Small business cell phone plans can come in handy if you’re starting a consulting business or any other small business. But with so many small business cell phone plans available, it can be difficult to choose. For most small business owners, keeping cell phone costs under control is the biggest concern.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my cell phone needs. My sister works for the business division of a well-known mobile phone company and has given me tips over the years. Here’s what I’ve gleaned when it comes to small business cell phone plans:
Review your cell phone plan usage
If you already have a cell phone, go back and look at your previous bills. Make sure you have an idea of your cell phone usage patterns. Having a good idea of how you use your cell phone will help you evaluate small business cell phone plans, so that you don’t run into nasty bills later. Some points to consider when looking at your small business cell phone use:
- Minutes used per month
- Average length of calls
- Time of day for most calls
- Day of week for calls
- Geographic areas of your calls
- Long distance needs
- Monthly fluctuations – like tradeshow season
Research small business cell phone plans
Next, check out cell phone plans for small businesses. You can visit webpages or even call or email the carriers directly. If you only need a half-dozen phones, consider visiting your local cell phone store and talking to the associates there. If you need a lot of phones, you might want to talk to the cell phone company to see what sort of discounts you can negotiate. Obtain as much information about the contracts as possible. Ideally, you should actually see the small business cell phone plan contract.
Look at the long distance package
When you’re reviewing all the details of the contract, pay special attention to the long distance plan – assuming there is one. Some plans offer “free” long distance for cell phones, but charge a higher monthly rate or cross-subsidize with higher fees for other calls. You might want to consider paying for long distance when you need it, if you don’t need to make a lot of long-distance calls. If you usually only make long distance calls to a specific geographic area, ask if they offer special rates for that region. If you think you’ll need to make use of lots of international roaming and long distance calls, ask about available rates and options.
Consider special cell phone plan deals
Instead of a per user or per cell phone contract, you might want a pooled minutes cell phone plan for small business. This kind of plan averages your usage across all the users, so you aren’t penalized if a few users take up more time. For example, your tech support manager may simply need a cell phone for emergencies, whereas your sales agents make calls all day. Of course, the trick with this sort of plan is that you need some users to make very few calls, so that you can accommodate the ones who make calls all the time.
Buy only the cell phone time you need
Avoid small business cell phone plans that offer more minutes than you can actually use. If you need to make more phone calls at certain times of the year – like during tradeshow season, peak sales visit periods, or other special projects – consider buying more minutes during those times or carrying forward minutes from previous months. That way, you aren’t paying bloated prices year round. Ask whether you can carry forward unused minutes, too.
Small business cell phone plans.