Whether you go to a restaurant for dinner, go to a lawyer’s office to sign the exchange papers on a new house or arrive at the office of a client for a business meeting, one of your first questions is always likely to be ‘what’s the Wi-Fi password?’.
The pace of digital transformation combined with trends like smartphone ownership means Wi-Fi has become a fundamental requirement for businesses everywhere. Savvy business owners understand that to keep up with the competition, they need to embrace digital transformation, but the Wi-Fi network sometimes feels like an overlooked element of the equation.
The importance of getting your Wi-Fi right.
Whilst there’s no doubting that the business case for Wi-Fi has been established, it is also true that any problems with your network can prove to be devastating. For a start, businesses of all sizes are reliant on being connected online. This may be for the sake of running an EPOS system, taking card payments, or sending customer invoices. Any interruption in the ability to do these things is going to bring a business to a halt, and this is something that SMEs can ill afford.
As an SME business, chances are that either the business owner – or perhaps the youngest, most tech-savvy employee – effectively operate as the IT department whilst also trying to do their day job. This is quite clearly unproductive, drawing the attention of valuable resources away from the tasks they should be undertaking, hindering productivity and stopping your business from growing.
How to maximize the office Wi-Fi.
With business owners now incredibly reliant on their Wi-Fi network, it’s imperative that they find a solution for ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently which doesn’t entail major IT overheads.
Operating their Wi-Fi network in the cloud can provide this solution. For a start, moving your Wi-Fi management to the cloud allows you to set up a new network incredibly easily, with the configuration of access points and users all simply managed through the cloud-based dashboard.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’re often out and about, meeting with clients, attending networking events and occasionally trying to find five minutes to catch your breath. It’s impossible to think that you’re always going to be at your work premises, able to deal with any Wi-Fi problems when they arise. By moving your Wi-Fi management to the cloud, you can access your network anywhere and on any device. Moreover, for those small businesses that have multiple locations, this means that you can manage the networks of all your premises from one place, without having to travel from one office or store to another firefighting Wi-Fi problems.
This ease of management also extends to troubleshooting problems. Through the cloud Wi-Fi app, it’s easy to view and assess any problems on the network, with tips and wizard guided solutions that ensure that most issues can be easily and quickly rectified.
Getting maximum value from your network
As Wi-Fi has become more central to the way people do business, so too have the ways in which it can add value increased, going from being an overhead to becoming a revenue generator. Put simply, the value of your Wi-Fi network is no longer simply in connecting your business and your customers to the internet. However, too often it’s the case that businesses are not taking full advantage of these opportunities.
For example, as a restaurant, once people have signed in to your network it is possible to use the location data to help you understand the footfall outside your restaurant when it peaks and troughs and when you should look to entice people in with offers. Going one step further, these offers could be delivered via a direct marketing campaign delivered over the Wi-Fi network, helping to boost business.
When it comes to retail, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the role technology plays in the shopping experience, including in brick and mortar stores. Retailers are adopting an omnichannel, clicks-and-mortar, approach as they look to offer customers a service that aligns with their digital lifestyles. In the context of this change, Wi-Fi gives retailers an opportunity to communicate with customers in a way they wouldn’t have been able to previously, sending them special offers if they spent time deliberating over a purchase in-store or giving regular customers early access to the January Sales. These interactions are critical for retailers, building stronger relationships with their customers that in turn create successful businesses, and Wi-Fi is the technology that is facilitating them.