If you run a business today, there’s no escaping the influence of the internet. Today, more than 71% of businesses have a website or an online-facing portal. The internet is a virtual world that has become equally, if not more important than the real world.
When you consider the number of communications, transactions, and marketing activities that occur online, you begin to understand the significance of an uninterrupted Internet connection. Unfortunately, outages happen more than businesses would like, costing them dearly.
In this article, let us explore how businesses can choose the right ISPs to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.
Understand Your Business’s Requirements
The first challenge that exists in terms of finding the right business internet service is understanding what your needs are. This can vary depending on the industry. It goes without saying that businesses like plumbing and other local services don’t heavily rely on stable connections.
Sure, they will need a working website and access to online inquiries and emails. However, much of their online activity occurs in the context of advertising and marketing, which is often done via third-party agencies.
On the other hand, businesses in the fields of digital marketing, finance, e-learning, and remote work rely extensively on uninterrupted connections. These businesses often use the Internet as a core part of their business model. A majority of their services are only possible through the Internet.
If you happen to be in such a business, it is worth narrowing things down a bit more. Is high-speed internet a priority? Or can moderate speed also work if the priority is stability?
Are there large data transfers happening? Do these transfers involve more downloading than uploading, or vice versa? You might need to have a conversation with your team and have them inform you what the current need is and whether the existing internet connection matches expectations.
According to WOW!, there are plenty of internet packages out there that can fit a wide range of businesses. Most of them promise advanced security and 24/7 support as well, which is very welcome.
Look for Reliable Internet Service Providers
As a business, the last thing you want to deal with are internet cuts and disruptions. As a leader, you are supposed to be accountable to your team and ensure that measures are in place in case of emergencies.
This will include having contingency plans in place if your primary ISP isn’t able to keep you online. A common option involves using multiple, backup connections at the same time. This means that even if you suffer an outage, it is unlikely that your alternatives are down.
However, it is a little more convenient to simply research and find the most reliable ISP that can guarantee an uninterrupted connection. You can reach out to businesses of a similar size in your region and find out what ISP they use. This would be the quick and easy way that can save you a bit of time.
Consider perusing public reviews and sort them by recent to see what their service has been like. Are there a lot of complaints about connection drops? If so, that’s an obvious red flag to look somewhere else.
It’s also worth considering location when thinking about reliability. Do they have an established presence in the region? How long does it take them to fix cuts? Do technicians need to travel long distances? These are all aspects to look at when considering the overall reliability of the ISP and the connection.
Don’t Skimp Out When it Comes to Price
The consequences of internet cuts and connection drops are many. They can cause significant productivity losses, especially if employees rely on Internet access for their work.
There are marked communication delays that can even cause your business to lose important clients. Clients expect quality service, and even if it’s not your fault that the internet is down, your business is held responsible for not delivering.
This leads to reputational damage, employee frustration, and ultimately, financial loss. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to state that constant interruptions in internet connectivity can even ruin some businesses.
Thus, understand that finding a consistent and reliable one will require you to invest a little bit. After all, you are not looking for consumer-level services. Business internet connections are higher stakes and are naturally going to be a little more expensive.
Thankfully, some ISPs do offer competitive business internet rates. For instance, it’s not unheard of to find gigabit internet speeds at the $99.99/month price point. Similarly, 600 Mbps packages are also likely to be had for around $75/month. Perhaps a little more expensive than consumer plans, but these would be great prices for businesses.
Thankfully, many ISPs recognize how important it is to provide uninterrupted services and even guarantee constant connections. Still, it’s worth looking into contingency plans in true emergency situations.
Remember, 31% of respondents in surveys reported that internet outages had led to losses of over $1.2 million. It’s clear that uninterrupted connectivity is absolutely essential.
After all, problems happen when you least expect them to. It’s better to invest in this area than be unprepared if things go south.