Small businesses rely on the internet for just about everything these days; payroll, communication, customer interactions, payment processing, and more. A good internet service can make your business stand out among customers, and also helps to create a more streamlined and efficient workplace. If you’re looking for a new internet provider, there are some important factors to consider before you rush into signing any contracts or start spending any money. Researching ISPs and considering the tips we’ve provided here will ensure that you’re getting the best service package for the best price available to you. Here’s how to get the best internet service for your small business.
Consider Your Specific Needs
First, you need to consider what the specific needs of your company are. Do you need faster internet? More bandwidth? Better customer service? A more reliable connection? Each of these questions has a specific answer that will factor into your choice. Businesses in different industries will have vastly different needs when it comes to internet service, and you might find that the company you’ve been considering doesn’t offer what you’re looking for.
Make a list of things that you need out of your internet provider and the service itself. Check off the things you must have, and the things you could do without. Customer service should be at the top of the list, as well as the reliability of the connection. Even a fast service isn’t useful if it’s constantly cutting in and out, and without good customer service, you’ll have no help when things go awry.
Use a Reliable Service
You don’t have to trust Google alone to locate the best ISPs. Sites like Internet Advisor can help you find the best service in your zipcode, and can offer a more detailed look at the services and prices offered by those companies. Using such a site will help save you time and give you a clearer picture of what you have to choose from. Think of these sites as sort of a “broker” to help you find the right ISP for your business.
Check Customer Service Records
Whether you’re looking at customer reviews or such studies as the Customer Satisfaction Index, it’s important to check the customer service record of any business you plan to sign on with. Certain ISPs have developed a reputation for terrible customer service, and more than a few customers have walked away because of it. You don’t want to get stuck in this cycle, so be certain to check the reviews on the company’s website, social media pages, and review sites.
One detailed review from a previous customer can offer more insight into the company’s customer service culture than you might think. Look for patterns in the reviews; if you notice that one thing in particular is complained about over all else, it’s safe to say that’s probably a real issue for the company and the reviews are being honest.
Compare Prices and Features
If you’re satisfied with the company’s customer service record, you can move on to comparing prices and features between different ISPs. While there are only a few major providers, there are several smaller ISPs that you can compare and choose from. Be sure to compare similar monthly service packages in terms of cost, speed and reliability, and any extra features that are offered.
With limitless information available at our fingertips, it’s simply foolish not to compare brands and prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Just because a price seems reasonable, that doesn’t mean it’s the best price out there. Don’t pay more than you need to for the services you need!
Don’t Rush It
Plenty of businesses end up rushing their search for the best internet service, and fall victim to clever marketing or hidden terms of service. You don’t want your internet service to become one of your biggest expenses, and this can occur if you don’t pay close attention to the terms of service of your package. ISPs can sneak in hidden fees in those contracts, knowing full well that most people don’t even take the time to read them!
You’re entering into a business contract with another company, so reading over the entire thing is absolutely critical to protecting yourself and your business as a whole.
Getting the best internet service for your small business involves a bit of effort and research to ensure you’re not being sucked into a bad service plan. Be wary of clever marketing, do your research, and be certain of the features you need from your internet service versus those you want. Don’t settle for the first price you find, either; do some research and compare brands so you can make an informed decision. Happy hunting!