Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your business is tough. There’s so much variety in the market. Companies all make different promises concerning speed, price, and customer service. Perhaps the most fundamental choice, however, is whether to put your faith in one of the big national brands or turn to a small Internet provider?

This is an important decision to get right. After all, your Internet connection is absolutely crucial to the smooth operation of your business. If your broadband is too slow, or even worse it keeps dropping out, then the consequences could be catastrophic — especially if you rely on VoIP and cloud-based collaboration tools.

It’s vital, therefore, to get all the facts before signing up to a deal. For example, did you know that although 26% of people worry whether a small Internet provider can meet their needs, customer satisfaction surveys often show that it’s the big brands that fail to meet expectations?

Speed is of the essence

According to the Federation Of Small Businesses (FSB), 30% of SMEs endure snail-like download speeds of less than 10mbs. This is a massive problem because businesses will come to depend on their broadband connections more and more in the coming years due to the increasing prevalence of video conferencing, remote working, and cloud-based project management applications.

However, choosing the right provider isn’t as simple as merely choosing the ISP with the highest advertised speeds. An FSB report has shown that nearly half of small businesses received a slower service than initially promised. What’s more, although the national brands have larger marketing budgets, an ISP’s size actually doesn’t affect their capacity.

Small Internet providers are equably capable of providing the speeds that modern businesses require. What’s more, they frequently do more to ensure that their customers receive the right package. For example, a small business with less than 10 employees that simply uses the Internet for browsing and emails will be fine with standard broadband of up to 38 Mbps. Larger businesses that utilise cloud-based computing, on the other hand, should consider a fibre-optic connection with up to 76 Mbps.

At Everyday communications, we offer three packages: standard broadband offering 40Mbps, Hyper Fast broadband offering eye-watering speeds of up to 1GBs, plus a modified Hyper Fast offering up to 550 Mbps for freelancers and sole traders working from home. What’s more, we offer both excellent download and upload speeds. Don’t forget the importance of the latter.

A service you can rely on

Unreliable Internet is the bête noire of businesses across the UK. A worrying 41% of SMEs consider their broadband to be inadequate. Consequently, it’s vital to choose an ISP with excellent customer service. If you can’t email a contract to a client because your broadband is on the blink, then it won’t be long before your business is on the brink.

But are the large national companies or small Internet providers better placed to solve problems quickly? One might think it’s the former. After all, the big boys have large customer support centres and a network of engineers at their disposal. In reality, however, the opposite is often true.

A recent survey revealed that one of the largest providers in the country placed their customers on hold for so long that 15.9% hung up before their call was answered. Meanwhile, many technicians representing national ISPs are subcontractors; therefore their customers need to navigate a bulky bureaucracy before problems are fixed. Small Internet providers, on the other hand, are frequently more agile. Plus they have a dedicated team on the ground and single UK-based support centres.

It’s also worth considering that individual customers are frequently more significant to small ISPs. For example, we try to anticipate remedial work and alert customers before maintenance work takes place. Our customers can also check the status of their service here.

Added value

One area where the national ISPs excel is price. With economies of scale in their favour, big ISPs can offer attractive discounts and aggressive price promotions. However, the danger of focusing on price alone is that it instigates a race to the bottom where service becomes secondary.

This is where the old mantra ‘you get what you pay for’ becomes relevant. When an ISP cuts prices, it often offsets losses by reducing investment in network upgrades or customer support. This means you’ll be waiting even longer for someone to answer your call. And if faults take longer to fix, then this obviously comes at a cost to your business.

Our approach at Everyday Communications is to add value by offering a first class service. We can also save you money by offering both VoIP and your broadband in one convenient package. Furthermore, we’re always totally transparent about the amount you’ll pay. We don’t add hidden fees or charge new customers for either equipment or installation. You can find out more information on our YouTube channel.

Small wonder

Choosing an ISP for your business is different from choosing one for your home. Businesses have specific requirements so it’s essential to find a provider that understands your needs and responds quickly when faults occur.

This is where small Internet providers are worth their weight in gold. Although you might feel more comfortable with a name you’re familiar with initially, it’s not so comforting to realise that the smooth operation of your business depends on unfamiliar customer support representatives located far away.

What’s more, small ISPs are less compartmentalised and offer a more personalised service. The result? You can build a relationship where your Internet provider feels like an integrated part of your business. A small ISP therefore comes with big advantages.