Telco expert shares must-know tips for businesses
Business telco packages are pretty much all the same. Right? Well, one expert might just have some news for you…
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When you set up your business telco plans, how much thought did you put into it? Be honest.
Did you just pick the cheapest? Go with the brand you know best? Chances are, you didn't spend hours scouring through every plan, product or package on the market.
And I don't blame you. Who's got the time? And aren't they all pretty much the same anyway?
Well, no. Telco packages vary significantly between providers, and in some cases they can be tailored to your specific business needs and can even help support your individual business goals.
To find out how, we caught up with telco expert Mitch Jaffray. Mitch is an Optus business specialist who creates tailored packages for local businesses via Optus Business Plus, a suite of products and services that can be scaled up and down with changing business needs.
Here's what he told us about finding a great-value deal that works for you and your business.
Look beyond the cheapest plan
Consistently picking the cheapest plan might seem like a sure-fire way to save money, but it doesn't guarantee good value.
In fact, Mitch says he once overhauled a mobile package for a business owner who had adopted that exact strategy, but was still spending more money than he had to.
"Each of his employees was using about 15GB each on their mobile plan. He'd put them all on the cheapest plan he could find, which happened to cap them at 20GB each," he told Finder.
But Mitch saw the unused data and found a better solution.
"Across the entire team, he was left with about 600GB of unused data and I knew I could make it cheaper for him straight away by switching him to a mobile package which allows for data sharing between devices and lowering some of the plans."
Think about future support
Another problem with focusing so specifically on the cheapest advertised plan is that it often overlooks the need for urgent support.
"Sometimes business owners will go with companies purely because of the price, which is understandable, but we often see issues with that further down the line," Mitch said.
"When something goes wrong, they may find it's harder to contact someone or there's only an online chat service and there isn't a real person there who can solve the problem. When something goes wrong, or they need help, my customers know they can call me."
This is a challenge that Optus is trying to address with its growing business hubs. Business owners can build meaningful relationships with their dedicated business specialists, who get to know each business, its unique needs and specific challenges.
They can then create tailored solutions through Business Plus and business owners can deal directly with their dedicated specialist, whether that's to resolve issues, update plans or change details.
Look at the bigger picture
Another trick to getting a better deal is to stop looking at each element of your telco services separately and start looking at them as part of a big package instead.
"A lot of people go item by item, so they look at their mobile phones, then their tablets, then their Wi-Fi but when I help a customer create a package, I'm looking at the whole account."
"You can usually find a better deal by stepping back and looking at the whole package, rather than going granularly throughout each item."
Don't forget flexibility
Mitch also encouraged business owners to build flexibility into their business, particularly if they regularly see significant changes in staff numbers.
"With lots of tourist businesses, staff numbers fluctuate all the time," he said. "We have one customer who has 55 mobile broadband SIMs during peak periods but then will pause and restart them throughout the year."
Mitch also says he's seen horror stories of business owners locked into lengthy contracts that cost far more than they have to so if you are going to opt for a long-term plan, make sure you're confident you can't get a better deal elsewhere.
Get expert help
If all of this sounds too confusing, complicated or time-consuming, you're probably not alone. Small business owners already have enough on their plate without starting to worry about the nitty gritty of telco packages.
The good news is you don't have to do it yourself. Increasingly, telco providers are offering expert help and customisable solutions, such as Mitch and Business Plus.
"It can be very intimidating for people to try and figure out the plans but it can be a huge help to go in-store, call up or even go online and talk to an expert who knows this stuff inside out," Mitch said. "With a lot of businesses, there are ways we can find a better deal or make life easier for them."
Get help from an Optus Business Specialist to build a Business Plus package that's truly tailored to your business.