Compare the market to cut your costs
Is it time to renegotiate your service plans? Utility companies rely on the fact customers rarely have the time or inclination to shop around. But slicing $40 a month off your mobile bill adds up to $480 a year.
There are many simple ways to cut overheads by simply searching for a better deal. As a state-owned utility, electricity prices in WA are regulated (and one of the few things in the west that cost below the national average).
But there are plenty of other services for which a few quick phone calls can save you hundreds.
Research firm Canstar Blue found more than 70 per cent of small business owners considered themselves `loyal’ to their phone company, despite 65 per cent acknowledging there were better deals out there. Most said they simply didn’t have time to chase a better deal.
Telecommunications is a hugely competitive field, you can often find a better deal – even from your existing network.
Take a look back through your last four to six months of bills to check your average call and data usage so you know what sort of plan you need. Build in headroom above you highest usage, as exceeding your plan can be a major cost. Consider buying handsets outright, as this can make it easier to change plans.
For fixed line services, internet-based services such as MyNetFone offer systems such as virtual PBX which can link phones at various sites through the same network.
Review your policies each time they come up for renewal. Your business situation will change year-on-year and you may require a different level of cover. Remember any new security you have added may reduce your premiums. This is where having a financial advisor or insurance broker really comes into its own. Industry associations can also allow you to access better insurance deals by buying in bulk.
Keep an eye on the market and talk to nearby businesses to get a good handle on how your deal compares to the going rate. If retail vacancies are rising in the area your business is located, you have a good chance to negotiating a better deal. The WA Development Corporation offers a guide on negotiating your lease.