5 Important Questions Every Business Should Ask Before Selecting an Internet Service Provider

5 Important Questions Every Business Should Ask Before Selecting an Internet Service Provider Image 3.jpg

When you’re making a choice on who to select for your Internet Service Provider, there are other factors than price that need to come into play. Service, reliability, and scalability are key factors in choosing an ISP that will work best for you and your business.

Here are 5 things to think about to help you make your decision simple.

1. How Can The ISP Help With Your IT Needs?

Connectivity has made it easier than ever for small businesses to get access to big business services. CRM served by the cloud lets every company take their service to the next level with a personalized customer experience.

Managed IT services are another way to get in on big budget services. You get the same level of support as a much larger company with a dedicated IT department for a reasonable price. You can troubleshoot devices remotely, no matter where you are, and even bring in an agent via video chat to have a closer look at the problem. Many service providers offer managed IT services as an option, which means that they’re able to monitor your connection and head off any potential problems at the pass.

2. How Can the Internet Service Provider Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks?

Many small businesses think that they’re too small to possibly be targeted by cyber attackers, but the numbers show that size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding yourself in a hacker’s crosshairs. In the last 12 months, hackers have breached half of all small businesses and, according to CNBC, about 60 percent of small businesses that suffer a cybersecurity attack will go out of business within six months.

If you’re looking at selecting or switching service providers, think about the kind of protection you can get from cybercriminals. Everything from DDoS attacks to man-in-the-middle schemes represents serious threats to your security, so you need to know that someone has your back. 24/7 threat monitoring from your service provider helps you respond proactively and not get caught on the back foot.

3. What Are The Options and Costs for Scaling as Your Business Grows?

If you’re a small business you’re probably looking to grow. Growth, however, means that you need to have the infrastructure in place to support any new members of your team and any new demands on your technology. For your internet service provider, that means that you need to be ready to add more bandwidth when you need it. The connection you have now is probably fine, but if you go through a period of rapid expansion you need to know that you’ll be ready to keep up with customer demands tomorrow.

4. Does the Internet Service Provider Offer Great Phone Service, Too?

No one will deny that new channels are becoming ever more important for connecting with customers and getting their issues resolved quickly and conveniently. Even as we push what messenger, chat, and other channels can do, however, we have to remember that most customers want to talk to a human being. And just because it’s a telephone system doesn’t mean it can’t be supported by high-tech infrastructure. Your internet service provider can help with a hosted phone system.

A hosted phone system provides you and your team with the flexibility to reroute and handle any incoming phone traffic no matter where you are. Your provider also handles the support, letting you focus on more important things. In the event of a disaster or crisis, routing your phone traffic through your ISP means that you have the resilience to stay connected.

5. How Will The Internet Service Provider Help You If Disaster Strikes?

75 percent of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, according to Purdue University. Many businesses roll the dice and hope that they won’t have to deal with the worst case scenario, but realize that 40 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster. If you don’t have a plan, you might not be able to keep your doors open.

When you’re looking at a service provider, you should be thinking about how they can help you in a crisis. Is your data secure and safe in off-site backups? If your infrastructure is destroyed, will you still be able to make and receive calls? Having a plan is the first step in taking a proactive approach to a crisis and not sitting around wondering what to do.

What You Can Do Right Now

Choosing a service provider can often be a confusing experience. Beyond connectivity, you need to be clear about what your needs are and how you can best achieve them.

You need an ISP that can help you be reliable with managed IT services and strong connectivity options. You need your internet service provider to be scalable so it can grow with your business. And finally, you need the reliability to stay connected no matter what happens.

  • Use managed IT services to get the support you need to stay up and running.
  • Look at security options to respond to cyber attacks.
  • Make sure your internet service provider can grow with you.
  • Use a hosted phone system from your ISP to route your calls from wherever you are.
  • Be prepared for the worst case scenario.
  • Contact Cox Business

Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.