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One Mic Stand: The Importance of Connectivity for Small Businesses

Interview by Jonathan Kersting

Small business owners know better than anyone the importance of being flexible to meet the needs of their customers. Whether meeting with clients in the office or out in the field, working remotely, or-on-the go, constant connectivity and collaboration is more important than ever before. So, what does this mean for small businesses?  

Connections matter, but it’s not just about networking with the right people. Success depends on having the right technology that lets businesses seamlessly connect with customers, suppliers, and employees.   

To offer guidance to our local small businesses here in Pittsburgh this National Small Business Week (April 28 - May 4, 2024), Vedran Ruzic, Director, Comcast Business, Keystone, steps up to the One Mic Stand to detail steps every small business owner should follow to ensure they are creating the right connections – and giving their business the best chance to succeed.

Want to learn more? Keep reading below!  

Step 1: Get Online 

The first step for most small businesses is to simply to set up an Internet connection. The specific connectivity needs—such as the amount of bandwidth or mobile solutions—will vary from business to business. For instance, a small office with a handful of employees likely has very different bandwidth and connection needs than a 100-seat restaurant with a state-of-the-art point-of-sale (POS) system and a robust Wi-Fi network for its patrons to peruse while dining. 

Step 2: Add More Layers of Technology 

A speedy and reliable Internet connection can help support a broad range of powerful, business-grade technology tools that can give companies insights into how to run their business more efficiently.  For example, a retailer might use Wi-Fi-enabled data analytics tools to understand customer foot traffic patterns in brick-and-mortar store locations. This can provide insights into peak traffic periods and areas of interest to consumers within the store while also enabling the retailer to make smarter decisions around everything from staffing to inventory management.

Step 3: Lock up Critical Data 

Data security should always be a top focus. After all, it’s not just big companies fraudsters are targeting. According to the 2023 Comcast Business Small Business Cybersecurity Report, the company blocked more than 390 million phishing attacks targeting small businesses in the second quarter of 2023. As a first line of defense, small businesses should make sure their Internet provider offers security solutions that help protect devices on the network from threats like malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and botnet attacks. And don’t forget about mobile devices and smartphones both of which can present a security risk that should be factored into the overall cybersecurity plan. 

Step 4: Leave Room for Growth 

As small businesses grow, expand, and enter new markets, they need a technology infrastructure that can keep pace. That’s why businesses need to ensure the technology they choose is flexible and compatible across multiple locations and can be monitored centrally. The right connectivity partner can help manage that growth, whether for a restaurant with multiple locations or a company with a broadly distributed workforce. 

Step 5: Select a Strong Mobile Phone Provider  

Choosing the best business mobile partner is different than selecting a personal mobile provider. The top factors small businesses should consider include: 

·       Flexibility: A good mobile provider offers flexibility in their plans, allowing small businesses to customize based on their business requirements. That flexibility should extend beyond the original purchase and scale and flex to toggle, mix, and match between unlimited or by-the-gig data options. Importantly, find providers that give more savings as the company grows, with discounts that increase as more lines are added.

·       Device compatibility and availability: A mobile partner should offer a wide range of devices to meet specific technology needs since no two small businesses are the same. Whether the company needs tablets, phones, smart watches, hot spots, or a combination of them all, a good partner can work to select the specific devices that meet individual businesses requirements.  

While National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impactful work of small businesses in the Pittsburgh region, it is also a great time to share resources and knowledge to better support these organizations. By following these steps, small businesses can build the foundation for success now and into the future.

Interested in learning more about how Comcast Business can help businesses across the Pittsburgh area stay connected? Visit Comcast Business - Official Site to learn more.