How I save $1,400 on my business phone service–every year

Inexpensive phone service

OK, you might be thinking, “Phone service?! How boring is that!”

But wait!

There’s a reason why I’m excited about this topic:  you’ll save a bunch of money.

Seriously.  Each and every year, I save nearly $1,400.00.  Yep, and it was super easy.

If you haven’t already realized, I’m a bit of a cheapskate.  It’s not that I won’t spend money on quality stuff, but it’s just that it’s not that often that I find quality things I like to spend money on.

But for my current phone setup, I’m really happy.  First though, some background.

My business phone setup:  version 1

When I first started my consulting business, I used my personal cellphone for all my client calls.  I was already paying for the service, and I could call anywhere from any location.  Convenient, yes, but the call quality wasn’t the best, and it probably didn’t project the most professional image.

This was back in 2007, and I just had a cheapo, non-smartphone, so I didn’t have access to e-mail from my phone.

My business phone setup:  version 2

When I started working from home during the day (while I was phasing out my day job), I used my home phone for client calls.  While the sound quality was better, any client calls were going to my personal phone (and, yes, I did change the outgoing message so it was professional).

The problem was that the cordless phones kept running out of battery power after about 45 minutes on a call.  I could have sprung for a couple of new batteries (about $20 each for my 2 cordless phones), but not only am I cheap, I’m also lazy.

Again, not very professional.  But at least I wasn’t paying any additional costs.

My business phone setup:  version 3

A couple years ago, I  discovered a few services that really changed things.

I started using Skype for some calls with colleagues, and had also used some e-faxing services.  I did some research, and ended up getting a dedicated phone number, along with unlimited local & long-distance calling through Skype.

In contrast, I could have gone with a traditional phone company (currently Qwest in my area) for similar services, but it would have cost more–a TON more. Here’s the comparison:

  • Qwest landline:  $115.00 per month
  • Skype service:  $60.00 per year

So, each month, I’m saving $110, which doesn’t even take Qwest’s one-time $50 setup fee into account.  I told you:  HUGE savings.

A few things I like about Skype:

  • Unlimited calling to local, long-distance, and mobile numbers.
  • My own dedicated phone number.
  • Voicemail.
  • Call forwarding.
  • I can call from anywhere.  Mostly I call through my laptop, but Skype also has a mobile phone app too.  With a traditional landline, I’d only be able to call from my office.
  • All the other nifty features of Skype, like:  chat, send files, screen sharing, etc.

What if you need more than 1 phone line?

I currently don’t need more than my 1 phone line, but if you have several employees, you can get similar service using RingCentral, again, for a LOT less than a traditional landline-type phone service.

RingCentral gives you features like:

  • A dedicated regular or toll-free number.
  • Virtual receptionist and a dial-by-name directory.
  • Voicemail.
  • Fax.
  • Call forwarding.

It costs a little more than Skype–plans vary between $10/month, $30/month, and up, depending on what features you need–but it’s still extremely cheap compared to a traditional landline phone provider.

Recommended reading:

I recently added a Tools & Resources page that lists a wide variety of other services that I use for my business:  Tools & Resources

Note:  Some of these links may make me a few dollars if you sign up.  In all cases, you will not be charged extra for using my link, and you help support StartMyConsultingBusiness.com.

 

2 Responses to How I save $1,400 on my business phone service–every year

  1. Lotus Flower says:

    Have you heard of Ooma? We tried them earlier this year as a replacement for our home phones, and I am considering using this for my business line as well.

    The upfront investment is a little pricey ($200 for a hub unit at Costco), but it literally takes minutes to set up and the only monthly fees for basic service are whatever taxes and local fees are applicable in your area (under $4 for us in Texas).

    The call quality was excellent, and even with the basic package you get a lot of nifty features. There are other service tiers available (for additional monthly fees) with even more features. Their website: http://www.ooma.com/

    Just another option I thought I’d share 🙂 keep up the great work; these articles have been a great help in my budding entrepreneurship.

    • Thanks for your comment!

      I haven’t heard of them, but it looks similar to the Comcast phone service that I use at home, which also runs on VOIP.

      The thing I like about services like Skype and RingCentral is that they allow calling from anywhere, so that you aren’t tied to your physical home or office location to make calls.

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