully set up a VoIP business.