The Right Tech to Keep Your Business Connected

Follow these four steps to build the infrastructure that fits your SMB needs

woman in retail setting using a tablet

For any successful small business owner, connections matter. But it’s not just about networking with the right people—success also depends on having the right technology that lets you seamlessly connect with your customers, suppliers, and employees.

what kind of connectivity infrastructure does your business need? Whether you’re running a small restaurant, a big retail space, or a growing office, here are four steps every entrepreneur should follow to ensure you’re creating the right connections—and giving your business the best chance to succeed.

Step 1: Get Online

The first step for most small businesses is simply to set up an internet connection. “Internet connectivity is so ubiquitous today,” says Christian Nascimento, vice president of product management and strategy at Comcast Business. “If a new business wants to communicate with its customers or order supplies, so much of that happens online. Therefore, they need to make sure that they’ve got the right connectivity infrastructure ready to go before they open their doors.”

The specific connectivity needs—such as the amount of bandwidth or mobile solutions—will vary from business to business. For instance, a small office with a handful of employees likely has very different bandwidth and connection needs than a 100-seat restaurant with a state-of-the-art point-of-sale (POS) system and a robust Wi-Fi network for its patrons. “It’s really about determining what the core focus of your business is and how you plan to connect customers, clients, and employees,” Nascimento says.

Step 2: Add More Layers of Technology

“Once you’ve established what kind of bandwidth is going to be required for a business, the next step is to start layering applications and devices on top of that,” Nascimento says. These days, a speedy and reliable internet connection can help power a broad range of powerful, business-grade technology tools that can give companies insights into how to run their business more efficiently.

For example, a retailer might use Wi-Fi-enabled data analytics tools to understand customer foot flow in their store. “As customers’ smartphones connect to the store’s Wi-Fi, analytics can offer valuable customer insights that can better inform business decisions,” Nascimento says. “You can use that data to see customer flow patterns to better understand not only what parts of the store might be busy, but also what are the busiest times of the day.” That can help the retailer make smarter decisions around everything from staffing to inventory management.

Step 3: Lock up Critical Data

Data security should be a top concern for small business owners. After all, it’s not just big companies that fraudsters are targeting: These days, ransomware and phishing scams increasingly are targeting small businesses—and many of those businesses simply aren’t prepared. “With so much information in the cloud and traversing the internet, it’s really a target rich environment for the bad guys,” Nascimento says.

As a first line of defense, small business owners can better defend themselves by using an internet provider that offers security solutions that help protect devices on their network from threats like malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and botnet attacks. And don’t forget about mobile devices: The smartphones and other mobile devices used by small business employees can also present a security risk that companies need to factor into their overall cybersecurity plan.

Step 4: Leave Room for Growth

As small businesses grow, expand, and enter new markets, they need technology infrastructure that can keep pace. That’s why businesses need to ensure that the technology they choose is flexible and compatible across multiple locations and can be monitored centrally. The right connectivity partner can help manage that growth, whether for a restaurant with multiple locations or a company with a broadly distributed workforce.

Managing technology infrastructure is a critical but often time-consuming task. Fortunately, small business owners don’t have to do this work alone. Partnering with a trusted solutions provider can help them design the right suite of technology for their business, and give them a single point of contact when issues arise. “That helps small business owners conserve their most precious commodity—their time,” Nascimento says.

Get your new business ready to do business with connectivity from Comcast Business. Click here to learn more.

Originally posted on Fast Company,

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