As the saying goes, you sometimes don’t realize how important something is until you lose it. And anyone who has ever been without an internet connection knows just how true that is! You might even find yourself asking how businesses were even able to function in an era before the internet. The truth is that reliable internet service can make or break your business. Even a few hours without an internet connection can be costly and put your business at a setback.
The reality is that there were many parts of business that just weren’t efficient or easy before the internet. Sure, businesses managed, but they weren’t able to be as productive as they are today. If somebody was working remotely, the only way to reach them was through a phone call. If you needed to send a document to somebody, you needed to send it by postal mail. Processes were long and drawn out, and the creation of the internet meant that businesses could be much more productive.
If your internet goes out, you’ll find a way to manage. And in most situations in the 21st century, an internet outage is something that lasts only a couple of hours at its longest. However, in whatever time you spend without the internet, another business that has it is going to be working more effectively. If you can’t update your e-commerce shop, a customer might miss out on an opportunity to buy a product. If you aren’t available to answer questions via social media, then potential customers will go elsewhere to a business that can actually communicate with them immediately.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just about reliable connection — it’s also about fast connection. When your internet is slow, it can result in frustrated, unhappy employees who waste collective minutes or even hours of manpower waiting for servers to load, emails to go through, and apps to upload.
Here are a few ways to consider how the internet has changed the face of modern business operations.
More and more marketing is being done via a digital platform these days. While TV commercials, radio commercials, print ads, and even things like billboards still exist, they don’t have the reach or the cost-effectiveness of social media, email newsletters, podcasts, or other modes of digital marketing. When your internet isn’t reliable or fast, you could find yourself cut off from your potential customers. Your digital marketing platforms also serve as customer support for many businesses, as their followers are often trying to contact them with questions via direct messages on social media.
More shoppers are making purchases from the convenience of their living room. And if this trend were steadily gaining traction enough among consumers before the Covid-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders and quarantining meant a substantial portion of the population became acclimated to how easy it is to just order their favorite products with a click. Even small businesses that more often relied on foot traffic in their brick-and-mortar shops realized that e-commerce was necessary if they wanted to stay in business. Simply put, e-commerce — like digital marketing — offers a significant return on investment for businesses, as the money you put into maintaining your e-commerce shop will help you earn a substantial amount more than you would if you didn’t have it.
More and more workplaces are relying on the internet to make their employee training more efficient. Video tutorials, online operations manuals, and even continuing development programs are all things you can have available online to help both new employees as well as longstanding ones. This is especially true for companies with lots of remote workers who may not be able to have members of management there in person to train new members of staff.
Just as it’s difficult to train new employees without the connection that the internet provides, it’s even more difficult for employees to communicate with one another when they don’t have access to the internet. While more and more companies are choosing to have employees work remotely, even companies that use a central office rely on instant messenger applications and email for team members to communicate throughout the day. It’s also a way for your team to communicate with clients — could you imagine setting up an important video conference with a client via Slack or Teams only to have your internet cut out halfway through?
Smart technology is becoming an even more popular option for workplaces, whether it’s in the form of a smart thermostat, smart lighting, or even a smart coffeemaker. Your company might even rely on a smart security system which you can set and check from a remote location. Without internet connection, you’re not able to use these products or services to keep your employees safe, comfortable, and happy.
At BL Technical, our goal is to provide IT solutions that will strengthen your business. If you need help establishing reliable internet service — or would even like to set up a backup internet service — contact us today at 410-504-1949.