The key to keeping up with customer requirements and making your company run smoothly is to have a stable and fast WiFi connection. Connectivity is what makes your company run and lets it conduct business in the modern world.
It can be difficult to know which provider or package to choose when there are so many options for business WiFi. There are some good ground rules and metrics to apply to any business WiFi offer that will help you evaluate it objectively.
What Are Your Requirements and What Will They Be In The Future?
You need to understand what your everyday usage looks like if you want to properly evaluate the best WiFi solution for your company. If you have a good idea of the standard day-to-day requirements of your business, you can figure out what the minimum specs of your business WiFi need to be.
Start by asking yourself:
- Does your business regularly do activities like live streams or video conferencing?
- Will this be publicly accessible WiFi?
- Is the WiFi for customers, employees or both?
- How will customers access the WiFi? (Password? Voucher?)
- Will you be using customer WiFi as a marketing tool?
Thinking through these points will help you consider how WiFi can help or hinder your business strategy. Remember that technology changes all the time (imagine streaming Netflix over the internet you had in 2005!). Your choice of WiFi should not only match your current requirements, it should exceed them by at least 50% to give you leeway for future expansion and use.
For most small businesses, the cost of their WiFi is one of the most important factors in their choice of provider and package. You want to make sure that you are getting the best speeds and bandwidth for the money you are spending. The distribution of this is not always linear (more expensive does not always equal better).
Because of the large amount of customer data (including financial information that will be handled by your network daily, cybersecurity should be of great importance to your business. Domestic broadband packages are unlikely to have the requisite security features for a business.
Your business should have cybersecurity policy that has established protocols and procedures in place. once you have these policies and protocols in place, you can easily assess if a provider’s WiFi package meets or exceeds them.
With more employees working from home than ever before, many companies now need to allow employees to access sensitive data while outside of the office. Consider choosing a package that support advanced security features and can facilitate a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
If, in addition to staff, your customers are also connecting to your WiFi, you need to have separate cybersecurity features. Ideally, he guest WiFi should run on an entirely different network to your back-office systems to avoid leaving sensitive data exposed to customers.
Customers expect WiFi, and they expect business WiFi to be better than home WiFi. If your connection is slow, or you make customers jump several hurdles to connect. Or let them connect but restrict what they can do. They will experience this as bad customer service.
Do You Require Additional Hardware?
It is critical to have the correct hardware for your company. Hardware of low quality or WiFi packages with restricted bandwidth can cause your WiFi to be functionally unusable.
Do not choose the cheapest option for either your broadband package or your WiFi hardware.
Is The Broadband Solution Scalable?
A package which meets your requirements today may well be insufficient in five, two or even one year. The use of WiFi increases all the time and with that so does the amount of bandwidth and data needed.
Hopefully your business is also going to scale up. Consider how much bandwidth and data you would require if you increased your staffing levels by 50% or if you had more employees working from home and connecting to you via a VPN.
Make sure that the broadband and WiFi solution you choose has enough redundancy to deal with your business scaling, or that it can be upgraded during the contract without too much additional cost.
Your broadband is essential to the success of your business. No matter which provider or package you choose, ensure that it:
- Meets your current and future requirements
- Has the relevant cybersecurity features
- Will lead to an improved customers experience
Many business broadband providers also provide other services and you can sometimes get a deal by combining your WiFi with another service such as business phone lines or managed IT. This can help you save money and also give you a single point of contact for multiple enterprise-technology questions.