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Ready to part with your landline?

In recent years, the traditional landline phone, once a household staple, has faced a steady decline in usage across the UK.

The average household now uses their landline phone for as little as 35 minutes per week. This has dropped considerably in the last two years – by almost a quarter!

With the emergence of advanced technology and the rapid expansion of broadband networks, the era of landline phones is approaching its twilight. However, this isn’t a change to be feared – it’s one for us all to embrace.

A Lightning-Fast Future is Coming

The UK’s major broadband providers have set their sights on a transformative journey, signalling substantial changes post-2025 that could shape the future of telecommunications for good.

The narrative of landline phones losing their prominence in UK households has been gradually unfolding. We’ve all slowly become more mobile-focused, especially in the last 10 years.

There are now as many as 111.8 million mobile phone subscriptions across the UK. No one needs to stay tethered to their landline cord or get wrapped up in knots trying to pace the room when we have the flexibility of mobile phones.

Why Has Landline Phone Use Declined?

Aside from the rise in mobile, what else has knocked landline phones off the top spot?

  • Technological advancements: High-speed internet and the availability of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services have become much more enhanced and widely available.
  • Demographic shifts: Younger generations tend to rely more on mobile and internet-based communication, which goes hand in hand with our previous point mentioned above.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Landline phone services are often perceived as less cost-effective compared to bundled mobile or internet packages, especially nowadays.

Post-2025 Plans for Landline Phones

All major UK broadband providers are preparing for a significant shift in their offerings post-2025.

As part of a forward-looking strategy, these providers have already made some transformative plans.

The plans include:

Phasing Out Traditional Landline Services

Broadband giants are gradually phasing-out conventional phone services. One way that they are doing this is by subtly encouraging customers to switch from ADSL to full fibre.

Enhanced VoIP Integration

Providers are poised to bolster their VoIP offerings, elevating them to primary communication solutions for households and businesses. This strategic shift aims to deliver feature-rich, reliable, and cost-effective voice services over broadband connections.

Investment in Broadband Infrastructure

Anticipating the increased demand for robust broadband connectivity, providers are working hard to expand and enhance broadband infrastructure. This includes bringing full fibre connections to as much of the UK as possible and improving VoIP capabilities.

Will I Lose Access to my Landline Phone?

Despite the race to implement speedy VoIP technology officially being on, it won’t suddenly cut off your landline access – but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually!

Say if for example, you took out a new broadband deal today, by the time you come to switch or renew, your landline phone will likely be redundant.

Any further broadband deals after this time will no longer be bundled with a landline phone and internet speeds needed for VoIP will ne promptly considered.

Are There Any Downfalls to Know About?

Recently, concerns were raised by MPs about how effective the nationwide transition to VoIP will be.

Vulnerable bill payers that still rely on their landline phone will face the biggest loss, especially during bouts of extreme weather.

This is because internet connections can be affected by extreme weather, whereas in comparison, landlines are unfaltering.

Embracing the Landline Switch-Off

The impending ‘big switch off’ will significantly change the way consumers and businesses communicate.

In our opinion, it’s for the better, too!

We’ve outlined the main benefits of switching to VoIP below:

Cost Savings

VoIP call charges are significantly lower, especially for long-distance communication. To put it into perspective, landline calls can cost up to 20p per minute, whereas VoIP calls only cost 1.5p per minute.

Flexibility and Mobility

VoIP enables flexibility as calls can be made from any internet-connected device, allowing users to stay connected even while on the go. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for remote workers.

Advanced Features

VoIP systems often come with a range of advanced features such as voicemail-to-email transcription, call forwarding, conference calling and many more.

Scalability

One for business owners – the scalability of VoIP! Businesses are able to add or remove lines as needed without requiring significant infrastructure changes, making it adaptable and flexible.

Integration with Technology

VoIP integrates seamlessly with other technologies and software, enabling easier collaboration through video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.

Enhanced Accessibility

VoIP systems can offer accessibility features which cater to diverse user needs, including options for individuals with disabilities.

Geographical Flexibility: Another one for the business owners! With VoIP, businesses can have phone numbers from different area codes, providing a local presence in multiple regions without physical office locations or hefty calling charges.

Say Goodbye to Landline and Switch to VoIP

The shift away from landline phones signifies a transformative moment in the UK’s communication landscape.

The time has come to bid farewell to the landline phone and embrace a future where robust broadband connections pave the way for an interconnected world.

Switch Experts is committed to keeping you informed about the evolving trends in communication and technology. Stay connected for more updates and insights.

You can also get a head start by searching for the best prices on the latest broadband deals in your area.

