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Five tips for keeping your comms costs down

30 Nov 2011

For many people, modern mobile phones, more computer than phone, have become essential to not only how they perform their job but how they live their lives.  The latest smart phones offer accessible, affordable mobile technology and it is nearly impossible to run business without one.

With so many gadgets and devices available, it can be difficult deciding what is essential and how to choose one. Ordinary phone or smart phone? Android or iPhone? What type of plan? Not to mention all the related services – toll free numbers, VoIP, local and international phone services, email, wireless and mobile services, conferencing, voicemail integrated T1, T1/PRI, ethernet, high speed internet – the list can seem endless, and invariably telecommunications becomes one of the biggest expenses for any business. 

All of this makes it crucial for businesses, especially start ups, to keep on top of costs without compromising their team’s ability to do their jobs productively. Five basic steps can help your start up keep on top of potential telco nightmares.

Assess all current services

Look closely at the mobile technology services you are currently paying for so you can determine where money is being well spent, and not so well spent. Regular assessments can help you identify potential problems and alternatives.

Get advice from the experts

After assessing your current devices and services, the next stop should be to talk to the experts. All of the experts. Call the carriers, including your current one, tell them what you need and ask them what they provide – and at what cost. Their business unit will – or should – evaluate your needs, including your budget. Compare prices and ask every question you can think of, even the ones you think you know the answers to.  If you have staff you are supplying devices for, you may be eligible for discounted devices or services or even both. As long as the ongoing cost fits your budget, why not take advantage of the latest technology?

Identify and correct errors

Mistakes happen, even in the best companies, but it should not happen continuously and it should not be increasing your telco bill. Make sure all your quotes and contracts are accurately delivered and discounts are honoured. Check you are claiming all the taxes you are entitled to. It might seem like a time consuming exercise but once it becomes a regular part of your office routine, it will be worth it.

Refunds and discounts

On the surface refunds and discounts may sometimes look like more trouble than they are worth, but looked at over the space of a year, they can add up to considerable savings.

Keep track of accounts and lines

If you have more than one line or account, monitor the use and expense of each separately and thoroughly. This will enable you to identify not only any potential billing errors but also whether the line or account is actually adding value to your business.