If you run a business and are looking for ways to shave costs, you might want to start by examining your monthly utility bills. How much do you spend on international phone calls to clients or shipping documents? Communication is a vital part of any business, but it’s even more important in a global economy. Here are five ways that you can cut costs while still staying in touch when it matters the most.
1. Go paperless
Most big businesses have already gone paperless wherever possible, so you can follow suit as a smaller business owner. There’s little need for printed inter-office communication when you can simply use email or messaging systems, for example. Advertising is one area where many small businesses may defer to old-fashioned printing, but the cost of brochures, newsletters, and flyers can really add up when you’re just starting out. Try email marketing and social media first, as this will reach a wider range of potential clients to begin with. Just be sure that your main website is up to snuff, or you’ll quickly lose the power of that first click.
2. Use VoIP services for video conferencing
Email can cover a high percentage of business communication, but there’s still the need in most industries for face-to-face communication. If you travel a lot for business or work with clients and suppliers based overseas, video conferencing can help you keep in touch. VoIP services like Skype or WhatsApp cost very little, and are often free between two users of the same program.
3. Send virtual faxes
The fax machine now seems like something from another era, though it was once a vital piece of office equipment. If you’re still using one, you may be spending a small fortune on paper, toner cartridges, and repairs. Switch over to virtual faxing online and you can cut all of those maintenance and supply costs. Online fax services give you a fax number, so if anyone tries to send you a fax, it will go to your inbox instead. That allows you to access faxes from any device, whether it’s your main work computer or mobile device.
4. Shop around for company phone plans
Before you sign up for a business mobile plan or landline package, you should first look at your options carefully. You’ve got differences in network speeds, pricing plans, and connectivity. The best choice will depend on the type of business you run. A higher speed network like Nokia Networks LTE is a better option if you plan on conducting lots of business on your company smartphone while on the go. If you do a lot of business overseas, a VoIP system could be the best bet. You can pay a monthly fee with cut rates on international calls.
5. Download international calling apps
Another way to cut back on international call prices is to download apps that work in a slightly different way. Local calling services or apps like Rebtel allow you to reroute your international call through a local number – allowing you to pay local prices. It’s worth downloading the latest calling apps to save more money if you’re on the phone a lot as part of your business.
By going paperless, downloading calling apps, and shopping around for the best deals, you can cut business communication costs significantly.