In terms of saving money on your phone bill, one method is guaranteed to save you money on your monthly bills. That method is phone auditing. There are businesses modelled around being able to assist you with this, but it isn’t something that you can’t do yourself.
In fact, it’s advised that you carry out a monthly telephone bill audit or at the very minimum every quarter. That holds true for business telecoms especially.
The reason it’s an ongoing necessity is that your usage is going to become more frequent.
Take for example a business in their start up stages. What would typically happen is that the telephone line would be used to generate business.
Start up businesses will use their telephones more in the early stages, both for speaking with clients as well as speaking with advisors. That could be either financial advisors, accountants, or perhaps seeking advice from a government helpline, to help you get your tax affairs straight.
As the business progresses, the call usage will start to change. In terms of business use, the more clients/customers your business acquires, the more you’re going to be using the telephone.
Whatever plan you start out with, it is never going to be meeting the requirements of your business forever.
You need to monitor your telephone usage, and adapt your plans accordingly. This is why careful consideration is required, prior to entering into minimum term contracts.
An example of that would be when you start out with a landline, inclusive of 800 minutes. That can be sufficient to get you through the month with a handful of clients, and perhaps a few lead generation calls.
As the business progresses though, six months down the line, that could see your plan going as much as 400 minutes or more over your plan allowance.
Those extra minutes will incur costs either per second, or per minute. 400 minutes being billed by the second or minute is going hike your phone bill significantly.
Just by paying a little extra each month, for an increased package, could see you reduce your phone bill significantly.
As your business grows, so too does your telephone bill
You will notice this as your expense accounts begin to spike, but you can also anticipate the increase before it becomes due. The only way for you to do that is to carry out an audit of your telephone bills.
The month’s bills are always going to differ; depending on the amount you use the phones (Unless you have a completely unlimited and unrestricted package.) If you’re running a limited broadband usage, you may find yourself going over your limit and incurring extra data fees. Going over the inclusive minutes also increases your phone bill.
The only real fixed fee you can rely on is your monthly package fee. The costs to rent the line you’re using. That can be anywhere from £6.50 per month, right up to as high as £49.95 in some instances, depending on the package that you choose.
It’s also worth noting that when you spot your phone bill on the increase, that sometimes it is beneficial to up the package fee, to lower the cost of calls. You can save quite a bit by doing that, but you first need to know how it is you would go about your phone bill audits. That way you can put the proper steps in place to help you reduce your cost of communication.
The how to of carrying out a telephone audit
Your best tool for this job is Microsoft Excel. It’s the only software you need to carry out an audit of your telephone bill. (note that you should have an itemised phone bill for each monthly audit)
All you have to do is have a few columns for each member of staff within your company.
In each column, you’d list this information:
- The name of the staff member
- The number of calls
- The type of number called
- The cost of the calls incurred
This spreadsheet isn’t designed to pick out the employees that are costing your business more. It’s designed to show you where the calls are being made, so you can adapt your package plan accordingly.
Naturally, a sales consultant or customer service rep will have more calls than your secretary will.
When you look at your itemised telephone bill, you can list the different calls in each column, and then tally up the costs.
Mobile calls can be itemised too. You can also list the number of calls and minutes that’s included in your existing package. Your data usage could also be something that will be of interest to your audit.
With the data presented neatly on the excel sheet, you’ll be able to approach your telephone provider and inform them of your new usage patterns.
That can help you and your supplier put you on the right plan, that’s best for your business.
There are specialist telecoms auditing services, which can help you to identify additional cost cutting measures you could be benefiting from. These are beneficial when you’re using more than one telephone line, as you could immediately save on the additional monthly line rental fees you could be paying, without even realising it.