When it comes to doing business in any industry, there’s going to be a cost to talk while on the go. Smart businesses know the importance of on the go communication, but you don’t have to lie down to the costs associated with mobile telephony services.
Many of the costs can be cut significantly, just by doing a little research into how you can cut your mobile costs throughout your business. That goes for small businesses as much as it benefits multi-national corporations.
The thing with business tariffs is that they’re essential for mobile providers. Residential users will often use their smart phones for playing games on Facebook, downloading tunes from iTunes etc. However, for business, there’s so much more you can do with the Smartphone technology.
For one thing, you can go over your usage data, since there are so many apps available to assist in the management of your business.
Here are some tips to help you to lower your business overheads on mobile telephony services:
1) Switch from consumer to business plans
For new business start-ups, there’s often an approach that you aren’t actually in business until you are seeing profits. Well, the profits won’t be coming in as fast as they could be if your overheads are higher than expected.
New business start-ups often find themselves struggling with the overheads, when a simple call to their network provider could make all the difference.
There are massive differences between consumer tariffs and business tariffs. The reason this is, is due to the importance of the service. Businesses are able to demand a higher level of customer service, due to their need to be competitive. It’s in every telephone provider’s best interest to cater to improving business, and lower their cost to do business. It increases the likelihood of continuing that service provision.
Longevity and competitiveness are the reasons business tariffs are available. In fact, they aren’t “just” available. They’re there for your benefit. They’re perfectly customisable to suit your business requirements. If you’re requiring to use your mobile for 1000 minutes per month, then that’s a plan you can be put on.
On a consumer tariff, you’d find that after that month is up, you’d lose any minutes already paid for, if you’re on a pay as you go price plan. Some contractual services may roll them over to the following month. Business tariffs will adapt with your needs. If you use less one month, the minutes could be rolled over to your next month, or a reduced tariff put in place in line with your current usage.
Regardless what size of business you have, notify your network provider that you’re now using your consumer mobile plan for business purposes, and negotiate a better business tariff suitable to you.
2) Take advantage of share plans
For businesses that have at least one additional member of staff, then you don’t need two separate mobile tariffs, or even providers.
You can tailor your business plan to be shared between your staff. When you implement a shared business tariff, you can find that your monthly usage isn’t affected between internal communications with staff, by utilising the free calls to the same network, which most mobile companies offer. If they aren’t free, they will have discounted rates available.
The shared business tariff is mostly beneficial to new start-ups as it lets you take one plan out, and share the usage data, minutes and texts for the month, between additional handsets, without the additional mobile plan fees.
It integrates all staff calls to the one mobile account, centralising your data and making it more efficient to manage, by monitoring your mobile phone usage.
3) Integrate the latest Smartphone technology
There’s no doubt about it that Smartphones are providing a major benefit to businesses, by increasing communication between staff, and making productivity more efficient in the work place.
When someone is out the office, data can be sent either through email, or instant messages alerted to staff through social networks, with a one-click app. Even satellite navigation systems can be found on Smartphones, ensuring that staff get to where they need to be in the quickest time possible.
Mobiles aren’t just for talking. They bring the benefits of the internet to people on the go. No longer is it necessary to come into the office, spending the first hour checking emails, eating into the productivity time. Those emails can be checked on the way into work, during lunch breaks, or send updates on the way home from work.
Smartphone technology alone can bring huge savings to businesses, when they’re used effectively with the variety of tools available. Ultimately, they can be transformed into a tool for your business, and not just a communication device.
4) Cut International Roaming Tariffs
This isn’t exclusive to business owners who need to travel overseas. Even small companies who supply their staff with mobiles as part of the tools they need should pay attention the tariffs for using the phone abroad. There are going to be some people who feel that the phone is billed to the company anyway, and it’s tax refundable. It’s not when it’s not used for personal use instead of business purposes, so be sure you tread the international roaming fields carefully.
When you travel overseas, or take the company phone on holiday with you, the tariffs are going to be excruciatingly high.
Prior to travelling overseas, you’re best to speak to a customer service agent of your network provider, and ask for a tailored plan when you’re away, especially for business owners, as you’ll probably want to check in occasionally.
Instead of paying around £1.50 per minute on a premium-roaming tariff, you can find that there are bundles for international minutes you can add to your plan, giving you a set amount of minutes to use when you’re away.
An hour talk time could cost you as high as £90 on a standard international roaming tariff.
A bundle of international minutes could see you reduce that cost dramatically. That could be a fixed price, for a reduced per minute tariff, or an all inclusive one-off fee, covering calls for the amount of minutes you think you’ll need.
Planning your international calls ahead of time, and speaking with your network provider, could shave a huge amount off your mobile phone bill, and avoid that shock-bill syndrome when you get back from your travels.
5) Use Voicemail Cost Efficiently
For a business owner receiving their mobile phone bill, only to raise their head and see a member of staff sitting at the desk on the mobile is going to be painful. You’ll be asking yourself why you have the fixed landlines installed in the first place with the packages included.
Any messages on the mobile voicemail, when you and your staff are in the office, should be addressed using the landline. It’s always going to work out cheaper. Depending on your landline package, it could even be free.
When you’re in the office, use the landlines as often as possible. They won’t have a bundle of 1000 minutes attached to them. Your mobile plans do, so use the minutes efficiently.
If you or a member of staff are out at a meeting, lunch or on a job, when the phone needs to be turned off, then check the messages when you turn it back on, but consider the importance of the message.
When it’s urgent, call them back on the mobile, but if it can wait until you get into the office, then leave it until then.
Five messages, and calling each one back, could see you using up a half hour of your minutes easily. If those minutes can be transferred from your mobile to your landline usage, you’ll make a significant deduction from your mobile phone bill.