When you’re a small business owner, every expense has to be carefully considered and compared. Looking for broadband providers can be a confusing task, but there are several things you can look for. Comcast Cable Provider, one of the most well-known broadband providers, offers high-speed Internet access for under $20 a month. You can often find deals for the small business owner where you can get cash back and free cable modems with your broadband purchase.
Broadband connections are up to 870 times faster than dial-up access, which is why many small business owners turn to companies like Charter Communications, where the company gets free installation of their Motorola Modem.
Some service providers, like Verizon, offer DSL Broadband that has added features such as email accounts, 10 MB of space for files, and live tech-support with 24/7 access at only $17.99 per month.
Earthlink is another popular broadband provider. For under $20 a month, they offer extra hours of dial-up for free, plus a spam blocker, pop-up blocker, and 24-hour technical support.
If your small business is already using AT&T phone services, then you may want to add Broadband to your bill and save almost $5 a month in comparison to other providers. Because they’re a service that is already in many homes and offices, switching to use them as your broadband provider can be a very easy process.
AT&T offers unlimited high speed Internet access that comes with email, online storage for files and images, and a complete security suite that includes a pop-up blocker, firewall, spam blocker, anti-virus and spyware protector.
Regardless of which provider you use for your broadband Internet access, make sure you compare more than just the cost. Some of the extra features some companies offer will allow you to cancel subscriptions to other sites, by letting you combine all of the features into a single product.
Another tip is that even after you sign up with one broadband provider, stay alert for better deals and even check to see if the provider you’re with is offering an introductory price better than the plan you’re currently on. Sometimes, they’ll allow you to switch to the better deal if you call and request it. It’s rare that they’ll notify you of cheaper pricing unless you stay abreast of offers. With broadband providers all competing for your business, you can pick and choose and leverage the power of your purchase.
DSL Versus Cable Versus Satellite
For a small business owner, who often operates without many employees, time management is an element to success. If you’re being dragged down by a slow dial-up Internet connection, because you don’t know the difference between DSL, cable, and satellite connections, then you may be impairing the efficiency of your operation.
Because high-speed access is so affordable and the competitive market has dwindled prices to an all-time low, you can afford to be choosy when considering whether to invest in DSL, cable, or satellite connections.
To get connected using cable the business owner needs to enlist some sort of cable television service first. A DSL connection is done over telephone lines, and a satellite connection uses a dish to beam the Internet connection to a satellite.
Unlike dial-up, all three options can let the small business owner still use his or her phone while getting connected to the Internet. Some areas don’t have access to high-speed Internet access. They’re stuck using dial-up at a very slow rate of speed.
DSL, Cable, and Satellite are all much faster than a dial-up connection, and the exact speed depends on which plan and company you sign up with. On average, it’s about 40 times faster than a dial-up is.
There are pros and cons to using each option. With DSL, your speed is always steady, even if you have 2 or 200 people using the service. When a small business owner is using cable, the speed of his service depends on how many others in his area are logged on at the same time.
Satellite is often thought to be the best, but the signal has much farther to travel, so there is often a delay. Plus, it’s more difficult (and therefore expensive) to install than DSL or cable options.
Although it’s performance is affected by the number of other users in the area, cable providers generally charge 3-4 times more for cable connections than DSL charges. However, DSL prices often go up at the end of the one-year sign-on special.
If you’re using DSL or cable to connect to the Internet, you’ll need a broadband modem. With satellite, you’ll need a dish installed. Regardless of which option you choose, as a small business owner, you’ll come out ahead if you leave dial-up behind and switch to one of the faster Internet connection opportunities, such as DSL, cable, or satellite service.
How to Set Up Your Own WiFi Hot Spot
Giving your customers access to an Internet connection with unbelievable speed can increase the attractiveness of your business to your target audience. For instance, someone wanting to stay at a Bed and Breakfast would much prefer to settle in at one advertising a WiFi connection than one without Internet access.
In today’s world, people conduct business or simply stay in touch even while they’re on vacation and without high-speed Internet access, they’re doomed to miss out on important communications.
B&Bs aren’t the only ones jumping onto the WiFi bandwagon. Other small business owners are realizing the importance of catering to their customers’ needs, such as the owners and operators of campgrounds, independent bookstores, apartment buildings, family-owned restaurants, and coffee houses.
It’s not just travelers looking for a WiFi connecting spot. Many local residents like to make sure a business carries this feature so that they can get out of the house and relax with access to a high speed Internet connection.
