Valentines Day again – and everywhere I go people are trying to convince me to buy roses, as if the simple presence of a flower communicates love. If I have learned anything from nearly 25 years of happy marriage it is that communication has to be consistent but also that special occasions still deserve special effort.
So I hope that you have enjoyed a special evening on Valentines Day – and that today’s topics – cost effective communication – is of interest. In this newsletter I will promote our upcoming breakfast again – but also cover some of the frequent challenges we get in the phone business, such as how to save money on your phone bill, why not to link your phone system and phone line contracts together.
What’s the fuss about VoIP?
That is the topic for next week’s breakfast – when I hope we will uncover some of the myths about VoIP and also educate our attendees on the key things to watch out for when dealing with this new technology.
VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) is not new actually – Skype (www.skype.com) has been using a version of it for years and very successfully joining families and colleagues across the internet by voice and video – all for free. However the technology to replace your traditional phone line with just an internet connection, and put your calls across that as well as your email and internet browsing is relatively radical – in fact it looked initially as if it would threaten the very existence of the Telecom’s of this world.
In reality however we have seen some good and bad stories from using VoIP – there are several “flavours” each with different costs and strengths – and the breakfast will unwrap the geek-speak to explain clearly when and how to use VoIP for your business.
Register here and come along to learn more about how this technology can save you money – but might cause you more hassles than it’s worth.
How to save money on your phone costs
In the current climate many of our customers are looking to cut costs – in any aspect of their business. As Telecommunications is probably the 3rdlargest cost, it often comes under scrutiny, but many find it too confusing to tackle it properly, and many prospective clients I have visited have had several quotes waiting their decision – all of them would save money, but the business found it too hard to choose between them.
Some quick pointes to saving money:
1. 50% of your cost is “Access” – the cost of having phone lines or mobile phones, even if you don’t use them. Make sure you only have the services you need! Many businesses have more lines than they need, or are still paying for services that are no longer relevant to their business. Many a phone system has been sold on the basis that the savings in phone bills pays for the system – when those savings could have been had just as easily without the new system by cutting the access plans.
2. Consolidate providers – many times costs can be cut by putting all your mobile phones with the same provider. In some cases it also helps to bring your landlines to the same provider, giving free calling across all your connections
3. Avoid “overage” – charges for more minutes than your bundle, or more data than your data cap. These are typically very high charges – and changing the plan to the right size saves lots!
4. Get a full review done properly – if you spend $1000 per month or more, it is worth getting a proper review done by an expert. We have a special model – the “Optimiser” which can re-rate your phone bill at call level, no matter how big your bill is, and tell you exactly what the last bill would have looked like on any other plan you care to choose. This gives you the confidence to make the right decision when cutting costs, without spending hours pouring over complex spreadsheets.
Contact us to request a more in depth discussion about saving money on your phone bills.
Why not to link your phone bill to the Phone System rental
This article on our web site links to an article published by ABC news in the Australia that relates to a “scam” where by the phone company (Telecom’s equivalent) was setting up a contract that included line rental and phone system rental. This worked fine initially – but if the customer wanted to change the system or change their line provider, the contract had punitive clauses in it preventing them from doing so.
Sound familiar? Many New Zealand companies have been getting annoyed with significant on-going rental costs for phone systems that are out of date, but are unable to get out of the contract they signed linking their costs together. Our recommendation is always to ensure that the two contracts run separately and are not bundled from a pricing perspective – giving you the freedom of choice to change as the market changes.
Whilst phone costs are a major element of operational expenses, few business people want to take the time to look at them properly to understand what they are paying for. In my experience it is a bit like buying petrol – you have to have it but would rather not have to pay. If you would like someone to take a look at reducing your costs, whilst you focus on running the business, drop me a reply to this email and I will make a time to discuss how we can help.
Mobile Strategy Ltd