Before you choose a phone system for your business, it is a good idea to identify your needs. You want a phone system that is suited for your current needs, as well as one that is scalable for your future growth.

Only after you have a very clear picture of what you absolutely need are you ready to start shopping and making decisions. When you are weighing the positives and negatives of each system, you'll be able to eliminate any that don't meet your requirements. Here are some helpful things to consider when thinking about phone systems:

Growth & Technology. Think about a system that can handle both traditional telephone lines and the new internet lines such as those offered by Vonage. Being able to support the internet lines can save your business a lot of money, especially on long distance fees, while still allowing you to rely on the established infrastructure of the old phone system. A phone system that can grow with your company is the wisest option.

Maximizing on Quality. Find a system that will allow you to increase your maximum number of lines and will let you add other features as well. Be careful to pick a phone system that will support your voicemail needs. One expert recommends at least 15 to 30 minutes of storage per user to prevent overloading you system.

Cheap standard CD players are simply not enough for waiting music, as they won't last longer than a few weeks before breaking down. If you invest in a higher-quality CD player with disc changing technology, you'll actually be saving yourself money and a headache.

Finally, choose a system that is compatible with any phone so you don't need to spend $100 for the receiver in your storage room.

Each business is an organic entity and will have unique communication needs. Keep this in mind and don't let a salesperson try and sell you on a one size fits all quick fix. Don't be afraid to make a concrete list of needs and let several different vendors present a package to accommodate you. This is a great way to shop for the best price, as well as test the waters in what to expect in the way of customer service.