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Everything You Need to Know About Leased Lines

­If you’re facing constant operational downtime due to wobbly internet, it might be time to consider upgrading to a leased line.

In today’s tech-driven environment, businesses heavily rely on seamless connectivity.

Without a high speed connection, it becomes difficult to succeed.

Even brief interruptions in connectivity can significantly impact productivity and profitability for both small and large businesses.

Did you know that a total of 149 million working hours are lost every year across the UK as a result of poor broadband.

Just imagine how much this costs in wasted productivity!

What is a Leased Line?

A leased line is not just any ordinary internet connection—it’s your ticket to a world of unrivalled connectivity.

Picture this: a high-capacity, exclusive fibre-optic connection solely dedicated to your business needs, delivering lightning-fast and ultra-reliable internet speeds.

Unlike standard broadband, a leased line isn’t shared with your neighbours or other businesses.

It’s a personalised expressway to the digital realm, ensuring you get 100% of the bandwidth, guaranteeing stability and security for your online operations.

It’s especially beneficial for bandwidth-intensive services like VoIP telephony, Cloud-based apps, and heavy data sharing.

Think of it as a digital lifeline—symmetrical upload and download speeds ensure seamless data flow, even during peak times or bandwidth-heavy tasks.

It’s the ace up your sleeve, allowing your team to work without the frustrating lag or interruptions that hamper productivity.

The Business Benefits of A Leased Line

Simply put, a leased line is the gold standard of connectivity.

Think of each deal as a bespoke solution tailor-made to empower your business.

Below we’ve gone into detail describing each benefit:

1. Reliable Connectivity

Leased lines provide unparalleled reliability, ensuring a stable internet connection. This reliability minimizes downtime, allowing businesses to operate smoothly without interruptions.

2. Symmetrical Speeds

Enjoy symmetrical upload and download speeds – a feature that standard broadband often lacks. Symmetry is particularly key for businesses requiring high-speed uploads.

3. Enhanced Productivity

With robust internet, you can work more efficiently. Tasks that rely heavily on Wi-Fi speed, like video conferencing and accessing Cloud-apps, become seamless.

4. Scalability

Leased lines offer scalability, allowing businesses to easily increase bandwidth as and when they need. As operations expand, having a scalable internet connection ensures smooth growth without disruption.

5. Security and Privacy

Leased lines offer increased security and privacy. Since the line is dedicated solely to your business, it provides a more secure connection, reducing the risk of cyber threats and ensuring sensitive data remains protected.

6. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Leased line contracts often come with SLAs, guaranteeing uptime and a rapid resolution of issues. As a direct result, you can expect less disruptions and prompt support if any problems arise.

7. Support for Remote Work

With the rise of remote work, a leased line enables seamless connectivity for remote employees. Consequently, this ensures they have access to the same reliable internet as those in the office.

8. Improved Customer Experience

Consistent and reliable internet connectivity translates into better customer service. Businesses can deliver uninterrupted services to clients, enhancing their overall experience.

9. Future-Proofing

Investing in a leased line ensures your business is prepared for future advancements and increased data demands. This makes evolving and growing so much easier.

10. Competitive Advantage

The advantages of a leased line, such as reliability, speed, and scalability, provide businesses with a competitive edge. It enables them to operate efficiently and effectively, positioning them ahead of competitors.

Should I Upgrade From Normal Broadband?

We’ll help you decide if a leased line plan is what your business needs.

However, if what you’ve read has already resonated with you – maybe it’s time to consider an upgrade now!

Every business would benefit from lightning-fast internet, as well as dedicated support in the event of downtime, but you should also consider the following.

Do you prioritise top-level security for sensitive data?

Are you planning an expansion or scale up soon?

Is a consistent connection needed for remote staff or different site locations too?

If you answered yes, we think your business could be revolutionised with a leased line deal.

Unbreakable internet could change the way you work, making it worth every penny.

How to Switch Today

You’re in luck with Switch Experts!

Discovering the perfect leased line deal becomes an effortless journey with the aid of our team.

One of our dedicated agents will speak to you to understand your business’s internet needs.

Following this, we will recommend the best suppliers and helping you make an informed decision.

This could also include looking at additional business services for a bargain price, such as VoIP, mobile and more.

Once you’ve chosen the right plan, let us take the reins! We will guide and coordinate the transition to your selected leased line service.

Embrace this hassle-free switching process by getting started today to find deals from the latest leased line suppliers.

Our website is listed in uklistings.org – Greater Manchester Business Listings

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Fostering an eco-friendly business

With UK businesses being collectively responsible for 18% of the country’s total carbon emissions, it’s understandable why so many brands are rushing to make a positive eco-friendly difference.

