Choosing Phone Service for Small Business
Cost, phone packages and reliability are the three things you should consider when choosing a phone service provider.
Smoke signals, anyone?
Yes, smoke signals were once used as a communication device back in the day when pollution still hasn’t blackened the skies and smoke signified messages being sent rather than a cause of global warming. Evidently, smoke signals are not applicable in today’s fast changing world, not unless it’s a level 3 in your neighborhood.
Although there has been a great evolution in the field of communication, nothing has quite affected the world than Alexander Graham Bell’s invention: the telephone. The telephone has given rise to other inventions like the fax machine, cellular phones, and Internet access, to name a few. It would be quite safe to say that the world as we know it wouldn’t progress as fast as it does without the telephone.
Businesses use telephone lines for transactions, whether with clients or suppliers. It is then essential to choose a phone service company that will help with the communication part of the business without having to be an eventual hindrance when it comes to bills.
Cost is the primary concern when choosing a phone service provider. Nevertheless, you should never choose a provider simply on cost alone. Remember, any phone service provider that may offer inexpensive rates may not grant you all the services you need. On the other hand, those that can give you all the services you may need, may cost too much for your small business to afford. You need to strike a balance between cost and your communication needs.
Canvass several potential providers; look through special packages, discounts, and other services they might provide (a good example of which is technical assistance, etc.) Take your time choosing, especially if you do have the liberty of time. Competitiveness among telephone company providers can give you such added benefits like wireless subscriptions, Internet and cable providers and maybe one free cell phone unit or two. However, there are always one or two kinks in package deals so learn to read, and interpret the fine print.
Make a check list of your company’s communication needs. How many calls does your company make in one day? In one month? Do you need call waiting services? How about caller ID? How about voicemail? Call forwarding? Three-way calling? Conference calling? Would you need video phones too? What time do most business transactions happen, daytime or night time? Would the service provider give you different rates for off-peak calls? Would you need to use long-distance services? How often would you need them? Are any of the phone service providers offering “special” incentives like Internet subscription? Cable subscription? Free phones? Free fax machines? Wireless connections? Would your company actually need all these added incentives or will they only add to your monthly costs?
You must check the hidden charge which is always written in small letters where you don’t pay any attention and find it during your tough time with the bill or service. The next thing to look at is the phone service companies’ reputation. Sure, there are always up and coming newbie’s cropping out, offering cheaper rates and even more enticing benefits – but have they proven themselves to be reliable? The phone service provider companies that have made their names are asking for a hefty monthly tag price, but are they as reliable as you wish? Ask around with other business establishments, ask colleagues, ask friends – it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. In this way, you are not only seeing the “picture” through the eyes of the phone service providers, but also through those who actually have used their services.