A modern business cannot survive, let alone compete, without the a high-speed, stable WiFi connection. Almost all business-critical services require at least some interaction with the internet, whether it’s using a CRM like Salesforce or simply a connected POS system till.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, or business internet providers in the UK to choose from and the choice can be overwhelming, especially for those without any technical knowhow. Talk of kilobytes, upload speeds and bandwidth can soon get confusing.

We’ve compiled a list of things to consider before choosing one business broadband provider over another.

What Is Your Current Broadband Usage?

In order to know whether a provider is offering you a better deal, you need to know what your current usage is. Your provider can probably give you an estimate of your data usage each month. But the amount of data used isn’t the whole story. How you use it is just as important. For example;

• Does your business make a lot of video calls?
• Do you provide WiFi for your customers (such as in a café or hotel)?
• Do you backup data to an off-site location?
Going over questions like these will help you understand your current business broadband usage and will help you communicate in real-world terms to any potential salespeople what you actually use your internet access for.

You want to make sure that your new broadband package not only meets your current usage but exceeds it as you will almost certainly use the internet even more in the coming years as more and more services move online.

How Much Can You Afford To Spend?

Price can be a big consideration for small businesses when choosing from any range of products or services. You want to make sure that you are getting the best deal for the price you are paying.

Cost should not only be though of as one-dimensional (you pay for internet). Increased speeds and bandwidth will generate more revenue for you if utilised correctly. For example;

• If your internet speed doubled, are there any processes that would become more efficient?
• How much extra revenue would this efficiency generate?
• Does this increased revenue offset the cost of the better broadband package?

Cybersecurity Considerations

Given the large amount of personal, financial and business-critical information that travels across a company’s network every day, cybersecurity needs to be a primary concern for any organisation.

Your business should have a set of comprehensive cybersecurity procedures, standards and safeguards in place. Make sure that the provider you choose can match your security requirements. If a plan does not meet your standards, you should disregard it.

If you provide internet access to your customers, an important feature is the ability to have two separate networks running to keep your business data partitioned from your customers’ access.

Bundled Services

Many business broadband providers also provide other services such as managed IT support, digital marketing, disaster recovery and other enterprise technology services. By combining several tech services into a single bill, you can;
• Save money by getting a deal combined service.
• Have a single point of contact for multiple technology services. No more getting passed back and forth between different provider’s helpdesks.

If you’re also connecting customers to your WiFi in addition to employees, you need to have guest usage security features and settings so that they can use your Internet without the chance that someone could access valuable company information.

Business Broadband Hardware

Getting the correct equipment for your company is important. Hardware of low quality or restricted bandwidth will mean you are not getting the full service as advertised by your provider.

Before you upgrade your entire package, test your equipment and ensure it is capable of operating at the capacity of your current business broadband package.

Is The WiFi Solution Scalable?

You should consider not just what your businesses current broadband usage but also your projected future usage. For example, if you were planning on switching all your phone lines over to VoIP in the next year, you would need to have enough bandwidth to handle the increased demand that multiple simultaneous voice calls would cause.

To guard against these problems, make sure that the package you choose either:

• Has enough redundancy to cope with future increases in demand.
• Can be upgraded to a higher bandwidth/speed mid-contract

Business broadband is an essential (if not the essential) element of a modern business’s infrastructure. Making the right choice can help you be more efficient, more competitive and give better customer service. Making the wrong choice can make you unproductive and end up costing you more in the long run with repair costs and the associated downtime. We hope this guide has been helpful in clearing up which factors are the most important when choosing between various packages and providers.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Elanie Is a blogger