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Best conference call services for a small business

Dear small business owners, don’t fall in to the trap of “freeconference call services!

We understand that you don’t have money to burn, but when it comes to selecting a conference call service, do not fall in to the trap of going with a free provider, as, it’s anything but free. We have numerous articles on ‘free conference call services’ here – please take a moment to read about why free isn’t free if you’re not yet convinced or aware of how expensive free services are as it can potentially save you hundreds of pounds. Completely new to conference calling? See how best to deal with sales staff of service providers, here.

Affordability

If you’re new to conference calling, understanding affordability will be slightly harder for you to understand, rather than if you already make use of a provider. Why? Most conference call providers base their plans on usage, i.e., minutes utilised. Now, when a conference call provider states ‘X’ minutes on ‘Y’ plan, the term used, more often than not, is ‘conference call minute’ aka ‘bridging’ minutes. What does this mean? It’s the number of minutes a call last times by the number of attendees on call. For example, if you have a 60 minute call with 4 attendees (60×4) you’ve made use of 240 conference call minutes. *Go outside of your allocated number of minutes on your plan and you could potentially start having to pay for out of plan minutes (more expensive).

More bang for your buck

There’s not typically much in it cost wise per, but what you need to look for is how much more you’re getting for your money – this is where you’ll start to see differences. Now, don’t be dazzled by all the bells and whistles you don’t need, however, always look out for the ‘must haves’. Such as;

  • High quality audio
  • Screen share
  • Conference call dashboard/management system

Those three things are typically the ‘standard’ you should be looking for in your provider, but here’s a more robust things to look out for in a new provider.

Free trials, et al.

Again, especially if it’s your first conference call provider, don’t be dazzled by the bright lights and slick sales/consultants – take free trials and see how well they actually work. Sometimes reality if different to the picture that’s painted, so the last thing you want to do if you sign a contract (click here to see how to get out of a contract early) and realise a month down the road the quality, or ability to conduct a conference call is horrendous.