Internet Service Guide for Small Businesses
As a small business owner you don’t have the time to mess around with your internet service. Dealing with things like downtime, slow speeds and poor service is not only a waste of your time, but it costs both you and your business money. You just need a fast and reliable service that works, and more importantly, support that you can contact in case something goes wrong.
What You (as a Small Business Owner) Need Internet For
There are a number of reasons why small business owners need or could use internet access:
- Accept new orders
- Handle support
- Communicate with customers via email
- Run websites or a network of web properties
- Attract leads
- Sell services
- Order inventory
- Expand brick and mortar business to the internet
The list can go on and on. The bottom line, though, is that having internet access will make your business more efficient and more money. It’s a must have.
Our Recommendations for Internet Plans for Small Business Owners
- Bundle up when possible to get best deals. But avoid bundling hosting and backup services (with your internet, phone and/or TV).
- Internet speeds of 15 Mbps or higher (much higher for large companies/networks).
- Find an ISP with 24/7 support. At the very least support that is available when you’re open.
- 3G mobile internet as a backup.
To find out what internet service providers are available in your area, just fill out the form below. Once you click the Find Offers button, a new window will open up and you’ll be shown a list of internet providers and offers available to you.
Based on the (internet) needs of small businesses, we’ve come up with some recommendations that should help you select the right internet service plan.
One option that will make a lot of sense for many small businesses is to bundle up on services. This includes internet, phone and sometimes TV. This can save you money when compared to buying the services separately, as well as the hassle of keeping track of multiple bills.
I can’t really tell you what to include in your bundle since I don’t know what you need. But compare prices to ensure you get the best (fastest) internet for your money.
Something I would be careful about doing when bundling services is bundling things like online backup and hosting. It’s not that these services are no good (can’t say for sure anyway as I haven’t used them all), but you’d be putting all of your eggs into one basket this way which is dangerous. There are also companies that specialize in these services, which would make me feel much better.
Internet speed is going to be important to your business, although maybe not as much so for businesses who just need the internet for research, social media or emails.
A good starting point for small businesses would be right around the 15 Mbps mark. You’ll be able to do all the basic stuff such as instant messaging, Facebook and email. Down/uploading files and streaming videos will be tolerable. If you down/upload files and/or watch/stream videos and music regularly, then you might consider starting with 20 Mbps.
Also worth pointing out is that if the internet connection is to be used my multiple people at once that you’ll want to go with higher speed since so many people on the network at once can slow things down for you.
There are a few other things worth looking at when comparing internet service providers (and services):
- Support – Do they have support available during your business hours? Better yet, do they offer 24/7 support?
- Promotions – Can you get free equipment (router, modem, etc) and/or installation?
- Billing – Do they offer online billing?