Is business broadband right for you?
Aug 22nd 2017
Business broadband may cost more but it can also guarantee the best service levels, security, and peace of mind. We consider your options when it comes to getting connected.
It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to set up shop at home when their businesses are starting out, or even to run them from the kitchen table permanently.
While there’s no reason you can’t run your business from home and maintain a professional setup, it’s worth considering whether to choose a residential or a business broadband agreement with your provider.
It’s something that might not have crossed your mind before – it’s not immediately clear there’s a huge difference – but in fact there are a host of broadband packages out there tailored specifically for businesses.
“Where to spend limited funds is always a difficult decision for a young business,” says Melvin Griffiths, broadband product provider at Virgin Media Business, “but for a digital business in a digital age, the best business broadband services shouldn’t be seen as a cost but as a way of differentiating and adding value.
“It’s an essential part of the fabric of the business and even allows overheads to be reduced in other areas when virtualisation, cloud and collaboration services are embraced.”
Ditching downtime downers
Broadband connection gone down when you’re watching Netflix? That’s annoying.
Broadband connection gone down when you’re sending a big quote? Well, that can potentially threaten your livelihood.
A business broadband deal will generally guarantee to get you back up and running within a shorter time than residential agreements, minimising your downtime. And even if it takes longer than they’ve promised, you’ll generally receive compensation for the lost hours.
This doesn’t just cover total connection outages: if your speeds drop below an agreed limit you can also claim.
Keeping data under wraps
Security’s a big deal.
Because aside from the fears of having funds diverted by fraudsters, or files corrupted, there’s the added worry that you could lose control of your clients’ data – a disaster for your business and your reputation.
Business broadband packages are much more secure. You’ll get access to higher grade security software, and routers typically have firewalls, and filter content more effectively.
The icing on the cake
Who doesn’t love added extras?
Some packages offer a static IP address for a fixed number of users, so you can use a range of additional business features, including hosting your own server or your own website.
“If you’re doing things like hosting a website or other web-based services, its important your IP doesn’t change, because then the rest of the world can’t find your location online,” Griffiths advises.
“It’d be like losing your telephone number or street address. The traffic won’t know where you live. If you want to run multiple internet services, servers or routers from your offices, like an email server, an FTP site, VoIP or other apps that need a permanent address, you’ll need more than just one.”
Other packages include cloud business applications and telephony services, or even free access to WiFi through a nationwide network.
To be clear: a business broadband package is certainly not for everyone, and you need to weigh up the added cost against the benefit your business would receive.
But, if you like the sound of guaranteed service levels, additional security, and advanced features, it could well be something to consider.
“Think about the value of the service overall rather than just the cheapest price point,” Griffiths concludes, “and consider how the extra bandwidth available with some services could allow you to transform the way you run your business.
“We are at the start of the digital age, what might be cheap and get you by today, will not be enough tomorrow and may stop you being as successful as you could be.”