Ultimate Business Broadband- Maximising your businesses potential during the pandemic
As we approach a year since the UK lockdowns began, we take a look at the impact the global Covid pandemic has had on business around the country. How ensuring you have the most cost-effective, fast business broadband you can maximise your businesses chances to not only survive but to thrive in these uncertain times.
The UK’s economy is made up of a large proportion of small and medium-sized companies. These businesses are most likely to be part of the most vulnerable sectors such as personal care, hospitality, arts and construction. Concerns from these business owners that the Uk economy is becoming increasingly weak is growing.
National and local lockdowns have meant business have had no choice but to close and risk losing more and more revenue. The government has offered some support during this time that has come in the form of grants and furlough schemes. The chancellor recently has announced that the ‘Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000’. This will help some owners continue and the hope of the new vaccine is looking promising. However, now more than ever is the time to make sure that your business bills are competitive and you are getting the most from the services you need. You may need to reduce your business bills or you may be looking at taking your business in a completely different direction.
Hopes for the new year of 2021, are that consumer confidence will return. This will give businesses’ the bounce back they need. The new normal seems that it is here to stay. Businesses have been overwhelmingly surprised at just how much more productive working online can be and how much quicker they are progressing in this direction. Even the more reluctant consumers have embraced using online platforms to contact businesses’.
With business travel hugely down over the last year. Companies are turning to online platforms in order to carry out their meetings. This also looks to continue for a long while after the pandemic is over. After the last financial crisis, international business travel took five years to recover. This means that having a great broadband connection and business phone line is now vital for success.
Business supply chains have also recently been the focus. Companies are being forced to look into these chains to identify any patterns that have negatively affected their business and most are keen to eradicate these. One way they have been looking at doing this is using online programs to compare data. As a busy company, you want to ensure you can use these programs with ease and speed.
How else have businesses ensured they have continued trading during the past year? Some businesses have embraced the challenge and reinvented themselves. Most owners have recognised not only has there been a change in working but also a shift in the consumers spending habits.
The customers have moved online with some sectors even seeing an increase in sales! Large companies lead the way such as eBay, Amazon, Netflix and Zoom. Smaller businesses have followed suit, brainstorming ideas to target customers in a similar way. Customers have much more time on their hands. Some have even saved money during this time, with no work commute or evenings out. The business is still there; you just have to reach it.
Compare Business Broadband: Bringing Your Business Online!
Now is a great time to think about updating your company and bringing it online more. Online booking systems for client customer-based service booking are a great addition to a business. These systems will let the client book online without having to call up and talk to a staff member. This not only saves them time but also saves your staff member time, meaning they can be busy with other jobs or services. The systems send out a reminder before appointments to clients. This has been proven to dramatically reduce the number of missed appointments and save a lot of money by doing so. Clients missing appointments is one of the biggest ways to lose money and the worst way to waste your staff’s working time. The platforms let you schedule annual holidays, opening times and staff leave. This way you can keep on top of who is working and when. You can also access these platforms at any time, which means you can view staff schedules without being in your workplace. Here you can also schedule staff meetings, this is a great way to keep on top of meeting targets and resolving any issues present within your business. Here you can also create inventory lists to keep on top of your company stock.
Online shops are also a great addition to a business. Perhaps you already sell stock or maybe you have come up with an idea to add this idea to the service you already provide. Either way, an online shop is so much more profitable than just selling from one premises. Think about the number of people you can reach online; the possibilities are endless. The online shop is also open 24 hours a day making it very accessible to your customer. Customers can pre-order, giving you an idea of what stock is needed and even if they don’t have transportation to get to your premises orders can be posted out to them.
Zoom and Teams are both effective ways to hold meetings. This could be one to one or whole staff meetings. Users of these platforms have sky-rocketed and the best part is there free. They can be downloaded onto a mobile phone or accessed on the computer. They have the opportunity to show slide shows to potential business leads and you can annotate the screen. If you have a presentation to give this works perfectly. You can transform your business by turning the disruption of Coronavirus into an opportunity to thrive, by offering more staff training. This way your team will come back stronger and you will maximise this time.
What about refreshing your website? If you already have a business website, you could look at adding a weekly blog to this. This is engaging to the customer and ensures they keep up to date with what your business is doing meaning they won’t forget about you! You could add a FAQ page. This would again save time for staff on answering these types of questions and be more appealing on your page. It is always good to re-examine your search engine optimised keywords. This will increase the visits to your website and ensure you are showing as one of the top finds on any search engine.
Social media is also essential to any business. Again is totally free advertising! Your page should be organised, clear and engaging. You can reach so many more people on here and at the rate these platforms are growing, you can’t afford to miss out. If you are new to social media first, start with a plan. Think about what is the goal of your page. Consider what platform is right for you and what the target audience for your business is. For example, you can research polls to show what ages are using each platform. Then, think about the layout, it is said the first few rows or sections of your social media page make the biggest impact on whether people will stay or click off of your page. There are even free apps you can download that organise your page for you. Ensure your page is well organised, you might like to include highlights for quick answers to customer’s questions on here. Next, research your business competition. Build relationships online and have fun with it. Encourage customers to tag your pages for further free business promotion.
