But it’s not always easy, particularly when looking at company communications. Telecom services’ can be a major expense for small businesses often contributing to as much as 30% of their IT budget, hence the need to seek new ways to reduce costs.
According to research commissioned by Ofcom, almost half (45%) of small- to mid-sized businesses say reducing operating costs is a challenge, and maintaining computer hardware and software alongside telephony and internet services is a big drain on internal employee resource.
Although there may be a significant need to reduce costs, many businesses don’t know where to start when looking to cut the cost of communications without compromising functionality or service. As a starting point, below are a few simple steps businesses can take initially when looking to reduce telecommunication costs:
Educate your employees – It is important for businesses to have a clear policy in place and inform employees on best practice for telecoms use. By educating your employees on potential issues such as how to turn data roaming off when aboard and how to avoid premium numbers such as 084, 087, 09 and 118, you can minimise the risk of unexpected charges or reduce your current bill.
Review your telecoms bill – Always check your bill, look out for billing errors or incorrect/over-charges. Analyse call times, long distance calls, roaming charges and call costs per minute. Check your broadband package, potential upgrades may not necessarily mean an increase in costs.
Understand your telecoms systems and service requirements – It is possible that you are paying for telecoms technology your business does not need, or you may be paying for a service you simply don’t know you have or require. Therefore, it is important for you have a firm understanding of your business’ requirements from a telecoms perspective.
Streamline solutions – Rationalising and reviewing infrastructure, potentially simplifying your business’ setup by removing unnecessary products can improve systems and reduce costs.
Check contract landscape – If some or all services are out of contract you could be paying more than you should. Being on top of renewal dates and managing your suppliers will allow you to get the best deal.
Change payment method – In some instances paying via direct debit can reduce your bill
In addition to the above, investing in a full telecoms audit may identify areas for key savings or where improvements can be made to ensure you utilise your network and equipment efficiently. An audit can help maximise the output of your existing telecoms systems or produce recommendations for new technology to enhance efficiencies. Cutting back on your communications spend should not compromise functionality, quality or most importantly service as this could be detrimental to your business.