As cell phones have become an increasingly invaluable part of the small business world, the average cell phone bill has climbed 15 percent since 2001. Businesses aren’t immune to rising cell phone costs, but with so many smartphone service providers clamoring to compete for small business dollars, the smart small business owner can find ways to save money.
To cut down on costs,
- Compare prices. When your current contract ends, shop around. Get prices on plans from all potential mobile-service providers. Consider bundling mobile Wi-Fi products, if you need them, into your smartphone plan for extra savings. If you find a quote that’s lower than you’re paying now, ask your provider to beat it. No deal? It may be time to change providers.
- Determine whether “unlimited” plans are necessary. Look carefully at the amount of data, voice, and text each of your employees is using. Compare this with your current plan to determine whether or not paying for “unlimited” use is truly necessary. Savings of just $10 or $20 per month per device can add up when applied to numerous employees over several years.
- Question landlines. Does your business use both landlines and mobile phones? Consider ditching some or all of your landlines, especially for employees who work in the field or from home. For the landlines you choose to keep, switching to VoIP may make a big difference in your operations budget.
- Consider BYOD. Your employees undoubtedly own their own cell phones. By allowing them to use their personal devices at work, you’ll save money on buying company-issued gear and may increase productivity (employees are more likely to carry their personal devices with them on weekends and vacations, keeping them more reliably in touch). Be aware, however, that some studies show that embracing the BYOD trend is costing businesses more than actually providing the devices did.
- Opt for prepaid phones. Prepaid cell phones have come a long way since the early days, when they were cheaply constructed basic phones. Today, many prepaid providers offer the same features that users can find on other plans at a cost of up to $50 less per month for service.