The cost of setting up your own WiFi hot spot is minimal, but it goes a long way in fostering the relationship you want to develop with your customers. It’s one must-have aspect many people check on before committing to visit a certain establishment.
If you want to stay competitive with other businesses in the community, set up your own WiFi hot spot and offer it s an added incentive for people to visit your place of business.
The first thing you do is invest in some equipment, which will include a Broadband connection and credit card processing in case you want to offer your WiFi services at a fee, as some businesses do to deter squatters from taking up space all day in their place of business.
Buy some hotspot equipment for less than $300 and install it according to the directions. You want to choose an option that delivers good technical support for your customers, in case you don’t want to be responsible for troubleshooting yourself.
Small business owners have the choice to buy and install the WiFi equipment and system themselves or hire someone to do it for them, such as a hotspot specialist or management service. Regardless of which installation method you choose, make sure it’s running effectively before you advertise it to the public. Then sit back and watch as the loyalty to your business grow exponentially.
Marketing with Broadband Using Video and Podcasting
If you’re a small business, then it’s vital that you learn how to increase your company’s exposure and reach – and do it with a cost-effective method. Today’s consumers are devouring their information from seemingly tech-savvy entrepreneurs who know that video and podcasting through broadband deliver what most target audiences want – fast mobile access to their data.
If your company is online, then you probably already know the extent to which video is being used in marketing circles. People have it on their website, not to mention strategically placing it on social networks like YouTube to gain added exposure. Broadband connections are vital to a video promotion’s success because it allows you to deliver streaming content at a fast, steady pace.
Some small business owners are combining video and podcasting, often referred to as a vidcast or vodcast. The broadband system automatically allows users to download a streaming video clip onto their iPod and watch it wherever they happen to be.
The demand for video podcasting using a broadband connection is growing at a fast rate. Even audio podcasts are taking a backseat because consumers increasingly demand to see the information they’re seeking in action.
If your small business has a need to distribute video podcasts via a broadband connection, then you’ll simply create a file or stream and use your web server to upload it onto the ‘net for your customers to download and view at their discretion.
When a file is uploaded via broadband by the small business owner, the customer can access it and skip portions of the file if they wish to see certain portions of the video podcast.
The streaming nature of the media lets the business owner use up less bandwidth on the servers. The end user, however, may experience a delay in the playing of the video podcast id the transfer speed is slow.
Video podcasting using broadband was first pioneered by the Dutch and began saturating the market in the Netherlands because the Dutch had a hungry appetite for this form of media, with close to 60% of the citizens utilizing broadband Internet connections.
It’s a form of information dissemination that operates like a win/win for both the publisher, or small business owner sing broadband, and his subscribers, who can access a video podcasts on demand whenever they feel like learning something new.
Why Dial-Up Isn’t Good Enough
As a business owner trying to get your profits soaring, it’s vital that you have the best technology that will allow you to operate at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, a dial-up Internet connection isn’t going to boost your productivity.
Dial-up connections are slow and frustrating for everyone. What should take a split second often takes minutes to accomplish, and time is money in the business world. If your company operates on a dial-up connection, then chances are you’re missing out on increased profits and reduced costs.
While dial-up may be cheaper than a broadband connection, which offers lightening-fast speed and efficiency, it often costs more in lost business and opportunities because you have to operate at such a slow pace throughout the day.
While you’re sitting there waiting for a page to load on the Internet, your competitors are bouncing from site to site, catering to your target audience because your dial-up connection is too slow to catch up with them.
Unfortunately, some small business owners that are stuck in rural areas don’t have the option of whether to run on a dial-up connection or invest in broadband, but most will tell you they’d gladly pay more if it were only a possibility.
Although some are just thankful that have any Internet connection at all, they understand the implications of trying to run a fast small business operation on a slow, dragging dial-up rate of speed.
Broadband has become so mainstream in populated areas that it’s easily cost-effective for everyone to obtain, and many individuals as well as small business owners are saying “goodbye” to dial-up and “hello” to a world of instant downloads and quick access to the sites they want to visit on the ‘net.
A Dial-up connection also means a small business owner must have a dedicated phone line to operate on the Internet, because otherwise they would have to choose between accessing the World Wide Web and being able to answer calls and phone out if necessary.
While many small business owners assume their dial-up connections operate at a 56k speed, that’s really the maximum speed they run, and it’s rare that their system ever actually achieves a 56k speed.
If you’re a small business owner considering the investment of your technological needs, make sure you steer clear of dial-up offers and upgrade to a broadband connection whenever possible.