The internet service you choose can be a great asset or a huge headache to your business operations so you need to choose wisely.
Whether you're launching a website for your new small business or you have a brick and mortar company that's been in the family for generations chances are you'll need to consider buying internet service to keep your business going in today's world.
You need an internet service provider that meets your needs, helps you realize your dreams and understands your vision.
Keep reading for advice on picking the best
1. Know What You Want When Buying Internet Service
Before even looking for options it's important to know what your company needs to run efficiently and keep up with the demands of business.
Having a website or business operations that don't run smoothly because of technical difficulties can hurt your bottom line. It' important to make sure you have enough power, broadband, and resources to always run all business operations seamlessly.
There are five main types of internet you can get. Each type of internet connection has its pros and cons.
Dial-Up is cheap but slow and ties up a phone line. As recently 2013, more than 9 million Americans were still using dial-up despite how slow and inconvenient it is compared to other options.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
A step up from dial-up connections DSL still uses the copper 2 wire phone lines but it is possible to still use the phone at the same time. Faster and more convenient than dial-up but still only reaches a download speed of double-digit Mbps. Bandwidth rates for DSL range between 128 Kbps to 3 Mbps (3000 Kbps).
The quality and speed of your DSL internet connection are affected by the quality of your phone line and the distance of the phone company main hub to your location. You can view here more information on how your consumer network could be throttling your business bandwidth.
In the late 1990s, cable internet was introduced. It uses TV coaxial cable tv lines to move data. Much faster and more convenient than dial-up and DSL but not comparable to the speeds of Fiber optics internet service. This is a good option for many as cable internet service still provides good speeds up to and sometimes exceeding 100 Mbps.
There are often limits placed on data usage for cable internet so ensure you get an unlimited data package so you can easily and quickly do everything you want from downloading videos, playing music or gaming to sending your latest monthly reports and RFPs to the head office.
The speed of coaxial cable internet service is affected by how many people in the neighborhood are using the same type of internet at the same time. This means during peak times of internet use speeds could be much slower.
While cable internet is not as fast as fiber optics connections, its much faster than other options such as dial-up, DSL, and even satellite.
Satellite internet is the best option for places that have no ground connection like cable or DSL. The fact that it's available where other services aren't is it's greatest benefit.
Most satellite service is expensive and surprisingly slower than you'd think barely matching DSL speeds most of the time.
The base of the internet was created on fiber optics. Data in the form of pulses of light is transmitted through microscopic glass or plastic strands. There's no electromagnetic interference making it the fastest and most reliable choice there is available.
Unfortunately, the downside of fiber optics internet service is that it is not readily available everywhere. Your location and budget will be the deciding factor on whether this is a good choice for your business.
2. Do Your Research
Internet service providers often don't advertise all their deals which means it's in your best interest to do some research. Finding the best price for all the services you want and need requires some legwork to figure out which will give you the best deal without a lot of hassle.
Price isn't the only thing to consider though. It's important to think about other factors as well.
Terms of Contract
One of the most critical things to research is the terms of each contract. You want to make sure there are no hidden fees, that you receive the services and products you need, that the ISP will provide all customer support and services you are looking for.
Access to Customer Service
You don't want to be sitting on hold for the entire afternoon while customers and clients are faced with a crashed website or technical difficulties. You should never lose sales because you're being held captive by an unreliable internet service provider.
Upgrades and Equipment
It seems as soon as you buy something there's a newer, faster, more efficient model released. Equipment is outdated before it's even broken in. You'll want to verify
Average Down Times
If your internet is down it can definitely hinder your ability to do business. Your customers don't care if the source of the problem is your internet supplier or the man on the moon. If they can't get the customer service and conduct business as wanted they'll go elsewhere.
It's important before you sign a contract to know how your ISP deals with downtime and how often it happens.
3. Don't Compromise
A deal today may not save you money if you don't get the services you need. Don't compromise on quality to save a buck today. It could end up costing you a lot in the long run if you lose potential business down the road.
4. Haggle the Price
Internet service providers want your business and will often give you a good deal to get it. While you don't want to compromise on quality it's still good to shop around and to try and work out a good deal for your company.
They're not going to announce they can give you a better price if they know you're going to buy it no matter what. Tell the customer service representative that you're shopping around and let them know when you've found a better price.
Give each company a chance to counter offer and see if they can beat the best price from competitors.
5. Read the Fine Print
There's nothing more frustrating than receiving a huge bill for hidden charges or finding out you're locked into a contract that doesn't meet your needs.
Ensure you know all the terms and conditions of your contract before signing it and if they promise you any extra services have it in writing. This way you have recourse if they don't deliver on promises made.
You're the Boss
Don't let a slick sales rep working on commission or trying to meet a sales quota talk you into buying internet service that isn't what you need or into services that don't meet your expectations.
Your internet service represents you and your brand. You want each and every one of your customers to be satisfied with their experience and that can't happen if your internet is slow or plagued with issues.
For business tips and advice be sure to check out our other blog posts.