Recently, I went to a fairly new coffee shop to meet a friend, we both work from home, but, wanted to catch up a little bit in the process. At first, we were the only customers at the coffee shop and we were both able to enjoy a relatively fast connection while accessing the guest Wi-Fi.
However, as time past, and more people entered the coffee shop, speeds slowed down--to the point where my friend, whom was using a tablet to browse the internet, just got stuck trying to load pages.
I could still connect on my laptop, but each page I tried to gain access to, took more than a minute to load.
To say we were frustrated was an understatement.
More and more small businesses are being asked, “What’s the wifi password.” It’s no longer a luxury that is being provided but something customers both expect to have, and expect to perform at pretty much flawless levels.
You may have started to notice frustrated customers or a decrease in repeat customers due to their perception of your wireless quality.
Perhaps your employees that are constantly accessing the Wi-Fi to perform their job duties are growing unhappier and productivity is starting to decrease.
Maybe you, yourself might be dealing with the negative impact of a poor performing wireless network.
Providing a reliable Wi-Fi experience can either be an asset or a huge pain point for your business, and knowing when it’s time to update can help you avoid the latter.
Here are 5 reasons why you should update your wireless network to benefit your small or medium sized business.
You want to support a better end-user experience
According to Small Business Trends, “As many as 62% of businesses pointed out that customers spend more time in their facility or shop if Wi-Fi access is offered.”
Sixty-two percent isn’t chump change no matter which way you look at it. If you’re end-users aren’t able to gain the experience they expect from your establishment, chances are they won’t return.
The quality of your Wi-Fi network can greatly impact many aspects of your business, whether it’s guests, customers, or employees complaining about their connectivity.
Reliable wifi drives business, we all know that--whether that's your employees or guests working from a coffee shop, using social networks, browsing the internet and even using our devices to shop while in-store.
With the prevalence of online reviews being a go-to for many patrons, poor reviews can decrease business.
Almost everywhere I go, I have noticed and influx in tablet/iPad pay stands instead of cash registers. When shopping, staff members will use some type of mobile device to locate an item, or find me a different size. All of these things run on the company’s wifi network.
Let’s not forget the word productivity, if employees are constantly battling with connecting to the wireless to do their jobs, chances are productivity will go down.
Not only is there a chance that productivity will be low, but you might have noticed a high turnover rate amongst employees as well.
Happy end-users = happy business owners.
Your WiFi flat-out doesn’t work
Sometimes the quality of your wireless network is so poor that it’s like not having it at all.
There are many common wifi problems that many businesses experience, from slow speeds to getting kicked off the network all together and both are frustrating for everyone.
It’s possible that your guests, customers, and employees can access the network, but are having issues with spotty coverage.
Meaning, your end-users have access on one side of the room but not the other, or as they walk around they experience drops and interruptions in service, also known as roaming.
If your business is experiencing issues to the point where people aren’t even willing to try to gain access to your wifi network, it’s time for an update.
Your current network isn’t optimized for mobile devices
While the wireless network may have the right amount of RF signal to provide coverage to your entire business area, the WLAN design now needs to also have context.
A high performing wireless network, plans for the different types of mobile devices and applications being used as well as the number of devices and end-users your business has to support.
If you don’t have a wireless system that has been properly designed for both coverage (RF design) and capacity, then you’re going to have a hard time meeting the expectations and requirements of your customers and employees.
Watch the video below to learn more about the importance of deploying a capacity design.
Your Wireless Network is Outdated
Technology changes and evolves at an incredibly fast pace. New devices come out (smartphones to wearables), applications we run on our devices require updates to perform properly and prevent security issues.
If devices and their applications have a 12-18-month lifespan, what does that mean for your wireless network?
Your wireless network should be updated every 3-4 years to ensure it can properly keep pace with the devices, applications and end-users it’s supposed to support.
Devices, applications, security threats, even down to the physical environment of your business can have an impact on your wifi performance.
If your network is past its prime, then it’s time for an update.
Your wireless network is made of residential equipment
While running to your local electronics store, or clicking purchase on Amazon to buy a router may seem appealing--DON’T DO IT. That type of router might work fine at home, but it just won’t do the job in your SMB’s environment.
Commercial grade wireless equipment and residential grade equipment are different in a lot of ways. From how many devices they can support, to security features to analytics, to how their physically deployed is night and day.
If you’ve thought to yourself, “I’ve installed wifi at my house, it can’t be much different”, then this is a major reason why your business’s wireless network is performing poorly.
Think about the difference in the amount of end-users, devices, and applications being run at home in comparison to your workspace. I wager the numbers are vastly different.
Sure, setting up your router at home was a piece of cake, however, the Wi-Fi engineering process requires much more--it takes years of experience and certifications to get the right WLAN design.
Partnering with a reliable and experienced wireless solutions provider will deliver a wireless network that performs the way it’s required and expected too, saving you money, time and a lot of frustration.
You don’t have to be a large corporation, or occupy a huge building to require a reliable and robust wireless network.
Today, wireless is a utility, like electricity, every business big and small is required to have it. In fact, without it, odds are you won’t be in business at all.
At SecurEdge Networks, our customized platform will help you create an affordable, robust, secure, and easy to manage wireless system. If you have any questions about your current wireless network or would like to discuss an upcoming project, please contact us here today.