Friday, January 22, 2010

Strategies For The Hunkered Down Economy

The calendar has turned, but the economy has not. We’re still looking at double digit unemployment, public companies making their numbers by cutting expenses rather than increasing sales, and a lot of angst over what it will take to get things moving again. In the meantime, consumers are hunkering down to spend less and save more. That means businesses large and small are left with little to do except hunker down themselves. It’s hard to get excited about taking the big leaps when you don’t know how wide the abyss is.

Deal effectively with the down economy.Does this mean that your company is permanently stuck in the mud or that your ship is sinking with nothing more to throw overboard? For most, that’s way too dire a scenario. But you are faced with an opportunity that requires a choice, at least in your telecommunications expenses. Do you want to maintain the same level of service and pay less for it, or do you want to maintain your budget at current levels and get more service?

Many managers consider this an enviable position. There’s really no way you can lose. The only one who isn’t going to make out in this arrangement is the overpriced service provider who either isn’t sensitive to your needs or has failed to optimize their own business to offer you a better deal.

Perhaps the first thing to do is to honestly assess your needs for the coming year. Do you need everything you have now, more, less, or just different? For instance, if the phones aren’t ringing off the hook, then perhaps you can get by with fewer outside lines and no one will be the wiser. If your staffing levels have dwindled, you may have more broadband capacity than you are really taking advantage of at the moment. You can almost certainly save by matching the level of telecom services to your current reality. In some cases, you may be able to dramatically save by combining your telephone and broadband in an integrated T1 line or SIP trunk.

You may be concerned that downsizing your bandwidth puts you at risk if business suddenly bounces back. That can be mitigated by ordering scalable bandwidth services. Metro Ethernet is a good example. The connection that’s installed may be capable of 50 Mbps, but you only pay for 10 Mbps. If business doubles, you call your provider and tell them to take it up to 20 Mbps. They can do that quickly and easily, since no hardware changes need to be made.

For some businesses, opportunities are available to increase activity. What’s holding them back is the unavailability of bank loans or a reluctance to make long term commitments to expenses that might not be covered if the ramp up in business activity doesn’t happen as planned. What you don’t realize is that you may be able to get more and better service without spending more money. This is commonly the case with companies that leased line services years ago and have been paying month to month since their contract ran out. Telecom service rates have been dropping, sometimes dramatically, over the last few years. But you’re still paying the old rate to the old provider who makes no effort to offer you a better deal. How can you be sure you are getting the most for your precious expense dollars? Get competitive telecom service quotes quickly and easily online.

The services we promote are offered through a telecom broker who’s job it is to research the best rates available for your business location. When you request a competitive quote, a Telarus consultant will be working on your behalf to understand your current and future needs and then find the best deal available from dozens of service providers. That consultant will check back with you from time to time to make sure that what you are leasing is still the best cost solution as your situation changes. Best of all, this is a free service. It’s truly one of the best deals you can get in any economy.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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