How to choose the right telecoms package for your small business.
The vast majority of businesses in the UK employ less than 10 people. Inevitably run by the owner, that person has all the challenges of growing the business, managing people and dealing with suppliers. So, it is not surprising that many tasks are dealt with quickly, including sorting out the telecoms package for the business. Unfortunately, there are many traps for the unwary.
Watch out for being lured by eye grabbing lowest price promise especially for line rentals. What you usually find is that the savings here are more than offset by higher call charges. Or, even more sneakily, there are hidden charges such as minimum call charges, call set up fees and call durations being rounded up to the nearest minute. All of which inflate the overall bill.
There is quite a bit of protection for small businesses but many are not aware of it and suppliers rely on that ignorance. For example, auto renewal of phone contracts for small businesses was banned several years ago yet many suppliers still try to get away with it.
Some businesses keen to save more money are tempted to use residential services. There is a simple answer to this – don’t. Whilst you may save a few pounds on monthly rentals, what you are losing is priority if there is a fault. How much revenue would you lose in a day if a potential customer cannot contact you?
It is a similar story with broadband; the best advice is don’t just buy on price. Whilst many people view it as a commodity – in reality there are great variations in contention ratios, network capacity, quality of ‘free’ routers and customer service. Again, it is important to ask what is the cost of a day’s lost internet? For example, we know of a pub that used wifi card machines and chose to go down the residential route because it would save money (a £10 a month saving) but the pub suffered a fault at 4pm on a Friday. It wasn’t fixed until late on Monday meaning they lost almost £6,000 in missed takings over the weekend as it was cash only.
Remember, communicating with customers, partners and suppliers is key for all small businesses. So, ensuring you have the right solution for your business at the right price, without any nasty surprises, is certainly worthy of management time.