In the never-ending quest to keep up with both customer demands and employee productivity, having fast and reliable WiFi may be one of the most important technology investments you will make for your business.
But with so much riding on your business WiFi and so many options to choose from, where should you begin your search for the best solution? Below are a few things to consider before ordering WiFi for your business.
How Will Your WiFi Be Used?
Before ordering your WiFi, you must first understand how it will be used. Having an idea of what your company’s daily WiFi activity will look like, and understanding the goals you aim to achieve with WiFi, will help you narrow down the solutions.
Start by getting answers to the following questions:
- Will the WiFi be used for both employees and customers?
- If the WiFi is just being used for employees, what functionality will they need in order to get their jobs done efficiently?
- Will your WiFi need to support activity such as video conferencing and live-streaming?
- If you are providing WiFi for your customers as well, how will your customers use it and access it?
- Do you want your customers to have enough bandwidth to be able to watch videos or just enough access to check emails?
- Will the WiFi be private or public?
- Will you be using your WiFi to collect customer information to help with marketing efforts and business decisions?
Think about the structure of your business and what you intend to achieve through your business WiFi. This will help make the search for your solution much easier.
Is the WiFi You’re Considering Secure?
Security considerations are essential when choosing WiFi for your business, as large amounts of proprietary information will pass through your network everyday.
As part of your business plan, your company should have an IT security policy with clear protocols established. Ensuring your WiFi falls in line with these protocols will help you narrow down your search for a solution.
With the growth of the mobile workforce, many businesses allow employees and contractors to use their own devices to access business-related information. To ensure your employees’ personal devices are protected, your company will need a BYOD policy that is factored into your WiFi solution.
If you plan to provide WiFi for customers and visitors as well as employees, you’ll need to ensure your Internet comes with guest usage security features and settings so that they can use your Internet without the risk of someone accessing valuable company information.
Is the WiFi for Your Business Scalable?
When searching for WiFi options, it’s easy to locate a solution that fits your business needs at the moment. But what happens if your business suddenly grows and you need to hire more people and use more bandwidth? Will that provider have the ability to scale and meet your needs. It’s imperative you consider WiFi options that scale as your business changes.
What equipment will you need?
As a customer, have you ever seen free WiFi advertised at a business, but found after logging in that the connection is unusually slow? The experience can be so frustrating for customers the business might as well have never offered free WiFi at all.
For this reason, having the right equipment for your business is critical. Low-quality hardware or limited bandwidth can cause your free WiFi offering to backfire. Working with a trusted Internet Service Provider will ensure that you have the equipment, bandwidth and support you need to for both your employees and your customers.
What is Your Budget?
People often ask how much it costs to set up business WiFi, but unfortunately, there isn’t one set answer. It all depends on your objectives. However, before searching for a solution that’s right for you, put a budget together to help narrow down your search. Putting a budget in place can actually help, rather than hinder, your efforts as it will make your search more targeted.
WiFi is no longer seen as a helpful addition to the IT needs of your company but as a necessity to achieve your business goals. It is expected to be fast, secure, and consistent. Choosing the right business WiFi should not be taken lightly. To obtain WiFi that allows your business to reach its fullest potential, don’t overlook the critical first assessment into your evolving wireless needs.
Learn more about WiFi options from Cox Business for your business
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