Not only will you be playing a significant role in caring for the planet, but there are a lot of benefits to implementing more eco-friendly business practices.

Simple, easy, and incredibly advantageous.

Below, our experts have explained why and how your business should be implementing green measures.

Why should I introduce eco-friendly business practices?

Whether you run a large business or an SME, eco-friendly habits will benefit you in a range of ways.

Companies that choose to invest in energy efficiency measures benefit from cost reductions, improved sustainability/productivity, and an overall better brand reception.

Did you know that 61% of people aged 22-35 would be willing to spend more with an eco-friendly business?

EON also found that 72% of people pay attention to whether or not a business acts in a climate-friendly way.

This might refer to your employees too.

Who wouldn’t be proud to represent an eco-friendly business?

Nurturing an eco friendly business environment

A little goes a long way, and your efforts are appreciated more than you realise.

What’s more, you will see your energy bills drop drastically when you follow our advice below, as you naturally start burning through less electricity.

We recommend taking the following steps to help you build an eco-friendly business environment.

  1. Firstly, Conduct an Energy Audit

Conducting a thorough energy audit will keep you informed and engaged.

This makes it easier to identify areas for improvement from the get-go.

Through your audit, you’re likely to find  more advice and guidance on implementing the behaviour of staff.

An energy audit can save businesses significant amounts of energy, money, and improve efficiency.

  1. Start Small by Repairing and Replacing Small Appliances

Implementing eco-friendly business measures such as LED lighting, insulation, and energy-efficient technologies can save companies thousands of pounds per year in energy costs.

For instance, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lighting can provide energy savings of up to 70%.

Smart heating, or heating timers, could save you up to 30% per year.

Invest in these appliances once and you’ll quickly make the money back in how much you save on your bills.

  1. Next, Consider More Drastic Changes to Equipment and Energy Sources

This might be a bit more of a long-term overhaul project, but still a critical one.

If your workplace has a lot of computers, machinery or servers constantly plugged in, this will drain energy – but we understand that they can’t be turned off!

Look into energy-efficient computers, monitors, and printers, and consider power saving timer settings.

If you rely on servers, maybe it could also be time to look at moving to the Cloud.

You should also see if your business would be eligible for a solar panel grant.

  1. Go Paperless and Proud!

Paperless offices are much more common than you might think.

Going paperless is not just a trend; it’s a transformative shift that offers numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes.

Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but going paperless also helps you to save on costs and improve efficiency.

By digitizing documents, processes become streamlined, storage space is freed up, and the environmental impact is minimized.

With modern technology and secure cloud storage, making the transition is easier than ever.

  1. Educate Employees

Install signs around your workplace to remind staff to reuse, reduce and recycle.

For example, you could introduce a competition that motivates your employees.

Encouraging staff to turn off lights and equipment before leaving for the day, carpooling to work, and utilizing public transport are all great ways to promote energy efficiency.

Make a significant step in the right direction and start introducing some of our suggested practises today.

In conclusion, nurturing an eco-friendly business is a win-win situation.

Save on your other business bills

We’ve made it easy to save money and time when looking for a new deal on a range of business services.

From broadband to mobile, VoIP to waste management, we can help you score a new deal.

We have a whole team of business experts ready to help you switch and save hundreds on your bills every year.

Get in touch today and start searching new offers on any service you need.

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Do you need business broadband?

Business broadband is a dynamic solution for professionals who rely on the internet.

The internet has evolved into the foundation of both personal and professional life in today’s interconnected society.

Reliable broadband is necessary for handling critical corporate processes as well as streaming our favourite television shows.

Did you know that as of 2023, there are 28.1 million fixed broadband lines running up and down the UK?

Of course, we’re all familiar with Wi-Fi for our homes.

However, are these plans suitable for business owners?

In this blog, we’ll examine the major distinctions between business broadband and residential broadband and explain how the right deal will completely transform your company.

What makes business broadband different?

Business owners need strong, reliable, and consistent internet speeds.

As a result, broadband deals that are designed for business use come with a guarantee of high-speeds and minimal downtime.

You also receive dedicated customer service should the unexpected happen.

Typically, this means a more expensive cost too – but we’ll explain why it’s worth every penny.

Benefits of business broadband

Here’s why you should invest in a business broadband plan:

Enhanced dependability and Uptime

The major goal of business broadband is to maintain a high level of dependability. Business broadband providers often provide solid Service Level Agreements (SLAs), in contrast to household broadband, which may be more susceptible to speed variations during peak hours. These SLAs provide minimal downtime and fast reaction times. You also receive a powerful router and a static IP address, allowing you to host your own server, website and more.