LinkedIn is also a great way to connect with likeminded people. The site allows you to build business credibility and create a meaningful online network. Users can research potential clients and see business news updates. The platform has over 30 million users and is a brilliant way to recruit new staff members. Users can carry out a keyword search relevant to the position you wish to fill and see up to date profiles, which act as a virtual resume. LinkedIn offers a free account and also a paid-for premium so will suit any budget.
A large number of businesses have already looked into new strategies to impact their return to work. Some have already decided to invest in brand new websites, online shops and clever new booking systems. With all these positive changes pushing the business forward, have you stopped to think about the speed of your business internet and to compare business broadband? After all, carrying out any of the above options is going to be difficult without a great broadband provider.
Finding the Best Business Broadband Provider
Broadband companies have now started to realise that they are at the centre of their client’s company. We are relying on their services more than ever. Imagine your online booking system freezes as your client is booking in or your online shop crashes just as they go to check out. It’s every owner’s worst nightmare.
As a business owner, you want to ensure you are getting the best but also most cost-effective service from your business broadband. Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when choosing your broadband.
Reliability, you want the service to provide a reliable connection and speed all day, every day. Speed, the speed that your business requires will depend on what you wish to do and the kind of company you are running. Broadband and phone packages. What happens if something goes wrong and what support is there? Finally, price with the current situation saving money anywhere will aid business profits.
You should consider when looking for the best broadband to suit your business, how you are planning on connecting to the broadband, what data and speed to suit you. Also what length of contract do you require and are there any packages that would work for you.
Most providers are now offering some form of 4G start-up and back-up system. This means you can get online even before your broadband installation happens. Also if anything was to go wrong with your connection 4G back up automatically detects this and works to keep you online until a technical support worker can come out and fix the problem. This sometimes costs a little bit more but as a business, you need to consider if this is right for you and the consequence on your business if you don’t have this feature.
Hubs and Apps are also being used to control and provide connection. If you are a business that has customers or clients attending that will be on the premises for a long period of time, you may wish to consider your client connection. Clients are more inclined to stay longer with Wi-Fi access. Some customers may even choose to use your service over another because you have a good Wi-Fi connection. Some connections can be poor if to many people are connected at any one time. You should consider how many users you need to be able to connect. Some providers offer up to 13 customers online at any one time.
You could even use Wi-Fi as a way of advertising and promoting your service. You could encourage clients to come to a salon for example stating they can work online while their hair colour is being processed. You could use it as an offer for example free Wi-Fi when you buy a coffee. You could offer a free dessert when the customer reviews your restaurant or just appear more professional with this service. If this is something you are considering, then keep in mind that some providers offer free marketing material to advertise you have customer Wi-Fi such as posters.
When it comes to providers there is a range to choose from. BT business broadband offers anything from the superfast essential and digital phone line package. This includes a digital phone line, Uk support, make and take calls by the app, keep your number with you and is available on full-fibre. To the Superfast and value line, which offers traditional phone line, 4G assured broadband backup, enhanced IT support, always connected guarantee and essential broadband benefits.
Its rival Virgin business broadband not only offers Vroom fibre broadband. This includes ultra-fast connection with download speeds up to 500Mbps and upload speeds up to 35Mbps. They also have a 4G start-up and will keep you online and a 4G back-up where customers can plug in a 4G dongle into their hub continue working, whilst it automatically updates the team to come and fix the problem. So, if you do not have time to call up wait on lengthy phone calls this is the perfect feature for you. Virgin also guarantees their minimum speed or you have the right to exit the contact between your business and them.
Sky business broadband is offering fibre speeds up to 76/19 Mbps including unlimited data and claims this will help protect against phishing & malware-infected sites. They have unlimited UK calls to both landline and mobiles, secure and reliable backed up 4G. This will help you stay connected as it has an automatic internet backup solution so that if your broadband isn’t running you can stay connected.
Vodafone business broadband is offering 36 months plans and claims to save you over 500 pounds when you switch. This as well as many other package deals to appeal to business owners.
Comparing Business Broadband: Where to start
You could be thinking to yourself this is a lot to take in. First, my business’s needs, then there is what the providers offer and finally so many providers to look through. Maybe you are short of time and it isn’t what you want to be doing in your free time, searching through hundreds of different providers to find the most suitable one. This is where we come in.
We simplify the process. You just need to tell us what you want, we save you the bother. We will then match you up with the top providers. We like to keep completely impartial. We understand that more goes into your decision than just the price and we want what’s best for your business. The process of shopping around is also much too time-consuming for any business owner. We also have access to exclusive industry discounts. So, we can often give you better than direct pricing.
We are here to support you and your business in comparing business broadband. The process is so quick and simple. The best part is it is accessible to everyone and we have business broadband packages starting from just £7.50 per month! All you need to do is go online to compare business broadband, fill out our 30-second form and we will compare all of the different providers ready for you to choose. We do the hard work so you don’t have to!