Netstar Grows by Helping Businesses Cut Phone Costs

The Bellevue Reporter

“At a time when most companies are trimming costs, one local business knows how find savings from a complex and often misunderstood line item.Stacks of bills

Bellevue-based Netstar offers telecommunications consulting and bill auditing, with services that come free of charge until its clients see a cost reduction.

Founder Tony Cheng says the average savings adds up to around 25 percent, which can mean the difference between layoffs and hallelujahs for some businesses.

Netstar’s services are catching on. The company is already ahead 20 percent for the first quarter of 2009 after watching its revenues grow by 47 percent last year.

“It’s really a fun business because you’re helping companies profit,” Tony said. “They don’t have to spend money or carve out of their budget.”

Waste Management saved $1.1 million by applying Netstar’s services at just 40 percent of its locations.

Rainier Title, a smaller company, has trimmed $35,000 off its bottom line since 2007 by outsourcing its telecommunications services to Netstar.

“We definitely saw a nice savings,” said Rainier Title General Manager Chuck Trafton. “Being able to outsource is a big deal because we don’t need to have someone on staff who’s an expert.”

Tony fancies Netstar as a sort of telecommunications concierge. The company identifies unnecessary charges while optimizing the plans and products that its clients use.

That often means doing something most carriers aren’t motivated to do, which is tell their customers about a better deal.

“A lot of companies don’t have the right services to meet their business needs,” said Netstar marketing specialist Annie Cheng, who is Tony’s niece.

Netstar helps implement the changes it recommends and then provides a comparison of the costs before and after audits to prove there’s been a reduction, generally asking for half of the savings in return.

It’s a win-win situation – for everyone except the telecommunications companies, who sometimes lose clients.

“The carriers love us and they hate us,” Cheng said. “They love us when we bring new business, and they hate us when we take it away.”

Netstar was founded in 1999, and now serves over 500 clients. Most of the new customers come around by word of mouth.

“Saving money is a wonderful conversation at parties,” Cheng said. “Business people talk to each other, and we get a lot of referrals.”

Business success equals jobs

Netstar has 12 employees, and is looking to add another three positions immediately. For information, visit www.netstarinc.com

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