Symmetrical Upload and Download Speeds.

The symmetry in upload and download speeds is one of the key distinctions between commercial and home broadband. We all love to stream music and films with speed at home, however, symmetrical upload and download rates are essential in a professional situation where data is handled. Ultrafast internet enhances file sharing, cloud-based collaboration, and video conferencing.

Enhanced Security and Data Protection

Businesses have very different security needs than the average household. To protect sensitive data from online dangers and unauthorised access, business broadband services frequently include cutting-edge security measures, such as strong firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and encryption methods. A secure business internet connection is now essential to protect your precious assets due to the rise in cyberattacks that target businesses.

Flexibility and Scalability

As a company expands, so do its bandwidth needs. The scalability and flexibility of business broadband services enable you to update or modify plans as necessary. Business internet can adapt to your company’s shifting needs, ensuring that you’re always prepared to take on new challenges, whether you’re adding more staff, moving to new locations, or adopting bandwidth-intensive apps.

More Cost Effective Than you Think

If you’re struggling with downtime because of bad Wi-Fi, the cost quickly pays off! Although business broadband is typically more costly, we’re here to help you find an affordable deal.  It’s also important to remember that your business broadband bills may be classed as a business expense.

What else Should I Look for in a Business Broadband Deal?

Just like your home broadband deal which may come bundled with your landline, your business broadband deal can also include a VoIP system.

If you haven’t already transitioned to VoIP over landline, it’s crucial to start considering it! VoIP lets you host seamless conference calls remotely and guarantees clear audio quality with every call.

If you’re running a large business with 100+ employees relying on fast internet, we consider looking into a leased line connection.

This is a dedicated fibre connection that runs directly to your premises.

If I’m Self-Employed, Can I use Home Broadband?

Even if you’re self-employed, or working from home, you should still consider a professional broadband plan.

You get to enjoy all the benefits mentioned above, plus it becomes easier to keep your work and personal internet usage separate.

This is especially true if you live with other people connected to your internet – you don’t want to experience bandwidth hogging when you’re busy with work!

What do Our Business Experts Think?

Although providing internet connectivity is the same objective for both home and business broadband, they are designed to meet different demands.

A home of four Netflix users certainly shouldn’t be on the same plan as an internet-reliant business of 10+ employees!

With its exceptional dependability, symmetrical speeds, specialised support, cutting-edge security, and scalability, business broadband stands out.

By giving your employees the resources they need to succeed in today’s fast-paced environment, investing in a business-grade internet connection is an investment in your future success.

We’re here to help you take advantage of the full potential of business broadband, achieving growth in a world where staying connected is essential.

Find a new Broadband plan Tailored to your Business

Using our free deal checking tool, you can find the latest business broadband deals in your area today.

Our team of experts are on-hand to guide through the entire switch.

We can also help you consider other business solutions to help you thrive.

These include VoIP, mobile, card payment machines and more.

Get started today and optimise your business for less.

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Every business generates some kind of waste

Where would we all be without our bins?

In a state of calamity, that’s for sure!

It’s predicted that businesses across the UK generate a total of 44 million tonnes of waste every year.

With the right disposal system in place, you can ensure that you’re fully compliant with environmental regulations and keep your workplace safe and clean.

As a side note, you could save a lot more money too!

What does waste disposal mean?

Business waste disposal is the process of removing and disposing of waste generated by businesses. This includes materials such as paper, plastics, and hazardous waste.

Proper disposal is essential for environmental responsibility and compliance with regulations.

Waste management companies provide specialized services to collect and dispose of various types of waste.

As a business owner, you likely know that waste disposal is an essential part of your operations – regardless of your company size or industry!

However, not all waste disposal deals are created equal, and shopping around can help you find the best option for your business.

Here’s why you should be taking your businesses waste disposal needs seriously and see if you could be on a better deal.

How have prices changed recently?

Commercial waste disposal costs in the UK have been increasing in recent years.

The cost of landfill tax has been rising annually, which has resulted in higher prices for businesses to dispose of their waste.

Additionally, due to changes in China’s import policies on waste, the UK has seen an increase in demand for domestic waste management services, leading to increased costs.

Some businesses have responded by investing in waste reduction strategies or seeking out more affordable disposal options.

It’s always helpful to see how you can increase recycling practices across your workplace too.

You can always do more for the environment, and it comes with reputational and cost saving benefits.

