Do you need more speed?

January 18, 2018 Jaclyn Law
@jaclyn-law
Technology - Jan. 18, 2018

Do you need more speed?

If your business is outgrowing its internet connection, you might need to upgrade to a package with more bandwidth

Small businesses need fast, reliable internet access to stay productive and competitive. As more and more workplace activities and tools move online – from data backups and cloud-based accounting services to virtual meetings and sales calls – companies need greater bandwidth to support their staff. Does your package meet your growing needs, or is it time to look at upgrading? Here are three things to consider.

1. How many people are online at the same time?

The bigger your team, the greater the demand on your internet service. Sometimes, business owners don’t think to upgrade their package as their company grows and/or its online activities increase, inadvertently constraining productivity. Figure out how many employees are online during peak business hours – your connection should be fast enough for everyone to work without data slowdowns. You’ll also need to account for employees connecting to your Wi-Fi with mobile devices, employees connecting to your network remotely and, if your office uses a VoIP phone system, you’ll need to factor that in, too. If your team has grown recently, or you plan on adding staff soon, upgrading your package now might be in order to ensure workflow isn’t affected by a lack of bandwidth later.

2. What are employees doing online?

Offsite data backups, video-conferencing calls, cloud-based applications, online collaboration, online research, uploading and downloading files, hosting an e-commerce site, and even employees streaming online radio – these all require a fast internet connection. If upload and download speeds are frustratingly slow, online services seem sluggish, or the quality of video chats is poor, these are clues that you need to upgrade your plan. The more work your team does online, the more bandwidth you need, and upgrading your package ensures you and your employees always have the tools needed to get the job done.

3. Does customer service depend on your internet connection?

If customers use your company website to place orders, submit information or make reservations, the last thing you want is to frustrate them with long wait times or poor connectivity. The customer experience also suffers if it takes a long time for your team to send files, communicate online or process payments or refunds. If you or your team members have been getting negative feedback from customers about their experiences interacting with you online, or if you’ve noticed lag times on your site, it might be time to boost your bandwidth by looking into upgrading your internet package.

Once you have a realistic picture of your company’s bandwidth needs, look for a tailor-made solution. Small-business specialists from your internet service provider (ISP) can work with you to pick an economical plan based on the size and needs of your team – with room to grow as your company does.


About the Author

Freelance writer Jaclyn Law's clients include businesses, non-profit organizations, websites and media. She frequently writes about entrepreneurship, and her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, CPA Magazine and Rogers Connected for Business.

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