managing business overhead expense by controlling phone bill cost

It’s common to think of your office phone system as an unavoidable business overhead expense. And that’s true. But this mindset can prevent you from looking for opportunities to reduce the expense. Like many technology products and services, the price of telecom service is getting cheaper, while the quality of the service and equipment is improving.

So, if you have been staying with your current telecom provider for years without evaluating your phone bill cost against newer alternatives, it’s almost certain that you’re paying far more than you need to. And, you’re missing out on new telecom features that can better support your business. (For example, with modern cloud-based phone services, you can route landline calls to your mobile phone, and even get uninterrupted service during a power outage.)

I’ll admit it: here at SOS, we did not pay much attention to our phone bill cost, either. We were focused on running our business and helping our customers get the best office technology solutions at the best price. We paid the bill every month without realizing that we could be paying much less.

How we cut our phone bill cost in half & reduced business overhead expense

That changed when my partner Eric ran into a friend (Mike) who offered to review our phone expenses. We learned that we were paying twice as much as we could be paying for a new voiceover IP (VoIP) phone system.

Naturally, Eric was skeptical. It sounded a bit too good to be true, and our phone system is critical to our business. We’d be in trouble if our customers had trouble reaching us due to poor phone service. Eric’s first question was, “What do I lose?” Mike said, “Nothing. And you’ll get better service.” Eric’s next question: “Well, what is this going to cost me?” Mike said, “It’s not costing you anything. The equipment is included. On site installation is optional at a nominal charge. And you’re saving half on your phone bill cost.”

So, we made the change and made a nice dent in our business overhead expense by cutting the cost of phone service. The great news is, we really did get better service (I’ll explain more about the benefits of VoIP service below).

At that point, we realized that our customers could also benefit from this opportunity. That’s why SOS has expanded our office technology solutions to include telecom consulting. So, we can now help you cut your phone bill and get better phone service just like we did. Just to be clear, we don’t represent any particular carrier. What we do is offer a no-cost analysis and help you find the best phone service for your needs at the best price.

Just like us, you probably have lots of questions. So let’s start by answering some of those questions.

How much can you save on your phone bill cost simply by switching to a VOIP service provider?

The average small to medium-sized business saves 30% on their phone expenses. Some might save less, and some might save more: as much as 50% (like SOS did).

Your savings will depend on the system you have now, but it’s reasonable to expect a big savings if you have not evaluated your phone system in years.

What about equipment and installation?

Again, it depends on what you have now, but many companies switching to VOIP phone systems can get new, modern phone equipment and included at no additional cost.

Depending on the carrier, on site installation may be included, or there may be a nominal charge. Remote installation (programming the software and phones remotely) is available as a no-charge option, but that does require some effort on your part. We find that the small charge for having everything taken care of for you is well worth it.

What if you have a contract?

You might be thinking that this sounds like a great opportunity to cut your phone bill cost, but how can you get out of your current phone service contract? In some cases, VoIP phone service providers can buy out your contract and build the cost into your new one. And you’ll still save money.

What is VoIP phone service and why is it better for businesses?

VoIP stands for voiceover internet protocol. VoIP is the technology behind cloud-based phone systems. It works by converting voice to digital signals and sending them over the internet.

A VoIP phone system offers attractive benefits for businesses:

Reliable service that’s always on… even in an emergency

With a traditional phone system, you rely on equipment and power for your phones to work. If a storm takes out your power, you have no way to get calls. If your phone system breaks down or T1 circuit goes down, you go without service while you wait for the vendor or carrier to make repairs.

With VoIP phone system, you no longer have the “brains” of the system in your closet. It’s software-based and lives in a data center with many levels of redundancy. That means, even when there’s a power failure or equipment problem, you can still get calls and make calls. How? Because your calls can be automatically transferred to mobile devices. So you’re still up and running.

This is a big reason that businesses are moving to VoIP phone systems. In the past, implementing that level of disaster recovery was simply not affordable for small to midsize businesses. With VoIP phone system, you get dependable service for less than you pay now for traditional service.

Support for remote working

Especially here in New York City where office space costs a fortune, many businesses are reducing their office footprint by offering some level of remote working. However, it can be tricky to have employees working remotely when they need to be tied to a landline office phone. And what about salespeople and other workers who travel frequently, but also need to get calls from their office phone line? Paying for cell phone service for remote employees is an option, but that’s expensive too.

VoIP phone systems provide for all of these situations, easily and seamlessly. Employees can travel anywhere in the world and use a VoIP phone to make and receive calls. It’s business as usual, and nobody has the know they aren’t actually in the office.

Simpler to manage with predictable costs

Most VoIP plans include unlimited calling, so there’s no surprises and worrying about using too many minutes in a month.

And, you’re no longer held hostage by your phone vendor. With a traditional system, whenever you needed a system change (such as adding or moving lines), you are forced to pay your phone vendor to make programming changes at whatever rate they choose to charge. You have no alternative.

In the world of VoIP, there are no charges for adds, moves, and changes. If you have a trained employee, you can make the changes yourself. Otherwise, call your provider and they do it for you at no charge.

What can you expect when you switch?

You get to keep your phone numbers. Obviously this is very important to a business!

The process is quick and easy:

  • Accept the proposal electronically, and the process begins immediately.
  • A project manager helps you gather and transfer your phone numbers.
  • Someone comes out and sets up equipment for you (we recommend avoiding services promising “plug and play” that might not be as easy as it sounds).
  • You’re never without phone service during the transfer. It’s literally flipping a switch and you’re running on the new system.

Ready to save on your phone bill cost? Start with a free assessment

Let’s be honest: every business has their own specific needs. You might be a small sales office that needs teleconferencing, or a large call center that needs call routing and management tools. There are many VoIP carriers out there, and not all of them offer the same services. Doing all that research to find the right provider can be confusing and time consuming.

That’s where SOS can help. We can pinpoint the service provider that can provide the right service for your needs at the best price. We can also give you quotes from multiple providers so you have options to choose from.

All it takes to get started is a short phone conversation to assess your needs. Schedule your free assessment now and start saving big on your phone expenses!

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