Quick tips to help your business recycle more:

  • Implement a recycling program: Set up recycling bins in common areas and provide clear instructions on what can and cannot be recycled. Make it easy for employees to recycle by placing bins in convenient locations
  • Conduct a waste audit: Conduct an assessment of the waste generated by your business to identify areas where you can reduce and recycle more
  • Use recycled products: Use recycled paper products, such as paper towels, napkins, and printer paper
  • Reduce packaging waste: Encourage suppliers to use minimal packaging and consider purchasing products in bulk to reduce packaging waste
  • Donate or reuse materials: Donate items that are still in good condition to charities or reuse them in-house. This can include furniture, electronics, and office supplies
  • Provide employee education and incentives: Educate employees on the importance of recycling and provide incentives for those who consistently recycle and reduce waste.

By implementing these simple steps, businesses can increase their recycling efforts and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.

Why you should switch waste collectors

Our experts have explained the top benefits of shopping around for waste disposal deals.

By shop around, we simply mean not just sticking with the first deal you find.

When you use our service, you don’t have to shop around – we do it for you!

The main reasons why our business customers switch plans:

  • Cost savings. One of the main reasons to switch waste disposal deals is to save money. Different waste management companies charge different rates for their services, and by shopping around, you can compare prices and find the best deal for your budget. Moreover, some providers offer discounts for long-term contracts or for businesses that generate a significant amount of waste.
  • Customized service. Ever felt like your bins aren’t emptied enough? We can find you an arrangement that is tailored to your specific business needs. For example, if your business generates hazardous waste, you’ll need a provider that specializes in handling these materials. Likewise, if your company generates a lot of organic waste, you may benefit from a composting service. By finding a provider that can meet your unique needs, you can ensure that your waste is disposed of responsibly.
  • Environmental responsibility. Ethical environmental practices are becoming increasingly important for businesses, as consumers and stakeholders demand sustainable practices. By comparing waste disposal partners, you can find a brand that prioritizes sustainability and offers eco-friendly solutions. For example, do you currently recycle enough or could you have more bins?
  • Compliance with regulations. Proper waste disposal is not only essential for environmental responsibility, but also for ensuring your compliance with regulations. Depending on the type of waste your business generates, you may be subject to laws that dictate how you must handle, store, and transport your waste. By finding a reputable waste disposal provider, you can ensure that your business complies with all applicable regulations, avoiding costly fines and legal issues.
  • Reputation and customer service. Finally, shopping around ensures that YOU receive the best service too. With our help, you can rest assured that you’ve picked a disposal company with a stellar reputation and reliable customer service. Good customer service can make a significant difference to your waste disposal experience, giving you flexibility and peace of mind that your bins will always be emptied on time, and issues are promptly resolved.

In conclusion, if you want to find a cheap, customised, and fully compliant waste disposal service, you should do your research beforehand.

Or, like we previously mentioned, let us do it for you!

What makes a good bin & waste disposal partner?

The top three qualities our business customers look for in their waste management partner are:

  • Outstanding environmental practices
  • A tailored, reliable and regular service
  • Fixed, low monthly prices.

With over 40 waste disposal suppliers to pick from across the UK, we understand it can quickly become overwhelming.

There’s no need to fret when our experts can find a deal for you!

We look at plans from leading commercial waste management providers nationwide and tailor deals to your exact needs/ bin preferences.

Ready to find your new waste disposal partner?

By letting us help you find the right provider, you can streamline your waste management operations and focus on growing your business.

If you’re still a fairly new brand, it’s definitely in your best interests to compare with expert help.

There are regulations to meet and daily requirements you want to get right – plus it’s entirely free to discuss with our team!

Start searching waste disposal deals in a click today.

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Is a SIM plan right for you?

Unlike smartphone contracts that come with a brand-new handset, a SIM-only plan refers solely to your mobile usage. 

If you’re happy with your current mobile handset, and also looking to cut your monthly expenses, a SIM-only plan could be exactly what you need. 

Our experts have covered the main benefits below to help you decide.

1. Money Saving

Compared to smartphone contracts, SIM-only plans can be ridiculously cheap. Especially when you consider the eye-watering monthly cost for the newest smartphone on the market, which could be up to a shocking £90.

For example, one of the specialist suppliers we work with, Neatley, offer a completely unlimited SIM deal for just £24.95 per month.

Compare this to the average contract bill of £50+, you’re guaranteed to save money. Switch today and you’ll soon see the savings add up.  

2. Good Credit Building – Even if you Don’t Have it

When you apply for a mobile contract, your credit rating is checked.

Having a poor credit rating means you’re likely to struggle in finding a mobile network to accept you. This is because a mobile contract works similarly to a credit agreement, with monthly payments planned to cover the cost of the handset itself.

