For a small business in the twenty-first century, fast internet access is essential. Dobson Technologies notes that faster internet speeds can have a significant impact on how a company performs online. The effect applies not solely to online businesses, but brick-and-mortar stores as well. For a small business, having reliable, speedy internet is a primary concern. It can affect both how the company performs and how consumers see our store.
The Age of the Hotspot
In many areas of the country, it’s a common sight to see businesses boasting about free Wi-Fi access for customers. Small Business Trends reports that as many as 62% of companies that offer free Wi-Fi to customers saw their customers stay longer at their establishment, with 50% stating that the customers also spent more money.
Offering a hotspot is an excellent way to boost business and attract customers, but the connection must be good enough to entice those customers to stay. Nothing is more annoying for a buyer than getting free Wi-Fi from a business, but being unable to use it because it’s too slow.
Keeping Employees Connected
We’re not living in the ’90s anymore, and being continually connected is a major part of workplace culture. For companies that deal with remote hires or workers that have the opportunity to telecommute, having a dedicated, reliable internet connection ensures that they can always have access to the company’s resources.
Email, chat, and online meetings are no longer cutting-edge technology. They’re the norm. Having a robust infrastructure to develop and maintain these essential business functions is critical to the long-term success of any small business enterprise.
Businesses need to be aware of both their physical security as well as their digital security. A robust internet infrastructure ensures that the company is meeting both of these needs. Digital security through software and firewalls keep the company’s data (as well as the data of its customers) secure. Internet-linked security cameras offer peace of mind to business owners no matter where in the world they may be.
Cloud Storage Solutions
Small businesses, in particular, benefit from cloud storage services. Entrepreneur notes that small businesses that embrace cloud storage and computing are likely to see benefits in cost management, flexibility, collaboration, and integration.
For online stores, the cloud offers a useful addition to their existing customer service system. There are many providers of automated customer service chatbots to aid small businesses in coping with customer feedback. These automated solutions can help a company be more customer-centric and drive referrals for their service.
One of the less-touted benefits of the cloud to a small business is the resilience of data in the event of a major disaster. In the event of hardware failure, having secure data backups can help the situation immensely, but restoring that data can take time and impact a company’s productivity.
The cloud is an ideal solution since it automatically backs up data if any changes occur. The company just needs to establish a connection with the cloud provider to recover its data. The ease of this operation means businesses can return to regular efficiency in record time.
How Much Speed is Enough?
There’s no exact specification for how fast a small business internet connection should be. Business.org suggests that each enterprise should calculate its required link based on its needs. Companies that have a lot of connections simultaneously using the same point of access should consider a faster speed than those who only have a few people connected at the same time. It is also a pertinent concern that businesses ensure that the connection they pay for is the speed they get. ISP’s may perform throttling on companies that use a lot of bandwidth, so testing one’s internet connection speed is essential to ensure its reliability and efficiency.
Where Do We Start?
As a new entrepreneur, begin by determining the speed of internet connection your business needs. Also take into account which provider is the best choice. Start by outlining the ways the company will use its internet speed. This can help determine what’s the minimum viable rate the company needs.
Consider remote workers and if the business uses any massive upload and download traffic. Connection speed direct affects these. Any infrastructure systems like public Wi-Fi or internet-based camera security will also increase that minimum speed requirement.
Most ISP’s offer solutions that businesses can tailor to their needs. Thus, if a company has a handful of employees, they can choose a lower connection speed with a focus on connectivity. As a company tacks on more options, a faster pace will prevent bottlenecks.
The business wants to balance speed with efficiency. However, it’s only through practical application can we begin to appreciate the things our connection offers us and where it falls short. Once we figure out at what point that happens, we can readjust our expectations and upgrade or downgrade our speed to suit our needs.