These days, broadband is a non-negotiable feature of your business.
As technology has accelerated, the world has got a lot smaller, and as a result the necessity of having a rock solid broadband connection that your business can rely on has become more and more important.
And as the world has got smaller, so has the paper trail of most businesses.
Instead of filing cabinets, we have the cloud.
Instead of in-trays and fax machines, we have email inboxes and document storage.
Instead of a filing cabinet of customer information, we’ve got CRMs.
Instead of long hours in conference rooms, we’ve got Skype and Zoom.
No matter what you sell, and no matter who to, pretty much everything you need to function relies on a good internet connection.
So your business needs broadband; that’s pretty much a given, but here’s the problem:
Most businesses expect similar deals on their business broadband to what they get on their home broadband.
We’re advertised broadband deals every single night on TV, and to be frank, the broadband companies are falling over themselves to acquire customers, with deals left right and centre.
They’re all offering cheap broadband, cheap routers and cheap equipment, and the knock on effect is that this is exactly what the consumer is expecting when they shop for broadband, even if it’s for their business, rather than their three-bedroom house.
And here’s the first thing you need to consider: Price.
#1 Business broadband is now seen as a commodity, but that’s a dangerous way to look at it. Here’s why:
If your broadband goes down at home, it’s a bit annoying. You might miss out on a few hours of Facebook scrolling or the chance to catch up on your favourite show.
If your business broadband goes down, your business pretty much gets put on hold until it’s fixed.
It’s not just all your online activity, but with most businesses worth their salt running a VoIP phone system too, EVERYTHING relies on a rock solid broadband connection.
Plus – of course – if your business is a certain size, then you’ve probably got more people using your broadband in the office than you do at home.
And when you take all this into consideration, it starts to make sense that you need to make the wisest investment, rather than the cheapest.
As the saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice”.
You could buy the cheapest car on the lot, but you probably don’t.
It’d do the job at first, but you don’t trust it to do the job on a long term basis.
You could buy the cheapest phone, but the chances are you’ve got an iPhone (you might even be reading this on it).
And so it is with broadband. If you’re only prepared to pay thirty or so quid a month for your broadband, you can’t expect a premium-level experience.
You can expect the bog-standard, the basic.
The broadband that just about works, but doesn’t pull up any trees.
The broadband that downloads at a snail’s pace.
#2 To lease or not to lease?
If you’re serious about getting business broadband that actually works for you, one of the fundamental first questions you need to ask yourself is: is a leased line right for your business?
Our general rule is this: if your business has 10 or more employees who will be using your internet connection on a regular basis, or you’re in an area with very poor broadband connection, then a “leased line” is right for you.
What is a leased line?
Simple: it’s your own dedicated internet connection.
With most broadband, especially the cheaper offerings, you’re sharing your internet connection with A LOT of other users. Not just other users within your company, but other clients of the internet provider too.
A leased line is different. The line is fed directly into your business, usually over fibre, and the results are usually pretty astonishing.
In short, it is the only way to guarantee high speeds and a reliable connection.
A dedicated leased line does come with a price tag attached, but when you consider how reliant your business is on your broadband connection to function, and how much more you’ll be able to achieve with super-fast broadband, it’s an investment that usually makes sense for more businesses of a decent size.
In addition, the service level agreement on a leased line is usually much more beneficial to you – the end users – than it would be on a standard broadband contract.
As a result, if broadband usage is business critical and you experience any problems, you’ll usually get your problem sorted extremely quickly.
#3 Do you have a backup?
Regardless of whether or not a leased line is right for you or not, one thing is certain: your business needs a backup broadband.
Whether that’s a separate broadband agreement with a different provider, or a 4G router, it’s vital to prepare your business for the worst.
It may not be seamless, but if your main broadband goes down and your business relies on it, you need another option. Whatever your business is, there’s no doubt that this preventative measure has the potential to save you thousands of pounds, should the worst happen.
#4 Get quality equipment
For £30 you can get yourself a basic router, and hopefully that’ll do the job.
But depending on the job you want to do, it might not.
If there’s variation on your broadband line, or it’s being used by more than XX people, then the chances are that a £30 router won’t do what you want it to.
If you want to avoid that problem entirely, then our recommendation would be to invest in a reliable, secure and stable router. Generally this will set you back around £200, and this lands you firmly in the price bracket of routers designed specifically for businesses.
These routers generally have higher capabilities, the ability to manage their connection in a stable way and more features, like allowing remote access for home workers.
If you’d like any advice on the right route for your business, just give the Boosh team a call on NUMBER and we’ll be happy to talk through your options.
So there you have it, the four key things we recommend you consider when deciding on the right broadband for your business. Good luck with your search!