As you wave goodbye to 2014 and look forward toward the new year, what are your new years resolutions? You may have some personal resolutions, as well as some pertaining to your business. If cutting business expenses is at the top of your list, then look first to your telecom bill. Chances are, there is a great big number at the bottom of that bill, and there is room for improvement! If you are looking for ways to cut expenses, then here are 10 telecom tips to help you keep more of your money in 2015:
Take a Crash Course in Telecom 101
Take a good look at your telecom bills. Do you know what each number represents? What about those pesky little acronyms – do you have any idea what they stand for? If you don’t understand the industry jargon or if you are unsure about any part of your bill, then take the time to do the research and find out what you are actually paying for. Though the telecom billing system is convoluted and confusing, vendors often have an online tutorial to teach you how to read your bill. Once you have done the research you will better understand your bill, and this is the first step to cutting your telecom expenses in 2015.
Update Hardware and Services
Take a good look at your telecom service packages and equipment. Have you been hanging on to the past for too long? The telecom industry is rapidly changing and improving, and there is a good possibility that your equipment or service packages are antiquated. There may be newer, better options that save you money in 2015.
Break Down Telecom Invoices Into Categories
You probably know how much you paid in 2014 for telecom, but do you know how much you paid for data? Equipment? Cell phone usage? Landline fees? Take the time to break down your telecom invoices so that you can track each individual expense in 2015. Once you know the breakdown of your telecom spending, you will have a better idea of where your money is going and where expense cuts can be made.
Consolidate or “Bundle” Your Telecom Services
Was it McDonalds that invented the concept of bundling when they advised patrons to “make it a meal” when ordering the burger, fries and a coke? And who wouldn’t like to save a few cents at lunch time? In the telecom industry the financial stakes are higher, but is often beneficial to bundle your services as well. Unlike the McDonalds cashiers who thoughtfully ask if you want fries with that, telecom sales representatives may not offer you all of the services you want at the best prices available. You need to ask about the bundling options. If you haven’t inquired lately, the options have probably changed, so it may be time to consider consolidating your telecom services in 2015.
Increase Your Data Awareness
Data provides users with countless capabilities, and it’s tough to remember how we survived without it. That being said, there is a lot to learn about data. Do you know how much data your company uses? Which users and activities use the largest quantity of data? Are you using less than what you pay for, or do you go over your allotted amount of data and then have to pay the high overage prices? Make a resolution to increase your data awareness in 2015.
Once you begin to monitor your data usage, you may also find that you can cut back on some of your unnecessary data usage. Decide which data usages are important, and which calls or uses you can go without. Becoming more data-aware will help you to minimize your data expenses, which is a great way to save on your telecom spending.
Seek Coterminous Telecom Contracts
Coterminous? If you are implementing all of these tips in order, then you probably already learned what this industry term means in your telecom 101 crash course from tip #1. Coterminous speaks to having all of your contractual obligations coming to an end at the same time. Telecom vendors would prefer for you to have a variety of contracts ending at different times, so that it is more difficult to make cost saving changes. Not to mention that it is harder to keep track of your contract obligations in general. If your company has multiple contracts with a variety of end dates, then make an effort to get them aligned. When all of your services end on the same date, it will give you more negotiation leverage when it is time to renew, and could be a telecom money saver in the new year.
Rethink Your Telecom Commitments
Does your company have a contract with monthly commitments or annual commitments for telecom spending? If you don’t know, then it’s time to find out! What’s the difference you ask? Telecom vendors prefer that you have a monthly spending commitment. For example, if your commitment was $1000 per month, and you spent $2000 that month, it would not count toward your next months commitment. But with an annual commitment, if you spend your $12000 commitment in 6 months, then it gives you lots of time to explore your options with other vendors. Though this may seem like a subtle difference on the surface, it could be a way to save on your telecom expenses in 2015.
There are many aspects of your telecom bill that are up for negotiation. For example, your minimum monthly spending is an item that you can negotiate. Your telecom provider would like for you to have a minimum that matches your monthly expenditures. However, you will have an easier time switching vendors if your minimum spending requirement is less than your actual monthly expenditures.
In addition to minimums, there are many fees that can be negotiated. Don’t assume that fees are set in stone; there is usually some wiggle room for people who make the effort to negotiate. Do you know what the current promotions are? If not, then take some time to find out. It pays to learn about promotions, and use them as leverage during telecom contract negotiations. When it comes to the telecom industry, if you don’t ask for the best prices and terms, then you won’t get them. Make it your new years resolution to negotiate the terms of your contract in 2015.
Implement TEM Software
If you didn’t utilize Telecom Expense Management (TEM) software in previous years, then it is time to get on track in 2015. Implementing TEM software will make managing your telecom much easier. Staying on top of your telecom expenses will ensure that you are paying for services that you need and not paying for services that you don’t use. Implementing TEM software is an excellent way to accomplish many of the cost savings tips and maximize your telecom money saving opportunities. TEM software will revolutionize how your company manages telecom expenses, and it is a must for the new year.
Conduct a Telecom Audit
Tip #10 is a biggie. If you pick and choose from which of these tips to implement in 2015, then you will surely save some money on telecom expenses. Of course, each of these tips requires learning about a particular aspect of your telecom bill before you implement the changes.
Conducting a telecom audit brings in a team of professionals who are telecom expense management experts. They do the analysis for you, and will cover all cost saving possibilities regarding telecom. If your business has never undergone a telecom audit, or it has been too long since your last audit, then make 2015 the year of the telecom audit. When the experts at PAG perform your audit, you can be assured that it will not be disruptive to the workflow. The results of your audit will allow you to save money on telecom, and because you don’t have to spend your valuable time learning the industry, you will have more time to run your business. Bringing in the telecom experts for an audit will leave you with more time to make smart, money saving resolutions in 2015 for all aspects of your business.