December 1, 2009 Budgeting & Reducing Costs Having fun planning your budget? We didn’t think so! Everyone we talk to right now is looking for creative ways to “do more with less”. That’s why we’re sharing three proven strategies that can help you make the most of the dollars in your 2010 business communications budget. Proactively contact your carrier services providers at least 4 months before your contracts expire. In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. If you don’t give the 60-90 days’ notice most providers require to renew, cancel, or change your service, you could: End up stuck in a month-to-month contract with prices up to double of what you pay now Get locked into another long-term agreement that doesn’t address your needs – with hefty early cancellation fees Miss out on new voice and data technology that could save your company money & enhance efficiency ETA can help you make informed decisions about your carrier options with a free communications audit. We leverage our decades of industry expertise and master agent status with close to 20 leading carriers to help you understand the solutions that best fit your business and budget. Don’t purchase technology. No need to re-read that statement, we meant it. The value of technology is in its use, not its ownership. The hardware itself is a poor capital investment because it loses nearly all of its value before you sell or dispose of it. By investing your working capital into depreciating assets, you eliminate the potential for that money to generate positive cash flow back into your business. At ETA, we believe your technology should work for you. It should improve how your business operates and ultimately help increase income. That’s why we developed MyWay™, an innovative managed services model for business phone systems and IT solutions that helps companies take advantage of the latest advances in technology without having to invest significant upfront capital in depreciating assets. MyWay™ can help you free up capital and maximize your budget by eliminating the hefty downpayment, maintenance fees that increase annually, and significant replacement costs associated with traditional purchase programs. Determine which subscription-based communications services are costing you more than they’re worth. On the other side of the coin, there are certain communications technologies that can cost you more to subscribe to than own. We often find that companies pay thousands of dollars per month for basic communications services they could affordably own and easily manage. Web and audio conferencing is a common example. Since most outsourced solutions charge hefty monthly per-user plus per-minute usage fees, in-house solutions can often pay for themselves in as little as 6-12 months. In fact, by financing the solution, companies can even generate positive cash flow while putting an end to long-term costs. Because they’re tailored to your specifications, in-house solutions also provide a high degree of flexibility not available with outsourced providers. ETA can help determine if you’re paying too much for “low maintenance” communications services with a consultative analysis.