Any amount of downtime can be troublesome for your business when you consider how connected we all are online these days which is why it has to be a priority in finding ways to ensure you enjoy website reliability.
Here are some tips and strategies to help you choose the best ISP for your business and improve your odds of keeping any downtime to a minimum.
The Right Circuits
When you consider your reliance on internet connectivity for standard business functions such as email and cloud computing it becomes clear that your choice of options and providers are not something that can be taken too lightly.
Whether you choose cable ISP or any of the potential options available to your business it is a decision that will help shape the efficiency and productivity of your business going forward.
It’s All in the Planning
When you are trying to decide on your options and narrowing down your choice so that you end up with the best fit and the right internet provider for your business you will need to consider your future as well as your current needs.
There are a number of highly pertinent questions that need to be answered in the decision-making process, such as what bandwidth you need and what your latency and uptime requirements are now and in the future.
All of these questions and terms relate to your online capacity needs and provide a measurable performance figure as to how fast data is able to travel and what capacity you need to maintain functionality at all times.
Getting the Right Connection
A fundamental decision that you will have to make is whether you can operate your business successfully using a standard service or whether it is necessary to sign up to a high availability service.
A standard broadband service offers a choice of DSL or cable and if you subscribe to a high availability service you should be offered a service level agreement that offers you uptime that is as close to continuous as possible and aims to keep downtime to a matter of hours in total throughout a 12-month period.
If your business is unable to function without the guarantee of a constant and reliable internet connection then you may well need to consider an ISP that is able to offer you the speeds and capacity you want, combined with guaranteed uptime confirmed in a service level agreement.
Know What You Want
You wouldn’t choose a car that didn’t meet your needs in terms of performance, capacity, running costs and other considerations and the same rules apply when you are talking about finding the right ISP for your business.
It is essential that you have a very clear idea of what you want and need from your ISP before you go looking for the right one.
Detail all of your specific requirements beforehand and then after you finalized that list and know exactly what you want you can go searching for an ISP that is best able to tick as many of those boxes as possible.
Need for Speed
It can often prove to be a challenging and complicated procedure calculating your internet speed requirements.
The main criteria are that you have sufficient bandwidth and system capacity to satisfy all users on your network, including peak times when everyone might be accessing the internet all at the same time.
What you don’t want to happen is find that the connection slows at peak times when traffic increases and you also need to take into account the data requirements of applications that you will be using such as a VoIP system or accessing the cloud.
A Contingency Plan
If your business will literally grind to a halt and be unable to function properly as soon as there is any downtime you should consider making a backup plan.
Ask your ISP about redundancy options, which is a fail over internet connection that gets called into action immediately after your main line goes down for any reason.
Cost is also a prime consideration and there is no doubt that your specific requirements and minimum service levels required will have a significant impact on what you pay to your internet service provider.
That is why it pays to consider all of your options carefully and work at creating a bespoke plan that gives you the internet service you need and finding an ISP that will match those needs at the best possible price.
Chloe McDonald is a small business consultant who gives tips and advice on all aspects of running a small business from websites to finances. Her articles are published on a growing number of business blogs.