Azhar Abulhamayel, Negosentro | Mobile phones are not just a necessity for individuals anymore; they are also a must for businesses. Small businesses, in particular, enjoy various advantages when they use mobile phones that some even forgo getting a landline and use only their cell phones for communication and other purposes.
But there is one thing that small business owners do not like about mobile phone use: the bill. Businesses that rely hugely on their cellphones will often get higher-end plans and usually pay for multiple handsets and users. It’s not surprising for companies to list mobile phone and data use as one of their biggest operating expenses.
If you are a small business owner seeking to get more value out of your monthly plan, here are some tips that will help you save money on your business phone bill and avoid unnecessary telecom expenses:
Be on the lookout for better, more affordable deals
Telecom companies offer plans that are more expensive than others but have similar services and features. As such, regularly read on up on the offers of your current service provider and other carriers since telecom companies make it a point to continually introduce new plans. If you find one that is better than your current plan, learn more about it.
If your current telecom provider offers the best business mobile phone deals you are interested in, making a switch or an upgrade is easier. In case your present plan will be expiring soon, inform your carrier that you have no plans of renewing it. You can then consider the plans other providers offer.
However, you will have to weigh your options carefully if your current plan won’t be expiring anytime soon. This is because you will have to pay an early termination fee if you want to forgo your present plan now. You can consider keeping your plan until its expiration, but also sign up for another carrier’s offer. Make sure you don’t incur any more expenses by limiting your use of the old plan and maximizing your new plan.
Know which services and features you need and the ones you don’t
Go over the monthly bills and check which service and features you or your employees use more often (these are the reasons behind all the additional charges) and which ones aren’t used frequently.
For instance, if you aren’t making too many calls, then you don’t need too many minutes. Ask your carrier if your plan can be customized to reduce your call allowance and if you can get more data as an alternative, especially if you need to be connected to the internet all the time.
Make it a habit to check all monthly bills as soon as you receive them
It is important that you or your staff inspect all monthly bills immediately after receiving them. This is something that you have to do especially if you keep getting bills higher than the total cost you signed up for.
Making this a habit will help you track your telecom spending habits and make cost-cutting measures where possible. It also helps you ensure you won’t be paying for any voice, messaging and data features that you don’t need or didn’t use. Establish a regular schedule for your audits so you can be more diligent in checking your phone bill and informing your carrier immediately if there are any discrepancies.
Skip the insurance
If the handsets you and your employees use are already more than a year old, inform the carrier that you will be ditching the insurance. The value of mobile phones depreciates after the first year so you won’t gain much by continuing coverage for old devices. In addition, most carriers offer warranties for their phones anyway, so getting insurance is simply redundant and a waste of money.
Use your plan for tax deduction purposes
You can save your company some money by writing off your mobile phone plan or bills as a business expense. Make sure you keep all your bills and other important documents.
Ask your accountant how to do this so that you won’t be questioned and have any problems when tax filing season comes.
Whether you have a prepaid or postpaid business mobile plan, avoid paying more than you have to by using your phone responsibly and being diligent in checking your monthly bills. Make sure your employees do the same. You also won’t go wrong with finding other ways to save money on your plan so that you can spend these savings on more important areas of your business.
Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA. The company was the first operator in the Middle East to commercially launch the 4G/LTE network. Zain serves +10M customers, has extended its network coverage to 94% of the population, and attracts thousands of new customers daily.