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Small Business Internet Access - Is It Important?

Aug 17, 2007
These days, the Internet can be more important than the telephone to many small businesses. The average person turns to the Web to find information, services and products. It is also a way to connect with other people. Internet services are very essential, strategic business and marketing tools. Once you start to rely on them, you really cannot do without them.

In fact, roughly seventy percent of small businesses with broadband connections rate those Internet services as "very important to the functioning and productivity of their businesses," reports a survey by a group that studies the Internet and telecommunications marketplace (The Yankee Group). More surprisingly, this group actually notes that an overwhelming number of small businesses view fast and reliable Internet connections as more critical to their businesses than today's standard telephone services.

According to Helen Chan, an inside analyst with The Yankee Group's small and medium business technologies research and consulting:

"Small- and medium-sized businesses have learned to effectively use the Internet in a myriad of different ways, making it overall a more useful business tool than the phone. In particular, [they] have succeeded in using the Internet, for customer service and building brand awareness. While voice currently beats email in adding a personal touch to exchanges that do not take place in person, broadband users are increasingly finding more based [Internet] ways to efficiently conduct and run their day-to-day business."

Now that internet broadband services are affordable (and more readily available in greater areas), the question is how to find the right ISP (Internet Service Provider). It's obvious that it isn't necessarily as easy as popping in a free trial install disk. Finding the right provider and network service can be challenging.

But do you just buy a dialup service? Do you get broadband? What type-DSL or cable access? What are DSL and cable access, anyway?

These are the kinds of questions that business owners and home users, who never thought they'd have to be their own IT department, have to answer.

Small businesses definately are not alone in this dilemma. Telecommuters are often in the same situation to find a service provider. Few companies have the budget to fly IT staffers to the homes of remote workers to set up their Internet connections, fiddle with routers, stretch Ethernet cable across their houses, and all that fun stuff. The point is to find the right service to fit their budget and needs.

Getting an Internet connection service that the entire family can use may not be as easy as popping in an AOL installation disk. With Mom, Dad, and the kids all fighting for a chance at the keyboard, many households have opted for broadband connections to speed things up, and reduce family disharmony. Parents everywhere are asking themselves: Since when did today's list of modern parenting skills include inborn familiarity with all things technical?

So where to start? The first question small businesses or home workers must ask is whether they need broadband services, such as DSL or cable modem service, or whether they need just dialup Internet services. Look at your your business situation, and fulfill the aspects towards your goals first, but always consider your budget. After all, the "bottom line" is key in business. From there, its just a matter of streamlining your operations to fully garner the benefits of internet access for your enterprise.
About the Author
Angela Abbette writes for http://www.hitkingdom.com and is a user of the article information found at http://www.upublish.info
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