A fast and reliable broadband connection is the cornerstone of modern business, and for start-ups it couldn’t be more important to get online quickly without breaking the bank. Whilst lots of business owners and entrepreneurs will be familiar with the UK’s most common home broadband providers (such as BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk), finding a business broadband provider can be a little more difficult.
With business broadband often used more intensely than its residential counterpart, there are many additional considerations to factor in when deciding which provider to opt for. With the telecommunication market’s big players competing with smaller bespoke packages, finding the right business broadband provider can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. If you know how to approach the task, though, it could be as easy as making a margin call on the cheapest, fastest connection.
Here are our top tips for start-ups and small businesses looking for a fast yet reasonably priced broadband connection.
Know what you’re looking for
When you’re trying to find a new broadband package, it’s often tempting to choose the provider offering the fastest speeds and highest data allowance. In reality, however, many businesses will not need such advanced functionality and may not even benefit from superfast broadband if all they do is send emails and use a customer relationship management database (CRM).
If you’re already in the market for a business broadband provider, now could be the opportune time to perform a data audit of your business. You’ll be better placed to choose the best option for you when you know how much you’re uploading and downloading, as well as how your staff will connect to the internet.
Ask the right questions
Unlike other utility providers, business broadband companies often have a greater range of service features that differentiate them from their competitors. Whilst your water or electricity provider will generally provide the same service no matter how much you use or pay, broadband is a more complex issue and so start-ups need to ask the right questions to get to where they need to be.
What a decent internet connection looks like will depend on who you’re asking, but common questions you may wish to ask a potential provider include:
- What router will be supplied with your connection? How is it secured against network intrusion?
- What’s the average wait time when contacting support?
- How quickly do you generally fix faults with the network?
- What is the contention ratio of the line? (In plain terms, how many people are sharing the same connection).
Armed with the answers to the questions, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed choice about the right broadband package for you and your business. Remember that reliability is key, and the cheapest option isn’t always the best if you rely on the internet for business-critical activities like operating your card machines.
Check whether you get a static IP address
Whilst most business broadband packages will include a static IP address, it’s worth checking that yours will too. A static IP address will allow you to use additional business services via your business broadband connection, for instance an office email or website server.
A static IP address is something that could make life much easier for a start-up business, so it’s generally something you may wish to look for when deciding on the best business broadband package.
Don’t settle for less than the best
When it comes down to it, there are lots of factors that business owners will need to take into account when deciding on the best broadband package for them. Whether you need the fastest speeds or are just looking for the most reasonable broadband deal to fit your budget, shopping around is the only way to get a complete idea of the options available to you.
Fortunately, with tools such as the Business Broadband comparison tool on businesscomparison.com, you can find out what’s on offer without doing the hard work. With the option to narrow down results by price and features, you could find the best deal for your business without having to get individual quotes from multiple broadband providers.
In today’s business world, fast broadband can be just as important as electricity. For start-ups, an internet connection is a window to the outside and an opportunity to reach new customers across the globe. As such an important business tool, finding the right deal could be the difference between boom and bust – so make sure you equip yourself to make the right decision.