The Importance of Connectivity for Small Businesses
Article submitted by Comcast Business

With National Small Business Week on April 28 – May 4, 2024, Comcast Business has put together five tips to help small business owners in New York make the right connections.

Small business owners know better than anyone the importance of being flexible to meet the needs of their customers. Whether meeting with clients in or outside of an office, working remotely, or on the go, constant connectivity and collaboration is more important than ever before. So, what does this mean for small businesses?

Connections matter, but it’s not just about networking with the right people. Success depends on having the right technology that lets businesses seamlessly connect with customers, suppliers, and employees.

To offer guidance to our local small businesses here in New York this National Small Business Week (April 28 – May 4, 2024), here are five steps every small business owner should follow to ensure they are creating the right connections—and giving their 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. 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.

Step 2: Add More Layers of Technology

A speedy and reliable Internet connection can help support 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 traffic patterns in their store. This can provide insights into the busiest times and areas within the store and help the retailer make smarter decisions around everything from staffing to inventory management.

Step 3: Lock up Critical Data

Data security should always be a top focus for small business owners. After all, it’s not just big companies that fraudsters are targeting. According to the 2023 Comcast Business Small Business Cybersecurity Report, the company blocked over 390 million phishing attacks targeting small businesses in the second quarter of 2023.

As a first line of defense, small businesses should make sure their Internet provider offers security solutions that help protect devices on the network from threats like malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and botnet attacks. And don’t forget about mobile devices, smartphones and other mobile devices can also present a security risk that should be factored into the 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.

Step 5: Select a Strong Mobile Phone Provider 

Choosing the best business mobile partner is different than selecting a personal mobile provider. The top factors small businesses should consider include:

  • Flexibility: A good mobile provider offers flexibility in their plans, allowing small businesses to customize based on their business requirements. That flexibility should extend beyond the original purchase and scale and flex to toggle, mix, and match between unlimited or by-the-gig data options. Importantly, find providers that give more savings as the company grows, with discounts that increase as more lines are added.
  • Device compatibility and availability: A mobile partner should offer a wide range of devices to meet specific technology needs since no two small businesses are the same. Whether the company needs tablets, phones, smart watches, hot spots, or a combination of them all, a good partner can work to select the specific devices that meet individual businesses requirements.

While National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impactful work of small businesses in our communities, it is also a great time to share resources and knowledge to better support these organizations. By following these steps, small businesses can build the foundation for success now and into the future.