When opening a new office for your business, one of the great challenges after finding space is dealing with telecommunications needs. Every business needs internet service, and most will require telephone services, but most telecoms require 36 month agreements to initiate service. So you may be able to find space that offers you a short-term lease, or maybe even a month-to-month program, but procuring traditional telecom services is a different story altogether. Good luck getting a short-term deal there!
So, what are the alternatives to traditional telecom services that require long-term contracts? There’s a few different options here, depending upon your needs. Let’s take a look at a few:
- You are a new business, fly solo and are out of the office almost all of the time – Start with a basic number from Google Voice, Line 2, or even use your cell number. Ensure your voicemail is professional, answer the phone as much as possible, and return calls in a timely fashion.
- You are on the road or out of the office a lot, but need someone to professionally answer your phone – Start with a virtual office program like we offer at Leawood Office Business Center, which gives you professional answering, call transferring, a mailbox and meeting space for when you need it. Agreements can be month-to-month, so you are not tied in to a long-term agreement. Most locations can offering call-transferring to your cell phone so you won’t miss any calls from prospects!
- You are in the office a lot and can answer your own phone calls or don’t mind them going to an auto-attendant – Here you can be in traditional, leased office space, or in an executive suite. If you take traditional office space, set up a cell phone specifically for your business and get a phone number dedicated for your business that you can keep. This might come from the cell phone company, or you can choose to utilize Google Voice or a service like Line 2. If you choose to work out of an executive suite facility, a phone number is often provided with the office. As far as internet service is concerned, here’s where an executive suite is advantageous, as they are almost always going to provide this as part of the office and you won’t be tied in to a long-term agreement. In traditional leased space, this is trickier, but wireless “cards” are probably your best option.
- You are in the office a lot and need your phones professionally answered – Again, an executive suite is advantageous because they can provide the telecom services & phone answering without a long-term telecom contract for you to sign. In traditional lease space, this is where you’ll need to be creative. You could sign with an answering service (or virtual office program) that can answer your calls and patch them to your phone for you, but you’ll still need an internet service provider. The wireless cards can be a great solution in this situation, or you can even consider tethering off of your cell phone for internet service. Just make sure you have an unlimited data plan!
Whether you’re big or small, there’s ways to get around those long-term telecom contracts if you need to – you just have to be a little creative and think outside the box.