If you’re running a small business, finding the time to research suppliers and make changes can be difficult. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, it could cost your business money in the long run.
We’ve created a guide that covers everything you need to know about switching suppliers as a small business owner.
Assessing your current phone service and identifying any issues or areas for improvement
Assessing the business’s current phone service is an important step in determining whether it can meet the needs of your customers and employees. This can involve evaluating factors such as call quality, coverage and reliability, and customer service. Identifying any issues or areas for improvement, including high costs, poor call quality and lack of features that are important to the business, can also be helpful. By identifying any problems with the current phone service, business owners can ensure that they are choosing a provider who meets their specific needs and budget.
Why are you changing suppliers?
The first thing you should do when switching suppliers is to determine why you’re considering doing so. The reason may be as simple as your current supplier is unreliable, or it could be that they’re too expensive and you want to find a better deal. You might also want to focus on other essential aspects of your business, like marketing or operations management. Instead of worrying about whether the phones are working or how much you’re paying for telephone calls.
Negotiating terms and pricing with potential phone service providers
Comparing multiple suppliers is an excellent way to find the right fit for business needs and budgets. This usually involves identifying the products or services a business requires from its suppliers and researching and comparing different options to determine which offers the best value. It’s important to look at many factors, including product quality and price. You may also want to seek recommendations from other businesses or industry experts.
Check the supplier’s credentials
Before doing business with a new supplier, it’s important to ensure they are a registered company. You can check their business name on the Companies House website and ask for proof of registration.
It’s also recommended that you ask for insurance certificates showing that the company has public liability insurance and employee liability insurance.
You should also check to see whether or not your potential supplier is registered with an independent ombudsman service. If they become insolvent or problems occur, customers will get their money back from a third party instead of waiting through court proceedings.
Negotiating terms and pricing with potential suppliers
Small businesses can use negotiations with suppliers to ensure the best deals for their companies. To ensure that a business is happy with its supplier, it should discuss the required products or services. In addition, other important factors—such as delivery times and payment terms—should also be touched upon during these discussions. It can be helpful to clearly understand the market rates for products or services so that if negotiations become necessary, the business will know what its bottom line should be. By negotiating with multiple suppliers, small businesses can get the best deal. It can also be helpful to have a clear idea of the business’s budget and what it is willing to pay for the products or services in question, as this can help to guide negotiations and ensure that your company gets a fair deal.
Get a free quote
The next step is to get a free quote from the new supplier. When you receive the quote, ask for a breakdown of the costs by category (e.g., service, product and quantity). This will help you compare one company’s pricing with another’s and make sure that your new supplier is offering value for money.
Does the supplier tie you into a long-term contract?
If you’re dealing with a trustworthy supplier, its contracts shouldn’t be full of confusing legal jargon and small print. The company should be confident enough in its service that it doesn’t need long-term 1, 2, 3 or even 5-year contracts pushed by its slick commission-paid sales team.
The best suppliers will allow you to switch from one provider to another without being trapped by a long-term contract. If your supplier is unwilling to accept your right to leave without penalty, run away asap.
Why tie your company in legal knots if they don’t believe their service will live up to expectations?
Do they have good customer service?
Starting out, it can be hard to know what kind of customer service is “good.” If you ask your friends and family about their experiences with various companies, chances are they will give you a wide range of answers. But some things make for a better customer experience than others:
- The company has an easy-to-use website
- They respond quickly to emails and phone calls
- They offer complimentary training for new users (or at least have tutorials on YouTube)
Get references from other customers
Asking for references is a great way to ensure that your supplier is the right fit for you. It’s not enough to ask for customer testimonials or reviews—you should speak with real people who have used their services before.
To get the most from this process, follow these steps:
- Check out their reputation online with Trustpilot If you discover that your potential supplier has a negative reputation or history, ask yourself whether it’s worth taking the risk of working with them.
Does the supplier listen to you?
When you are getting to know a supplier, it’s vital that they listen to your needs, understand them and be willing to negotiate. They should also demonstrate a willingness to work with you in the future; this is often called “co-production” or “partnership working”.
This means that they will provide information about their methodology, their processes and how they do business – so that you can see how well they fit into yours.
Changing suppliers can be a big step for a small business, but it may be necessary for your business to succeed.
As a small business owner, you’re under a lot of pressure. You’ve probably got more to worry about than whether or not your calls are coming from the right supplier. But when it comes down to it, finding the right supplier can be the difference between success and failure for your business—and we don’t mean just customer satisfaction or brand loyalty. A poorly chosen supplier can cost you serious money in ways that may surprise you.
Managing the transition to a new supplier
Small businesses can reduce the stress associated with changing suppliers by planning and managing the process. Communicating the change across all levels of your organisation, from employees to internal customers and vendors, is essential to ensure that everyone knows about the transition and how it may affect them. When switching suppliers, it’s a good idea to set up a plan for shifting responsibilities and duties from the old supplier to the new one. This might entail providing training or other types of support. This can help to make the transition as smooth and worry-free as possible. It’s also a good idea to establish clear lines of communication with your new supplier so that you are well-prepared if any problems arise during the transition process.
Phone System Setup and Configuration
It is essential to set up and configure the company’s telephone system properly in order to meet employee and customer needs. This can involve a number of tasks, such as setting up and configuring phone lines, prompts, hunt groups, voicemail, and other features to ensure that they are working properly and are easy to use. It can also involve coordinating with your service provider to troubleshoot problems and ensure that the system is set up correctly.
When making a big change to your phone system, we recommend slowly shifting live calls over the course of several days so that if any problems arise, they can be addressed immediately by your IT team rather than moving all call traffic in one-weekend session.
We hope our blog post has helped you feel more confident about changing suppliers. We know it can be challenging, but we think you’ve got what it takes to make the most informed choice possible and ensure your business continues growing. If there’s anything else we can do, just let us know!