SIM-only plans are a much lower risk to the network, so the requirements for signing up are a lot laxer.

Say you have bad credit at the moment, then getting a SIM plan will actually help you improve your score – especially if you choose a 12-month or more deal. 

Paying your SIM plan price every month helps to strengthen your rating, as you’re proving to the network that you’re a financially responsible customer. 

By the end of your SIM plan, you should have built up a fairly respectable credit score for yourself – AND saved money for your next handset!

3. Business Benefits

Business owners – you could benefit from a SIM deal too.

It’s a cheap way to keep your professional and personal life separate, such as using a second mobile number for clients to call. SIM plans are also incredibly flexible and can grow with your business as and when it needs to.

We’ve compared mobile networks offering specialist plans to small business owners. 

4. Flexibility

Aside from the low price, the biggest benefit of SIM plans is undoubtedly the flexibility they give you.

Rather than being tied down to an expensive contract for 2 years or more, SIM plans can be tailored. No one can predict where life will take them in that time, so a SIM plan could offer you peace of mind.

You also get the freedom of choosing which mobile network to go with, despite which network you originally took your phone out with. 

There’s also the complete control over your usage. Regardless of what’s most important to you (be it data, texts, 5G access etc), we’ll find you a fair-priced plan that meets all your needs.

Besides, unlimited mobile data is a lot cheaper nowadays! 

Find a new SIM-only deal

Happy with your device but not the usage allowance?

Nearing the end of your contract and looking to cut costs?

These are perfect examples of situations in which it would be wise to get a SIM.

We’ve already compared mobile providers for you. Get started with a few clicks and find your new deal today.

Could you save on your broadband bills next?

Search the latest broadband offers.

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VoIP is the future of the telephone

You’ll likely have heard all about the national landline switch off by now.

Don’t get left behind – you’ve only got two years to prepare!

With the right VoIP solution, you can revolutionise and streamline the way you work.

Is VoIP right for my business?

Regardless of your industry, you’ll find that there’s a lot of ways in which the right VoIP system supports your productivity.

As with all business suppliers, it’s important that you compare before you buy – especially if you’re new to VoIP.

Noisy office environment? Make high quality conference calls to remote staff.

Want to re-route customer calls? Create a seamless self-service phone option. We’ve got deals from every VoIP supplier in one place, so you can find a new deal with ease. Speak to our experts for professional advice today.

Small business? VoIP could be an asset to you too

Don’t overlook VoIP – it’s not just for big teams or large businesses!

In fact, recent research finds that more than one-third of all businesses now use a VoIP phone system.

The vast majority of those being businesses have less than 50 employees, proving you don’t need to be a large brand to access the best tech.

What is VoIP and how does it work?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is internet-based phone system.

Instead of transmitting voice conversations over copper phone lines, you make calls through the internet.

Although it might sound technical, it’s simpler than you realise – and not too dissimilar to Skype.

If you have internet, you’re already halfway there!

Not only will VoIP replace your traditional business landline, but you can also make calls from your laptop, mobile or other smart devices.

All of this happens instantaneously.

Benefits of VoIP

There are several reasons why more businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems, which don’t necessarily revolve around cost.

Call quality

VoIP calls don’t use a lot of bandwidth, which means you get to enjoy clear and crisp audio quality. As long as you have stable internet, your calls will be higher quality than landline.

Simple installation

In addition to better sound quality, the cloud is also making VoIP a more viable option for small businesses.

Rather than having to install special equipment or wiring, companies can simply choose a cloud-hosted VoIP phone solution. This means you don’t need to buy any more equipment or employ IT staff to maintain it.

Ease of use

VoIP systems are very user-friendly. You also get a dedicated level of customer service from your supplier, in the rare event of any downtime.

Flexibility

Depending on your needs, you can scale up or down with ease.

This is especially true if you choose a cloud-based solution, which is easy to tailor and grows with your business. Say you hire new employees and need more phone lines – it can easily be arranged with your supplier!

Remote connectivity

One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is that it allows you to collaborate seamlessly with remote staff. Your team can take their business phone line anywhere they go, meaning higher rates of productivity.

You can also stay in close contact with your customers on the go by having business calls re-routed to your personal mobile.

Cost benefits

Cost is another reason businesses are making the switch from landline.

VoIP technology can also be relatively low cost, making it ideal for small businesses – but you still need to research before you commit!

Most VoIP providers charge a monthly fee per-user, making it a lot cheaper to maintain than old-school landline systems.

Add-ons

VoIP plans are highly customisable. It’s crucial you compare and research beforehand to make sure you pick a deal with the right features for your business.

