Just as there's a car for every driver, there's an internet service plan for every business. Some businesses find they do just fine at the no-frills end of the spectrum, driving an economical plan with reasonable speed and capacity, like a Ford Fiesta. Other data-intensive or media-intensive businesses require a fully-featured, ultra-fast connection--the Lamborghini of service plans. In this post, we compare plans, pricing, and features so you can evaluate if you're riding the Internet superhighway on a business internet services plan that meets your budget and your needs.
Three Signs You're In The Wrong Ride
Most small-to-medium sized companies can get by just fine with the speed and capacity that works for email, web browsing, and the occasional YouTube video. Prices for these services have dropped dramatically in recent years. However, with the arrival of cloud services and the emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) business models, what used to get you from point A to point B on the internet may no longer work. No matter what type of plan you decide on, you need it to work reliably. There are three signs that warrant another look at your business internet service plan:
- Your data requirements are modest, but it's been 18 months or longer since you reviewed your plan and pricing.
- Your data requirements have increased or are intensive. You may be noticing lags, drops, and inconsistencies, and your team is frustrated when they access sites, applications, or networked resources.
- You can't get support for your Internet service easily or quickly.
If your business situation meets any of these conditions, it's time for a re-examination of your plan.
Are You Paying Too Much?
If you're in the first scenario, and it's been more than 18 months since you looked at the marketplace of plans, definitely haul out your latest bill. Review it and look for charges you may not understand. You shouldn't be paying for anything you don't use, or anything you don't recognize. Next start comparing the price you pay with the price other companies offer. You may find a plan that fits your needs better than your current one and this could save you money.
Your Data Changed; Did You Up Your Ride?
Many businesses are voracious consumers of data. Think about all of your mission-critical business applications: VoIP phones, networked files located offsite, website hosting, application hosting, and services you buy and consume over the web such as your bookkeeping, inventory manager, and email. Publically-traded SaaS companies have an average Revenue Per Employee of $200,000.
These services compete for access to the Internet, so you'll need to make sure each is getting enough space in your plan. Here's how to audit your data requirements: Figure out how many devices will be connected and in use, know how many people will be on the network at a time, and finally what you will be using your service for. For quick upload and download speeds you will need a plan like Metro Ethernet which provides a large amount of data.
Do You Know Your Mechanic?
The most important aspect of your business internet plan is the company behind it. Your provider should also be a partner who can help your company save money and grow with the times. Do they check in on you? Can you reach the company on the phone easily? When service is required or your network is down, how fast can they get it resolved? You need a company with representatives you can count on if an issue arises.
There are a few different types of internet services for businesses in the Cleveland area, as described by this table below. Generally, you expect to pay more for greater speeds (up and down), capacity, and reliability.
If you don't need a Lamborghini then don't pay for it, and always make sure your plan is getting you where you need to go at the best price possible.
Contact us if you need help deciphering your bill, if your business is looking for new service, or for a free plan audit. To learn more about which business internet service is right for your company, download our Business Internet Buyer's Guide: