How to Offer Public Wi-Fi at Your Business
So you’ve decided to offer public Wi-Fi at your business. It’s a great idea that can help drive traffic into your business, and may even entice customers to stay longer. Whether you decide to provide free Wi-Fi, charge by the hour or by the day – or even provide Wi-Fi only to purchasing customers – you’ve got a few things to consider before you setup a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Your Internet Service Provider
You’ll need a business internet account in order to provide customers access. Take the time to research the internet plans available in your area. A business Wi-Fi hotspot should be able to provide reliable wireless access that will deliver fast speeds to all the customers connecting to it.
Keep these ideas in mind when shopping for a business internet service provider:
- How many people are likely to be connected to your Wi-Fi at any given time? This information can help your provider determine the bandwidth you’ll need.
- All users will share the bandwidth you choose. When you set up public Wi-Fi at your business, make sure it’ll be fast enough to satisfy your employees as well as your customers.
- If your business is very small, you may be able to make do with residential hardware. Even so, we recommend upgrading to a commercial router and modem that can handle more connected users at once.
- To create a Wi-Fi hotspot with ample coverage throughout your entire facility, you may need to place Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters in several places around your business.
- You’ll need equipment optimized for the usage your business will offer, so be sure you choose equipment that can manage the expected number of connections.
- You’ll probably want to separate your public Wi-Fi from the Wi-Fi network your business uses. Don’t risk compromising your security by using one network for both.
- Change your Wi-Fi password regularly. Whether daily, weekly, or monthly, your small business Wi-Fi hotspot will stay more secure this way.
- Determine how you’ll distribute your password. Some Wi-Fi hotspot businesses prefer to print the password on a receipt, ensuring Wi-Fi service is free only for paying customers. Other businesses will display the password openly on a sign of some kind.
Specialized Wi-Fi Solutions
- If you’ve ever used a small business Wi-Fi hotspot, you may have been taken to a page with the company’s branding, where you agreed to terms and conditions. This requires a specialized solution with hotspot equipment, including hardware and software that provides a variety of options for the Wi-Fi hotspot business and its customers.
- Certain hotspot equipment allows you to configure the download and upload speeds users will get on certain websites. For example, if you don’t want people streaming movies at your location, you could reduce the speed for streaming sites.
Promoting Wi-Fi at Your Business
There are as many ways to announce you’re a Wi-Fi hotspot business as there are ways to promote your business itself. Here are some ideas:
- Update your ads to mention you offer public Wi-Fi.
- Add signs inside and outside your business to promote your Wi-Fi service.
- Your employees can tell customers as they’re being served that public Wi-Fi is available.
One Last Tip
Before you consider offering public Wi-Fi, be sure you have plenty of electrical outlets in your business that customers can use to charge their devices.
Much like any other amenity you offer for your customer convenience, such as online ordering, personalized product suggestions, or displaying a game or the news, offering a Wi-Fi connection will make your business an even more attractive venue. By utilizing these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to offering public Wi-Fi quickly and easily.