In today’s mobile age, telecommunications is an essential component of any business infrastructure, but paying for it can consume a significant portion of your budget. The average small business allocates around 20 percent of its budget for communications activity, while larger companies spend 5 to 10 percent, estimates international communications agency Postman. This can include expenses such as phone lines, wireless connections, IT, marketing and travel costs for meetings.
Fortunately, today’s technology provides some tools that can help trim your telecommunications costs. Here are four simple steps you can take to cut your expenses.
Audit Your Existing Services
The first step toward cutting your telecommunications costs is conducting an audit of your existing services, says managed cloud and IT services provider Ntiva. Identifying what you’re already paying for will give you a baseline to evaluate your budget, decide what you truly need, and eliminate what you don’t require. As you review your existing services, you may notice that you’re paying unnecessary costs. For instance, you may be paying for overlapping services that duplicate those you’re already getting from other providers. You may also be wasting money on hidden fees for services you’re no longer using or obsolete equipment maintenance contracts.
Switch to VoIP
One expense you may be able to trim is the cost of your phone equipment and services. The cost of an on-premise PBX phone system averages $800 to $1,200 per employee, according to business cost comparison service KompareIt. By switching to VoIP, which works over your internet connection, you can support five employees for just $2,000, including hardware, software, installation and training. You may be able to save even more if your employees use their own devices. Shopping around for an alternative to your current phone provider can save you as much as 12 percent, says KompareIt.
Use Your Wireless Carrier for Your IT Infrastructure
Another expense you may be able to slim down is the cost of broadband IT services. If you’re paying for wireless services for a mobile phone network, you can reduce your telecommunications costs by accessing the internet through your wireless carrier instead of broadband. Instead of keeping your phone and laptop constantly tethered, you can use your wireless connection to keep your devices connected at all times. For instance, Qualcomm is currently making moves to take the lead in price for always connected PC laptops, allowing your work PCs to stay constantly plugged into the internet without having to pay the additional cost of broadband services, and at five to seven times the speed of broadband.
Use Video Conferencing
Another cost you may be able to cut is the expense of traveling to meetings. The price of gas, plane tickets and car rentals for business meetings can add up. With video conferencing tools such as Skype for Business, you can hold many meetings without leaving your office. Video conferencing completely eliminates travel costs for meetings, and has the added benefit of saving you the time and productivity you would lose while traveling.
Auditing your existing telecommunications services can help you identify ways you can cut costs, such as switching to VoIP, using a wireless carrier instead of broadband and using video conferencing instead of traveling to meetings. Deploying these communications cost-cutting strategies can potentially save your business thousands of dollars a year in operating expenses, allowing you to keep more of your revenue and grow your profit margin.