In the new economy, the survival of a business depends on its ability to reach clients and customers across time zones through clear, effective and consistent channels. And as mobile technology advances, global brands expand and the world becomes more connected, correspondence with potential partners is paramount. Even small businesses made up of a handful of staff can reach consumers on the other side of the world.

But for these small enterprises to effectively satisfy their customers they have to spend time and money. Overhead costs can be debilitating. As a result, many companies are thinking outside the box and challenging the traditional business methods.

One such up-and-coming option is the advent of Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. This system allows people to connect like they would on a landline or cellular phone. But instead of paying for a phone service, VOIP lets the user connect through the existing Internet network. Though the system is not perfect – and is constantly developing – it presents significant benefits, especially for the small business.

Cheaper than the average line
While land lines and cellular service require separate networks, payments and fees for excess use, VOIP operates over a company's existing broadband connection. And that fixed rate is often lower than what cell phone companies charge. That's because cellular providers have a heavier infrastructure to build and maintain and industry regulations to cope with, according to Entrepreneur.

VOIP also neutralizes costly employee moves or changes, which can sometimes have a price tag of over $100 with each occurrence. If a worker comes or goes, all an employer needs to do is move the VOIP-enabled phone to a different broadband outlet and plug it in. Additionally, international calls are no more expensive than a call to your neighbor, enabling global business to flourish without a second thought.

Bring business virtually anywhere
Wherever there is a broadband connection, there is VOIP capability. By connecting their laptops, employees can receive business calls even when they are out of the office, at home or on vacation. That way they won't have to miss urgent calls and sacrifice possible business.

Plus, those that use VOIP instead of their own cell phones will avoid spending minutes and data on business. The enhanced flexibility VOIP offers is a major benefit for business trips, during which employees traveling out of the country would have to worry about international coverage, even a separate phone or plan. The Internet connection does away with all that hassle.

Improved sound quality and usability
Early in VOIP's existence, companies had valid concern over the technology's once-poor sound quality. Calls that are too quiet or replete with static are frustrating to get through and undoubtedly affect business transactions. Not only that, but both sides of a call had to be sitting at a computer. These are no longer the case, as developers continually analyze ways VOIP could improve. Now, calls can be made using standard phones or IP phones. There are even apps for smartphones like Skype and Viber that allow users to engage in free long-distance texting, calls and video calls.

For small businesses looking to reduce overhead and eliminate unnecessary, inconvenient and damaging charges, VOIP is a worthwhile system to look into. And as it continues to evolve, it is likely that more and more businesses and individuals across the world will make use of its convenience and flexibility.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in information technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.