No matter what the size of your business, you can’t do everything on your own. At some point you will need to employ the help of service providers, be it for your online systems, telephone or payments.

Finding the perfect service provider can be the key to your company’s success. A truly great service provider will help your business grow, while a poor one could stifle your progress. We take a look at the key considerations you should make when searching for your next provider. 

Scalability – Find A Provider That Can Grow As Fast As You

When starting a business, the long term dream is always to expand – that’s revenue, locations and staff. However, sign up with the wrong service provider, and you could find that you dream is hamstrung by a company which lacks your vision. To avoid this, make sure you opt for a large service provider with a good reputation who are able to extend their services to you as you grow. 

There are plenty of questions you should be putting to your service provider in the early days, such as how it can cater for larger volumes of customers, multiple locations and international markets. Don’t be afraid to upfront with the company about what your long term goals are. A good service provider will be able to demonstrate to you that it can not only keep pace, but also help your company realise its vision.

Make sure that the service provider you are considering is able to offer functionality in the future that you may not need yet, but could well require in the long run, and that it can be seamlessly added to your current infrastructure. Also check their levels of support – can they respond quickly to any issues? Do they offer 24/7 support?

Pricing – Pay The Right Price For The Right Service 

When weighing up future service providers, price is bound to play a part in your decision. You might be tempted to go for the cheapest, but that could turn out to be a mistake. Just because a service provider is able to beat competitors with a quote, it doesn’t mean that they’re the best for your business.

There are several factors to consider when it comes to cost. One of the key aspects to look at here is whether the provider chargers a flat fee per month, bills for your monthly usage, or charges per employee. In the case of the latter, service providers will scale their costing according to the size of your company, and you will find yourself paying less per person as your business grows. However, smaller companies may well benefit from paying a flat fee each month.

If you like the look of what a company can offer, but don’t feel that the price is right, let them know. Many service providers have a degree of flexibility within their pricing, and contacting them may well net you a better deal. You can use features that you don’t want as a bargaining tool. If a package has aspects that you know you’ll never use, consider asking the provider to remove them, and adjust its pricing accordingly.

Likewise, committing to a contract length upfront can help you achieve a healthy discount. The longer the contract plan, the better the price for you. However, be sure that the company can meet you current and future needs before committing to a long relationship with them.  

Technology – Modernise Your Business

Be honest, is your company truly taking advantage of modern technology? Tech can not only modernise your business, but also future-proof it, while saving you money at the same time.

Take VoIP for instance, a messaging system that is revolutionising the way that companies communicate with their customers, as well as internally. Replacing traditional phone systems, and ditching the need for dedicated hardware, VoIP allows companies to use existing equipment such as PCs, laptops and smartphones to create virtual phone systems that can be accessed from anywhere, be it in the office, on the road or by remote workers.

VoIP service providers handle the hardware and maintenance, leaving you free to take advantage of dedicated reporting software for your staff, as well as big savings on costs, thanks to making calls over the internet, and eschewing traditional landlines.