By Bryan Spence
Businesses that need telephone systems will often put off the decision for months or even years, waiting for “when the time is right.” For some, this means when business picks up; for others, it means when there is more cash in the bank. The reality is that very few small and medium-sized businesses properly anticipate when their telephone systems will become outdated, so they don’t budget for it.
Regardless of the reason, the acquisition is often delayed, forcing the business to get by with the existing phone system — possibly suffering through dropped calls, high maintenance costs, and lack of current technologies such as Mobility, Unified Communications, Unified Messaging, and even Contact Center solutions.
This type of procrastination can become a serious problem because outdated phone systems often lead to poor customer service, reduced operating efficiency and a lack of productivity, all of which ultimately result in reduced profitability.
Putting a new business telephone system into place as soon as it is needed — instead of when capital is available — can transform a business. Not only does improved operating efficiency lead to more profits, it also leads to better customer service and happier customers. Happy customers tend to spread the word about a company with which they like doing business, bringing in even more customers.
Even with this in mind, most businesses will not commit to acquiring a new telephone system unless they have the means to pay for it. Small and medium-sized businesses often operate on relatively thin margins and simply do not have an excess of working capital just lying around.
That is why leasing a new telephone system makes so much sense. Surprisingly to many business owners, leasing a new phone system is exceptionally cost effective and in many cases will actually be less than the cost of paying to upgrade an existing system. In some cases, the lease is actually a lower monthly cost than maintenance fees on an antiquated system.
Leasing a phone system instead of purchasing it outright helps a business do many things. First, there is no erosion of capital since a lease does not require an outlay of cash, or even a down payment. Cash reserves — and even existing lines of credit — remain intact. Leasing programs are flexible and enable the phone system vendor to structure monthly payments so that they are consistent and fit within the buyer’s budget. Leasing programs can also include a technology refresh provision that eliminates concerns about a new phone system becoming outdated or obsolete in a relatively short period of time.
Despite these compelling benefits, some business buyers continue to resist leasing because they do not understand the concept or have misconceptions about it. They may not be familiar with leasing terms or the structure of a telephone system lease. In some cases, a business simply insists on owning equipment rather than “renting” it.
These kinds of objections become moot when the business buyer fully understands the power of leasing. In reality, leasing is a powerful financial tool than can enable a business to acquire needed equipment as soon as it’s needed and begin immediately gaining the benefits of better communication. The best way to understand the power and benefits of leasing is to talk to a telephone system dealer — or even directly to the leasing company — and then to take full advantage of this powerful tool.
Bryan Spence is vice president of Business Development and has been with LEAF since its formation in 2011. He is responsible for the development of strategic alliances with major manufacturers and equipment vendors along with their captives. Prior to joining LEAF, Mr. Spence held various sales and sales management positions with CitiCapital Technology Finance and Fidelity Leasing Corporation. He can be reached at BSpence@LEAFnow.com