Business Long Distance Service Shopping Tips

Whether your operating from a home office or large corporation, more than ever before has there not been a need to save your organization’s bottom line in this current economy. While the telecom end of your business is a necessary part of the machine for a successful operation, it can also be the most costly. By trimming business long distance expenses you can drastically increase profitability margins while maintaining or even increasing the effectiveness of your business call center usage. Today we will look into traditional switched long distance that can give your business the financial savings it deserves.

Switched services are a basic and simple transition for most businesses utilizing traditional POTs (Point of Termination) services. In some instances POTs is also considered an abbreviation for Plain Ole Telephone. In any case, POTs basically is a traditional phone line put in place by a local carrier such as SBC, Bell, AT&T, etc.

Switched long distance services require minimal set-up and maintenance to save on business telecommunications. Usually a few forms and a PICC unfreeze on your account is all it really takes to switch long distance carriers. Finding a carrier that suits your calling needs however can be a little more time consuming and does require some closer attention. You will want to analyze any applicable international rates, intralata (in-state L.D.) rates, as well as monthly fees, per line fees, etc.

Some features you will want to shop for:

Intralata Rates (In-State L.D.)
These rates can exceed the interlata (State-to-State) rates!!! If you make the majority of your calls within your state, then you might want to consider shopping solely by intralata rates. A pricier interlata rate could very easily be offset by a lower intralata pricing for in-state calling businesses.

Interlata Rates (State-to-State L.D.)
Usually the first advertised carrier price is what will be the interlata rate. If your company makes a majority of it’s calls to other states, this pricing option may be best suited for your business. Remember that the advertised rate may not be the same for in-state long distance calls.

International Rates
An advertised per minute rate may grab your attention, but keep in mind that each country may have an additional charge for connecting calls to cell phones as well as hiked up per minute rates. Be sure to research all the rates for any country you feel you may be calling, you might find one or more country to be outside your desired budget.

Per Minute Billing
30 and 60 second billing is a common increment on the market. Remember that anything over 30 seconds will bill to a minute and anything over 60 seconds will bill to another minute. These may not seem like much at first, but with a large calling volume it can add up to thousands of dollars easily. There are some quality carriers offering business long distance with 3 and 6 second billing increments which can save you countless amounts of long distance costs.

If at all possible, avoid contracts including short term. Canceling services can pack on some hefty cancellation fees especially if you have more than 5 business lines. A carrier that offers contract free service has a tendency to work harder to retain it’s customers meaning better quality of services for you.

Toll Free Numbers
Almost all long distance carriers offer toll free service as an additional service. If you plan to use toll free numbers with switched business long distance, make sure you are able to get the same rate and billing increments as in your long distance plan. Many carriers have a monthly fee to retain a toll free number so shop for the lowest monthly fee associated with an 800, 888, 877, or 866 number.

Monthly Fees
Carriers advertising “No Monthly Fees” often only are offering no monthly fees for accounts with a certain amount of monthly usage. If your company is not going to be using a lot of long distance services you will want to try to find a carrier with a more reasonable monthly fee for less usage. Do not be frightened though, if your bill typically is over $20.00-$50.00 a month, you should be in the clear for these fees.

Are You on the Best Business Telecommunication Plan?

Having a landline, mobile phone and internet access is vital for any business owner but there are many in businesses that are on the wrong plan. They think it is all too confusing or that everyone in the business is a scam artist who just wants to make a sale. This is not necessarily the case. There are plans out there that will suit almost all business owners. If you want to cut your business telecommunications costs, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a consultant that you trust- I’m going to guess that telecommunications is not your main business, so you probably shouldn’t be spending too much time and energy on your mobile, landline and internet plans? You want to concentrate on making money. In order to do this, you need a consultant who truly understands your business and can make recommendations that suit your business.
  • Do you understand your plans- Do you know much about your plan and what the inclusions are? Plans can include a variety of free calls and SMS’s. Some plans mean you can nominate numbers for free calls. Make sure you take advantage of all your offers to ensure your bill is as low as possible.
  • Does your consultant answer all your questions- There are some rogue elements of the telecommunications industry who may promise you the world but fail to deliver. If you are going to cut your telecommunications costs by dealing with a consultant, make sure that you deal with one you trust. You need a consultant that you feel comfortable with.
  • Do you actually know what’s out there- Whilst I’ve said earlier that you do not need to have an in depth knowledge of telecommunications (you’re wasting your time) it is beneficial to have some minimal understanding of what’s going on. This gives you a better opportunity to see if someone is lying to you.
  • Are there any technology options that can improve your business- It may not necessarily just be about cutting costs. Sometimes you need to look at new technology to improve your profits. For example, would having a blackberry and receiving emails on the road be beneficial to your business.

Top Tips For Cutting Business Telecommunications Costs

In tough economic times, it is important that you work to cut all the costs that you can. If you are in business, one of the costs you can manage are your business telecommunications costs. The purpose of this article is to give you some tips on how you can cut your business telecommunications costs. If you can save money on your landline, mobile and internet bills, then this is money that you can keep in your pocket and keep your business afloat.

  • Review your business telecommunications plan- Business telecommunications carriers bring out new plans all the time. Some of these telecommunications plans may be more suitable for your own business than the plans that you are on currently. You should regularly review your plans.
  • Shop around for the best business telecommunications deal- You should shop around for the best deal. You should speak to all the different suppliers in your industry and see which supplier offers you the best deal.
  • Be prepared to change carriers for a better business telecommunications deal- Once you have found the best deal on the market, you should do two things. You should go back to your existing telecommunications carrier and tell them that you are thinking of leaving and wait to see what they can do. If they are not prepared to budge, be prepared to move. Go to the carrier that provides you with a better deal. Be prepared to move to save money.

Telecommunications is not a sunk cost. There are some things that you can do to save money on all your telecommunications infrastructure- landlines, mobile and internet usage.. If you spend some time and effort reviewing your usage and negotiating with carriers, then you could quite easily find yourself saving thousands of dollars. Do yourself a favour and review get the best telecommunications deal today.