By Nadine Bourne

Making sales, speaking to your customers and negotiating with suppliers are just a few ways in which your business uses its telephone and broadband service every day. You could say your phone line is how you broadcast your business to the rest of the world.

With this in mind, choosing the right company to connect your business is vital. You want a provider who knows just how important it is that you have a working broadband connection and phone line, who has experience installing lines to business premises and who knows that you need to keep your costs low.

Christian Nellemann, Founder & CEO at XLN said, “Business owners think very hard about small decisions relating to their services, for example should they shut half an hour early this Friday, but don’t give much thought to revisiting the cost of their utilities and the providers they use. I think most people, whether business owners or not, are unaware quite how much money they could save by switching service providers.”

All businesses, both new and existing, need all the help they can get to get the best deal. So where do you start?

1. Low cost doesn’t mean low quality

Don’t assume the cheapest providers supply a worse service. Providers like XLN use BT Openreach to maintain their lines. On the whole, many networks are all the same (BT, TalkTalk & XLN for example) but some connections cost less because the providers pay a discounted wholesale rate and pass the savings on to their customers. This ensures the fairest price for the smallest businesses that need a great service for a lower price.

2. Choose a business specialist

Choose a company which specialises in small business is more important than you may think. If your broadband connection drops or your phone stops working, as a business you will need it fixed immediately. Residential providers simply don’t have the same urgency and turnaround times as a business provider. Your business is too important to risk it just to save a couple of pounds a month with a residential telecoms company.

3. Choose a provider who your business can grow with

As your business grows you may need to change the services you take. Starting out with a dedicated business provider means its less hassle for you when you need to add another line or start taking card payments. A company that offers telecoms systems for slightly larger businesses too is great because you know they’ll allow you to expand later on.

4. Build a relationship

Look for a company that rewards its longstanding customers for their loyalty. You are making an investment by switching so make sure they will give you something back over time, whether it’s advice, expertise for your business or simply money back if you refer your friends to join up too.

5. Get help when you need it

Things rarely go wrong, but if they do, you want a provider with world-class customer service to put your mind at ease. Business providers know how important a speedy turnaround is and as a result they treat you with respect and good communication. Top notch customer service always deals with your issues quickly, politely and explains the process as you go through it.