These include conference calls, call logging and routing, customer insight, call recording, a virtual receptionist and many more.

You can even integrate VoIP systems with other business services, like email.

We can also find you a solution to disguise your personal mobile number for professional use – so you can still work on the go.

Ready to find a VoIP deal?

We’ve got every VoIP plan from every supplier in one place.

The package you choose will significantly impact price, features and installation – all of which we can help you consider.

Compare VoIP suppliers for free.

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Is it time to go cashless?

As a small business owner, one way to engage more customers is by having a range of cashless ways to pay.

The slight drawback is card payment fees you then accumulate.

We’ve explained below everything you need to know about making your business cashless, including what sort of charges to expect.

What do I get charged per transaction?

With each card payment, you can expect to pay 1.5 – 3.5% of the sale. This depends on what type of card your customer uses, or whether they use a card at all (mobile payments).

Credit cards tend to cost more than debit cards – and cardless payments cost even more.

On top of this, transaction fees will be around 1-3% of each sale.

There are also authorisation fees, which take between 1 – 3p per sale.

Amex transaction fees can be up to a whopping 4% – which makes it understandable why a lot of small business owners refuse them.

Finally, merchant service charges can be around 0.25% to 0.35%.

These are just the fees associated with each sale – there’s still a few more prices you face!

Extra charges to know about

Card machines cost around £30 – £80 upfront and the set up should be just under £100.

On a monthly basis, you will pay up to around £30 a month for service fees and merchant account fees (however, these monthly fees depend on your provider and also the total money made from transactions).

Last but most certainly not least is the PCI compliance fee, which will never be more than £5 a month – but you must never go without unless your supplier pre-pays.

Can I save or cut back?

The provider you’re with has a huge impact on price, so you’ll need to compare and find the best for your business. Examples of providers to choose from include WorldPay, Zettle, Square, PayPal and Barclaycard Anywhere.

Comparison really is crucial, given how wildly prices can vary. You’ll find that a lot of providers offer special discounts for small businesses.

It’s also important you investigate hidden fees, like chargebacks and refunds (which can cost up to a £1 a go!).

Is it worth the fees?

Having a cashless payment option is absolutely essential.

Mobile and contactless payments are only on the rise, so you want to appeal to every audience.

A staggering 57% of all payments made last year across the UK were on cards, and 32% were contactless.

Making your business a cashless site also has a lot of safety and efficiency benefits.

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Business Water Bills

Repost from MoneyExpert.

Could you be overpaying on business water?

Since April 2017, the business water market in England was deregulated, fully opening up to competition.

From then on, businesses have been able to choose which company they want to buy their retail water services from.

This includes a variety of services, like billing, account management, meter reading and water efficiency advice.

Ofwat closely monitor and regulate the market to protect business customers, for example by setting limits on the price that customers pay if they don’t switch or renegotiate a new deal.

How does the business water market work?

The market works much like other open utility markers, like for gas and electricity. Retail suppliers buy wholesale services, such as the physical supply of water or the removal of wastewater. They then offer packages to sell to their business customers.

Who are the market’s key players?

  • Retail suppliers – these suppliers compete for your custom.
  • Wholesalers – the companies which own and operate the network of water pipes, mains and treatment works. They sell water and wastewater services to the retail suppliers.
  • Open Water – this is the government’s programme which aims to open the new business retail market. Open Water is led by three organisations – Ofwat, Defra and MOSL. The programme shares information about the market with business customers.
  • Defra – the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Ofwat – they are the economic regulatory body for the water sector. They are also the market’s licensing authority. In order to offer water services to customers, suppliers must first be awarded a license by Ofwat.
  • MOSL – the Market Operator, who makes sure that the market functions simply and efficiently. They facilitate the transfer of customer information when said customer switches retail supplier.
  • WICS – the Water Industry Commission for Scotland is responsible for regulating the water market in Scotland.

Changing water supplier – what are the benefits?

Switching to a new water supplier comes with a host of benefits for your business. For example:

  • You can request consolidated and electronic billing, making your water bill easier to pay back. What’s more, you can ask for more frequent bills, allowing you to monitor more closely your business’ water usage.
  • You can also obtain consumption and billing data to whatever standard you would prefer, including online self-service.
  • You may also receive better customer service, as you would have the choice of competing your supply, rather than receiving customer service just from your local supplier.
  • You could save money by choosing a more cost-effective supplier.
  • If you have multiple sites in different areas, you could streamline your bills by choosing one supplier for all sites.

How to switch

The process of switching water suppliers is easy and simple, so it’s well worth doing if you want to take advantage of all of the benefits that come with it.

