Network and telecom costs are a constant in business, but these necessary utilities can rise over time due to advancements in technology, as well as a growing inefficiency of business communications.
One of the most important features of a cost-effective approach to networking and telecommunications is a system that takes advantage of crossover features between different systems. For example, is it necessary for your business phone service to come from a wholly different provider than your managed IT services?
Locating features of your business communications services that overlap can provide an overall reduction in overhead costs. For small businesses, overhead costs are often one of the most expensive components of the budget. Here’s what you’ll need to consider as you look for ways to do more with less and save money on your telco.
Examine Accounts and Utilities
If you’re paying for business-class internet and haven’t taken a look at your bill lately, you could be paying for services you don’t need. You might even be paying for things twice with different service providers for internet, cell phones, business phone systems, and IT support.
For example, you might be operating with a T1 link that you had installed a decade or more ago. If you haven’t upgraded your equipment and service agreement in a few years, there’s a significant chance your bill has features you don’t use, and those features are costing you extra. That service could be bundled into an agreement for business phone access or cloud services.
Does your company rely on traditional phone lines? Have you considered losing the landline and working with a VoIP system?
How Companies Pay Too Much for Telecom Services
Change is often difficult to confront for humans, and the utility bills at your company are often no different. After signing up with what may have been an exceptional deal when the company first opened its doors or upgraded, changes and advancements may have rendered some services obsolete.
Here are some of the very real overcharges your company could be experiencing if you haven’t examined your telecom bills in a few years.
- Old lines that aren’t in use but are still billed each month
- Duplicate charges for services that overlap with different providers
- Service agreements with companies whose services are no longer utilized
- Maintenance contracts for obsolete equipment
- Charges for personal use of telecom services by employees
Now’s the time to examine your services, find redundancies, and cut costs, particularly if you haven’t changed anything about your phone, internet, and IT services in a few years. Don’t be afraid of the concept of bundling or of cutting services that you no longer need. You have no obligation to continue using services that your company doesn’t use.
Analyze Employee Phone Usage
Many companies issue cell phones to employees, but that usually means an employee has to carry around two phones: a personal phone and the company phone. Although there are some security considerations with a BYOD (bring your own device) program, you may reduce costs by switching to a monthly allowance for a BYOD plan instead of issuing separate devices.
Further, it’s important to analyze the ways in which employees communicate. Is everyone using their cell phones for the majority of their calls? Does the land line system act as a glorified receptionist line? You may be able to cut down on the number of lines in your business phone system. Alternatively, a VoIP system with Vergent could also reduce the cost of separate lines.
Outsourcing IT Consulting and Services
One of the most compelling reasons to outsource IT service is the cost savings. Businesses in the early stages of expansion can allocate funds to research and development when the cost of in-house IT services is reduced. Money once spent on in-house IT services can be redirected to projects that produce revenues.
Small businesses stand to benefit greatly from utilizing outsourced IT and telecommunications services because the small business is given access to the same caliber of professional technicians utilized by multinational corporations. A large business will often have their own in-house department of dedicated professionals.
On the other hand, a small business might only have the budget available to pay someone part time. A micro-business might not even have an expert at the helm for their telecommunications and IT services. It’s quite common for someone in a fledgling business to be given extra duties for telecom and IT services when their job description is in an entirely different area.
Outsourced telecommunications and IT service give small businesses equal footing for communications, which is an important part of competing against well-funded industry giants.
Decide on Essential Services for Your Business
After analyzing your business’s usage for telecom services, you may want to consider revamping the entire system, particularly if it’s been some time since updates and upgrades were installed. What technology can a telecom partner deliver so you can concentrate on your business’s creative endeavors?
- Phone systems
- Cloud services
- Network hardware
In addition to the technology and software utilized by your company, it’s also important to look at the services required to utilize those technologies. Utilizing managed network services, flat-fee IT support, and cloud migration planning and transition services may offer cost-effective options.
Leave no stone unturned when it comes to your business network.
Other Ways Your Business Can Save Money
After creating an efficient and budget-savvy plan for your telecommunications needs, you may wish to look at other areas of your business to find redundancies, obsolete practices, and out-of-date tech.
Questions you may want to ask include:
- Are there any rebates, tax breaks, or deals available for your services?
- Are you paying too much for postage, printing, and other hard-copy activities?
- Would outsourcing any of your services reduce costs?
- Have you scheduled a regular inspection of overhead spending?
- Are your employees utilizing efficient work habits?
Realistically, technology is leapfrogging forward at an incredible rate, and saving money means looking everywhere for waste, redundancies, and obsolete services. Stay ahead of the game by updating your telecommunications services.