When you are looking for the best business phone and broadband deal, it can be difficult deciding on the best fit for your company. There are different types of phone systems, business broadband packages & technical support & customer support can vary a lot between providers.
Small Business Broadband and Phone Deals
Small Businesses have very different needs to enterprise companies. For small companies to thrive & grow keeping costs low is the biggest priority which often leads them to buy the cheapest business broadband service available.But this can cost them much more over the year with the downtime they experience from it & poor speeds. No business wants an unreliable broadband connection.
Opinium have done some research on the cost of poor internet to UK businesses. It tells us that a whopping 72% of UK businesses faced internet failures last year & that caused an estimated downtime of 149 million hours. Individually these businesses experienced 43 hours in lost connectivity and suffered losses averaging out at £3,125, translate to £521 per employee.
When you consider the amount of money you can throw away picking the wrong phone and connectivity solution, its understandable most business owners would want to ensure they get the right product at the right price. Knowing how to choose the right fit can be a difficult task. We have put together this guide to help you.
1.Know your business broadband Speed.
When looking at business broadband deals, before you even get a quote you need to know what speed your company requires. Broadband speeds play a big role in the price you will pay so the higher the speed you need the more it will cost you monthly. Traditional DSL broadband typically starts from around £15 per month which is often attractive to small businesses who want to keep costs low.
However, this is not always the most reliable internet connection you can get for your business. This is because it runs on copper wires and many lines are shared with up to 50 other users. This means that speeds aren’t reliable and you may find the connection gets much slower or drops out completely at peak times.
Fibre optic business broadband has increased in popularity amongst business users in recent years. It will give you faster speeds and improved reliability but also comes with a higher cost point than DSL solutions. There has been huge infrastructure improvements in the UK which has seen certain areas able to get 1Gb broadband connections.
1Gb broadband would be suitable for many small businesses that need fast speed. However, it’s important to remember speeds are not garunteed & like traditional broadband the service is still shared which means you may experience lagging or drop outs at peak times. Its also worth noting that just because its available does not mean you need it. The only way to get 1Gb garunteed is to opt for dedicated leased lines.
1Gb is a huge amount of bandwidth and generally would only be needed by corporations who have high bandwidth needs like architects or streaming websites. The majority of small businesses in the UK are unlikely to need more than 100Mb business broadband.
2. Know your business phone and broadband needs.
There’s quite a few options when picking out a business phone & fibre optic broadband deal & its important to know exactly what you need so you are comparing like for like & don’t end up with a product that doesn’t work for you. A few questions worth knowing the answer to are:
- How many handsets do you need?
- What type of phone service is suitable for your business?
- If you decide on an IP based phone system, they are cheaper but you do need a stable & reliable internet connection so ask yourself how good your internet is?
- Do you need to upgrade your internet to enable the business phone line to work?
- Do you need fibre business broadband or a dedicated leased line?
- What is your budget & timescales?
- Are there any other services you can bring in to negotiate a better deal for your company?
These will all play a part in helping you secure the best deal possible but we would also suggest using what you can to negotiate with providers. Contrary to popular belief there is often room for negotiation so if you could sign within a short timescale, have other services to add in or have had a good quote elsewhere use it to your advantage!
Us Brits often get caught up being too polite, but this is business – yours was probably built on great negotiations so do what you do best.
3. Understand business broadband is not the same as home broadband.
Business Broadband is different to your home broadband for a few reasons. Firstly, its not shared with as many other customers. This means that a business line in the same area as home broadband line will be more reliable & have less buffering.
Business broadband will also usually come with a static IP address, whereas your home broadband will usually give you a dynamic IP address. Most businesses prefer a static IP address as it is more secure & can enable you to do a range of technical things like host your own website.
You will also get better customer service with business broadband so if anything does ever go wrong you get quicker responses & queue priority with most providers, most being UK based teams. The customer service for business broadband is not as good as you would get for leased lines so if you do need a stable connection with guaranteed speeds a leased line would be a better choice.
The other key difference is the line rental cost. Business-specific broadband services tend to cost more than those advertised to home users. This is usually because the providers don’t allow as many subscribers on the same line, meaning your business gets a lower contention on the line and therefore a more reliable speed.
4. Do not just go with BT Business phone and broadband.
BT business broadband has dominated the UK since business broadband began. BT are the main name when it comes to telecoms in the UK & with good reason. They are the biggest brand & have dominated their industry for years.
However, much like the big 6 in energy have been disrupted, so have BT when it comes to business phone & broadband. They are often one of the most expensive providers despite having the ability to sell cheaper than anyone. If they had a superior product or customer service it might be worth paying but the fact is they don’t. In fact BT business customer service reviews can be found with a quick google search & they paint a picture.
BT rely on their reputation to get new customers & high retention because customers don’t want the hassle of switching providers. Consumers now are aware that there are big cost savings when you change providers or shop around for the best one.
5. Understand the types of business phone systems & connectivity options.
When looking at business phone systems the two you will hear of the most are :
- Traditional PBX – This requires having the equipment on site. Install time is longer, it’s more expensive and needs a professional to manage. It’s becoming a legacy service so wouldn’t be recommended for small businesses.
- VoIP/Hosted VoIP – Hosted VoIP solutions are the easiest and cheapest service for small businesses. They use the internet to make calls so it’s important you have a good connection. Simply download the sofware, plug in your softphones and you are able start making calls. All the technical side is managed by the provider & can cost less than £10 per month per user.
If you are unsure what the best phone system for your small business is, follow the link to read our article that will help you make an informed decision.
6. Compare business phone and broadband deals.
Using a comparison site to get the best deal doesn’t mean meercats & Oprah singers. They have done a great job at showing how much consumers can save by comparing prices. But for business services you are better using a business comparison, like us!
You can save hundreds per year by switching to a better business broadband and phone provider & it couldn’t be an easier process:
- Fill out the quote request form
- Let us do all the work & find the cheapest suppliers in your area
- Sit back & wait for the quotes to come in.