No matter what business you’re in, connectivity is at the heart of how you get work done. You rely on your internet connection to give you access to the tools and web apps you depend on to collaborate effectively with your team.
The last place you want to skimp on is connectivity because your connection affects everything that you do. Let’s look at why your small business needs business-class Internet connectivity.
Public WiFi Is a Must
If your small business plays host to customers in any way, then public WiFi is a must. The business benefits are numerous. First, customers are more comfortable sticking around and making more purchases when you give them a connection to make them feel at home. Providing that connection is becoming a baseline requirement for hospitality, rather than something you’re doing as a nice little “extra.”
Free WiFi at your business is no longer thought of as a frill, in the same category as, “I wish this room had a jacuzzi.” Instead, consumers today consider it an essential, like air conditioning or adequate lighting. It’s more like a utility than a complementary feature.
Your public WiFi is a part of your customer experience, and you need to make sure it’s excellent. Lower the friction in your users’ experience by creating an access portal and simplifying the process of logging in. Your WiFi experience is an extension of your brand, and it should create a positive impression.
Meet Connection Requirements
Figuring out your bandwidth needs can be tricky. Robert Moskowitz, writing for Intuit, suggests a rule of “120 kilobits per second for each user you plan to support at one time” as a general guideline. He goes on to say, “Ten users will need 1.2 megabits per second. Twenty users will double that.” However, “Once you know how much you need, compare prices among local internet service providers at that bandwidth level,” according to Moskowitz.
Blocking specific bandwidth-intensive sites (Netflix and YouTube are common) can help you maintain a decent connection speed for every user. On the other hand, weigh that decision against the decision to impose rules on what your customer can and can’t do. While there are limits to the idea that “the customer is always right,” putting terms and conditions on something you’ve offered them isn’t necessarily a positive choice.
Upgrading to a business-class Internet connection can relieve anxieties around squeezing every last kilobit out of your connection. It’s a lot easier to make customers happy when you can focus on delivering excellent service and not worry so much about policing their internet activity.
Increasing Productivity and Flexibility
Telecommuting and remote work are becoming increasingly common. High speeds bring distributed teams together easily, despite distance, via virtual office environments, video conferencing, and more. Cloud computing tools enable employees to collaborate with one another and with clients near and far.
The cloud also stores data and documents that can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and from a variety of devices. However, for any of this to function effectively, you need a solid internet connection with speeds to support it.
Many teams rely on web apps to get work done quickly and efficiently. Everything from Google Docs to project management software relies on a steady connection to the internet in order to function at maximum efficiency. If you want your team to get the most out of their time, you need a connection that is fast, stable, and ready for anything.
Responsiveness for Customers and Clients
Constant connectivity means your customers and clients expect fast, reliable communication. Any lag time on your part may be viewed as indifference to the client’s needs or, worse, incompetence.
A high-speed connection is key for a wide spectrum of businesses and organizations. Healthcare and government organizations might not come immediately to mind when you think of industries that need a super-fast connection, but these fields are just as dependent on sharing information quickly as any CEO or stock trader. Especially during health or local emergencies, time is of the essence.
What You Can Do Right Now
Your specific connectivity needs may not be obvious to you as a small business owner. However, in 2018, it’s important to remember that you rely on the internet for just about everything that you do. Make sure you have a robust connection that is ready to scale, serve customers, and keep your team’s workflow efficient. To do that effectively, consider moving to business-class connectivity.
- Make sure that you’re offering public WiFi that reflects positively on your brand.
- Look at your connection requirements, and either block intensive sites or plan accordingly.
- Increase productivity by leveraging the cloud.
- Don’t allow a low Internet connection, slow down your entire business.
- Ensure that your Internet connection can scale to keep up with the demans of your growing business