Part of finding the right technology partners is about the services they offer, ultimately matching their services with your business needs and goals. For example, do you know how much Internet speed you really need to run your business? Selecting the best Internet access and speed ultimately depends on how you will be using your connection.
To evaluate your speed needs, consider your business type and typical day-to-day processes. Are your Internet-based needs mostly structural, like checking inventory, balancing the books or supporting a point-of-sale? Or are they more visual, like those of a real estate agent, involving frequent high-resolution photo and video uploads? Is your company website fairly static, or will you be making frequent changes, like a catering service with a revolving menu? Is social media important to what you do? Whatever your unique circumstances, here are a few things we suggest you consider.
What You Need to Get Going
To get things up and running, you’ll need to consider the basics of your business from a technology standpoint. If your activities are fairly basic, like checking inventory, overseeing payroll and maintaining a static website, you will probably be able to operate on a modest broadband service. For more elaborate visual needs like creating, editing, uploading and sharing high-resolution imagery, you’ll require a faster connection – especially if six or more employees will be using it. If your Internet will also support customer needs, such as Wi-Fi, you’ll need to take that into consideration as well. If you plan on offering free Wi-Fi to your customers, you’ll want to have a second connection so that your primary Internet access isn’t bogged down.
Real World Needs
The more users you have on your network, the more frequent the changes to (and inherent complexity of) your website, and the number of functions you use your Internet service to tackle, the more bandwidth you’ll need. If you’re a business with employees, suppliers and customers who are physically far away but need to engage in real time, you may need to use services such as VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). And the more users you have, the more bandwidth you’ll need.
If your business will use cloud services, like data backup or business applications, a more robust Internet connection will be necessary to support it.
What SMBs Are Buying Right Now
There is a lot of talk about faster speeds and we agree that speed matters. But you might be relieved to know that not every business needs a GIG, or even 100 Mg. A recent survey by IDC indicates that the sweet spot for most small businesses is between 10-50 Mbps. Business with more intensive tech needs, or that are inherently technology-based, find that they need between 50 to 75 Mbps to operate smoothly.
The best speed for your business takes into account where you are right now, where you and your customers want to go in the future, and taps the expertise of your technology partner for guidance every step along the way. To learn more about Internet options, visit our website.