  1. Find the right supplier for your business: Write down everything that you’re looking for in a water supplier, from good customer service to getting help with water efficiency. You should then look through Open Water’s online catalogue of providers to find one that meets all your requirements.
  2. Get a quote: when you’ve found your ideal supplier, make sure their price is also ideal for your business. Have your Supply Point Identification (SPID) number on hand. You can find this on your latest water bill.
  3. Sign up: sign an agreement with your new supplier. Normally, they will contact your current supplier to let them know that you’re moving. When switching supplier, you will need the following essential information on hand:
    • Your organisation’s name
    • Your business’ address, including postcode
    • Your annual water consumption
    • Contact name at the premises
    • Contact phone number for your premises
    • Desirable but not essential is your unique property reference number, demand profile and annual spend

How to increase your business’ water efficiency

Water is a precious and finite source – less than 3% of earth’s water is fresh, and only 0.3% is readily accessible. In the UK, businesses account for 25% of water usage, so it’s important that every business is conscious of how much they’re using.

Benefits of water efficiency

  • Saving water can cut down your energy bill, as the two are closely linked. For example, when you run a tap, energy is used to pump the water.
  • You can save other resources too. It takes five litres of water to run a lightbulb or one plastic bottle. Reducing your business’ water consumption can therefore help you save in other areas.
  • The less water you use, the bigger savings you will see on your bill. Even the smallest changes can have a tangible impact.

Understanding your current water usage

Before you can come up with a plan to become more water efficient, you need to understand your current consumption. This can help you to understand how and where water is being used on your premises, allowing you to target key areas.

  • Take a meter reading: take these readings frequently over one month, at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Look at your previous bills: if you notice that your consumption varies a lot without there being any obvious reason for this, then leaking of faulty equipment might be the culprit, or your bill might be inaccurate. If this is the case, then further water audit or an investigation may be required.

Implementing water saving devices

Taps:

  • Automatic taps: these can save you up to 70% compared to manual taps. This is because a lot of water is wasted when a tap is turned off and on manually. With an automatic sensor, it takes 0.5 seconds to turn a tap off and on. These taps also remove the problem of drips.
  • Spray taps: these can also save you up to 70%. With spray taps, water is forced through small hole filters, creating a spray. This decreases the amount of water that runs through your taps.

Toilets:

  • Dropping cistern water: this is often done by placing a brick in the cistern and can save up to 5,000 litres of water per year.
  • Dual flush technology: this can save up to 70% of water.
  • Passive infrared sensor: this can save up to 75% of water involved in flushing urinals.

Other things to think about:

  • Banning bottled water: by replacing bottled water with water fountains, you can reduce your water costs by as much as 50%
  • Rainwater storage tanks: you can save money by capturing and recycling rainwater. We get plenty of it in the UK, so why not exploit it? Storage tanks range in size, so you can get the right one to suit your business premises.

 

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Energy business bills

Re-posted from Edit.net.

Could you see a reduction in your business energy bills?

Government measures to combat spiralling energy costs across non-domestic sectors have now come into force, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirming that businesses could see costs slashed by more than half for the next six months.

“Halve the costs of electricity for businesses”

The former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg unveiled the Energy Bill Relief Scheme back in September, in a bid to more than halve the projected costs of electricity and gas for businesses, charities and public sector organisations.

Equivalent to support through the Energy Price Guarantee, it provides a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all eligible non-domestic customers who were facing soaring energy costs.

How will the new pricing work?

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) claims that the Government has introduced a new support price of £211 per MWh for electricity, compared to a projected price of £600 per MWh and  £75 per MWh for gas compared to a projected winter price of £180 per MWh.

The new pricing, which will be applied in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh), is available to all non-domestic energy contracts, including businesses, voluntary sector organisations, such as charities and public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes.

Have you already noticed some cost savings?

The changes were due to come into effect on 1 October, but savings applied to October bills are usually received in November, so businesses will now be able to receive the benefits.

BEIS has confirmed that the scheme will run for an initial six months.

Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Seeing the savings from our energy support in bills will give businesses across the country peace of mind at a time when they are facing increased pressure.

“By shielding them from a massive increase in energy costs we’re protecting jobs and livelihoods, just as we did throughout the pandemic – ensuring UK businesses do not fall at the hands of Putin.”

The Government is reviewing what will happen to the scheme after April 2023, and will target support for businesses most affected by high energy prices. BEIS has also issued new guidance on the scheme.

Many green economy representatives have asked why the relief scheme has not been paired with other measures, like a new national home insulation scheme.

Others have urged politicians to couple plans for dealing with the cost-of-living crisis with plans for climate action.

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