Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Milk round: Telecommunications

Your business will need at least one telephone line, to receive customers' orders, to contact suppliers and so on. You may also decide that you need a fax machine. Internet access and an email address may be useful. A website is an excellent way of advertising your business and letting customers know what you can deliver. You could consider taking customers' orders online too.

The telephone company will bill you every month or quarter for the calls you have made, often plus an amount for the line rental for the next quarter.

Many different internet service providers (ISPs) offer internet connections and email addresses. Shop around to find the best deal for the package of services your business requires.

You may decide that your business will benefit from having mobile phones as well as, or instead of, land lines.

Various packages and discount structures are available to business users which can help to reduce telecommunications costs. Contact your telephone company's customer services department for details.