As the world develops, more and more businesses are relying on internet speed more than ever.

The speed of your internet service  impacts how quickly your employees access their email or find important information, and also affects the quality of your customers’ experience when they access applications on your website.

Business Spectrum has listed the benefits of faster internet speeds to your company, and identified the types of businesses that can benefit the most from high-speed internet.

Understanding the differences between internet connection options

Before you can align your business needs to your internet requirements, it helps to understand the different internet options and what they mean for you.

What’s bandwidth?
We’ve all heard the term “bandwidth,” but what does it really mean? When it comes to small businesses and the internet, bandwidth means the rate of data transfer measured in bits per second, regardless of whether you’re uploading or downloading an audio file, application or medical record. In other words, bandwidth is the maximum amount of information a connection can handle under perfect conditions.

What’s the difference between download and upload speeds?
You may think that just because you have a high-speed connection, the speed is the same for both uploading and downloading. Not true. Regardless of the connection type, the download speed is usually faster than upload speed. For example, someone may tell you that you have a 10 Mbps (10 million bits per second) connection. In reality, that connection will only support 10 Mbps download, but the upload speed may barely hit 1 Mbps. This can be a major factor for business productivity.

Using the internet to drive your business

By now, you may be wondering what difference 5, 50, or 100 Mbps of internet speed will have on your business. The fact is that it can have a huge impact. How can you tell if your business is the type that would benefit from higher internet speeds? The answer depends on several factors such as the type of business you have, how many employees work at your location, their job tasks as it related to the internet, and how your customers interact with your web-based services. The bottom line is—faster downloading and uploading of files and media improves employee efficiency and enhances your customers’ online experience.

A wide range of small businesses can realize real results from high-speed internet connections. For the most part, these businesses typically fit within one or more of the following categories:

  • Conduct business at multiple (two-four) locations
  • Leverage the internet for 50% of their business operations or more
  • Deploy 3 or more computers, including laptops and desk side machines
  • Employ from 3 or more employees

Business Services
Consultant services encompass a wide range of small businesses. Insurance offices, advertising and creative agencies, architectural firms, local banks, and law offices all have diverse internet needs. Architectural firms rely on costly CADD software packages to service their customers. Ad and creative agencies move vast amounts of data including streaming Flash media, files created by Adobe® InDesign®, Dreamweaver®, photo-realistic rendering, and web content management systems. Financial services depend on a wide variety of analysis software include trading and business intelligent applications, like S&P or Thomson Reuters, and other web-enabled tools.

If your business fits in the business services category, boosting your Internet speed could pay back big dividends. First, consider how much faster—4x, 10x, or more—you could move those large files around. Web and video conferencing requires higher speeds of at least 25 Mbps and beyond. You could collaborate with customers more effectively, turn around projects faster, and gain peace of mind that your web-enabled tasks perform at peak efficiency. Your customers will perceive that your business is “different” from the competition, and will refer others to your services.

Computer Services
Like the business services sector, technology firms and consultancies depend on efficient data movement to maximize productivity. IT design firms, software and hardware development teams, and computer repair shops consume data, anytime, anywhere. Data-intensive applications require faster data speeds, and it’s that simple. These businesses transfer large files between locations, share work tools, files, or software, and access critical data on servers when working off site.

Imagine what happens when that 3.5 GB application fails to download within the time you expect it. A domino effect now begins. First, it impacts your schedule—then your customers—and then your customers’ customer. Boosting your connection speed to 50 Mbps and beyond with the right service provider means your data is delivered, right now. No more worries about slow file transfers, angry customers, or inefficient collaboration. Increased speed helps upload fresh content quickly. You can rest assured that your team remains productive and connected to the information they need, even while working remotely.

Retail Stores and Franchises
Any retailer with an online presence, from car dealerships to merchandise ordering, has felt the embarrassment of slow online transactions. The results could be as simple as a few lost orders, or as extreme as a tarnished name within your local community.

If your business requires significant credit card processing, online merchant or consumer ordering, you require the fastest and most reliable Internet connection available. Your need expands even further if you require high storage capacity and must access large files at off-site servers or data centers. Accelerating your connection speed simply means more orders processed—and a faster track to boosting your bottom line.

Now that you know the internet basics, and how your business can benefit from faster internet access, here are a few things you can do to take advantage of your new understanding.

  • First, it pays to talk to an expert—someone who has installed hundreds of business-class internet connections to a wide range of small businesses.
  • Next, you’ll want to meet with that expert and explore how to align your internet speeds with your specific business goals.
  • Finally, you’ll want to partner with that expert, and allow them to show you how to use the internet to accelerate your bottom line.

The internet is an amazing place, full of new information and the latest fads, internet speed CAN drives your business. Faster downloading and uploading of files and media help your employees stay efficient and enhance your customer’s online experience.

Via Spectrum Business
Image Credit: exchange comms