Published on January 15th, 2013 | by Ivan Widjaya0
Are You Ready to Line Up Better Technology for Your Business?
When you run a small business, one of your goals is always to gain a leg up on the competition.
With that being said, how does your technology compare to that of your competitors? While you likely do not know the exact breakdown in expenditures each of you puts forth towards technology, do you think you spend enough?
If the answer is no, there are ways this year that you can improve your chances of having the best technology available for you and your employees.
A T1 line is a mode of Internet service that works via a dedicated circuit, allowing your company to upload and download information that is necessary for meeting daily customer service needs. For those not aware, T1 lines (T is an abbreviation for trunk, 1 stands for a particular level within the trunk) can help your small business not only move quicker, but less expensively over time.
If you decide to investigate T1 lines for your company, consider:
They can undertake different operations
In the event your business runs a customer call center, T1 lines assist by providing continuous service in dealing with a high volume of calls, actually leading to less expenses and more efficiency. With an integrated T1 line, you can receive area phone service, long distance, and bandwith all on a single connection and one bill. The long distance service can prove quite handy when working with employees who are traveling for your business. There is also the option of bonded T1 lines, made up of up to four 1.5 Mbps T1 circuits that in reality act as a single circuit, offering speeds up to 12 Mpbs;
Location does matter
Another factor you need to consider is where your business is located (also referred to as the POP or Point of Placement), as the price will be impacted by locale. If your business is farther away from a carrier, your rates will be higher due to the setup of fiber optic lines. Keep in mind also that businesses located more miles away from sizable metro areas tend to pay more. In general, a T1 line for your business could cost more than $1,000, with maintenance and installation costs included or not included depending on the provider;
Costs for hardware
Your price is also determined by the necessary hardware that includes things such as PBX (private branch exchange) boxes, routers, switches, and sometimes more. Before signing any contract (see below), make sure you know what is and is not included, allowing you to avoid excessive additional charges;
Read the fine print
Just as you would and should for any other purchase, know what you are getting into when it comes to contracts. In many cases, you will pay a higher cost for a T1 line provider deal monthly for a one-year contract than on one that runs several years. When you sit down and review things, a longer term deal not only can result in less expenses per month, but help you guard against rate hikes in those service years. Also get in writing what your installation costs will be so that you do not run into excessive charges, though some providers will offer certain deals in this area;
Finally, customer service should always be a factor in selecting the right provider. Things are going to break down at times, therefore you need a provider who puts you first, not the other way around. Make sure that personal customer service is something the provider not only advertises, but carries out. Look at the provider’s track record for customer service, including checking to see if they have any sizable level of complaints (one way is to check with the Better Business Bureau). You also want a provider who is financially stable, meaning they plan to be around for the foreseeable future. Lastly, discover if they are the owners of their own network.
If T1 lines may be in your future in 2013, you could be lining yourself up for improved business, both in efficiency and costs.
About the Author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of small business topics, including how Megapath T1 lines work.