If you’re running your own small business, you need to be careful with your budget, which is usually limited (if it’s not, then good for you!). Here are some simple steps you can take to lower your costs for common expenses like phone and Internet bills.
The first thing to do is take a close look at each of your bills. Often there are “hidden” fees or other charges that could be avoided. If any fees look suspicious, or if there are any charges you don’t recognize, note them down on a piece of paper or highlight them on your bill.
Now, call the company and tell the customer service person that you’ve been a customer for X number of years and you’re concerned about the amount you are paying each month. And then simply say this: “Is there any way you can help me to lower my monthly charges?”
You may be surprised to find that the company has offers or different packages available that you’re not aware of. Many people make this call to their phone companies every 12 months, just to find out if there are any new and cheaper options that will work for them.
If your provider does not have any new options that will work for you, then this would be the time to mention any extra fees you may have found on your bills. If you don’t know what any of these charges are, ask them to explain the charges to you. Does everyone get charged these fees? If not, what does it take to be one of those people who do not get charged these fees?
If you can find an offer from a competing company for the same service at a lower price, gather all the information you can about the offer, including where you saw it advertised, and call up your current provider. Tell them that you’ve seen an offer from their competitor that costs less than what you are currently paying. Ask them if they will match the offer. If they value your business, it’s quite likely they will.
Of course, you can always threaten to switch to another provider. You may be surprised by how hard they try to keep you as a customer.
But be warned: Many discounted offers last only for a limited time. Make sure you know what it will cost you once the discounted price expires and your account is bumped up to the regular price.
Make sure you don’t get talked into taking on more services than you need, just because the limited-time offer is a good price. If the regular price you’ll be paying later is too high, then it’s not worth it for you. And be careful not to sign any term contracts that will lock you in for longer than you’re comfortable.
Go through this process for each of your bills and you may find yourself spending much less this year for phone service, Internet service, and any other service you may use regularly.