Does Your Business Need to Offer Wi-Fi?

Free! There’s no denying that this word makes your customers sit up and take notice. But is offering free Wi-Fi really worth it? If you want to increase foot traffic, the time customers spend in your store and the amount they spend, the answer is YES. Consider these issues when making Wi-Fi available in your small business.

Today, it’s rare to see a customer without a smartphone. In fact, they’re multiplying. By next year, one in four mobile users are expected to have more than one device. With all this connectivity, it’s not surprising that customers look for businesses where they can use their cellphone and tablets.

That’s why three-fourths of small businesses consider complimentary Wi-Fi to be a “very important” or “important” part of their business.

Think About These Issues

So what are some things to consider before you decide to offer Wi-Fi at your business? Here are a few to think about:

  • Have the Right Set-up - You already have the foundation to offer Wi-Fi—Internet connectivity. And you likely already have a wireless router. But for security and performance reasons, you’ll want separate business and customer networks. Get advice from an expert on what might work best for your business.
  • Go Open or Password? – Should you provide an open network or will you require customers to ask for a password? An open network is easier to access and makes for a smooth experience. But a password offers the ability to restrict access to customers only. It might also provide a marketing opportunity. You can direct them first to a webpage that tells them more about your business.
  • Don’t Be Downer – Customers expecting to use your Wi-Fi may be disappointed when it’s down frequently. So have support available to address chronic problems, especially if your business is a restaurant or bookstore where customers stay longer.
  • Blast It – Make sure potential customers know you offer Wi-Fi by including it in your promotional efforts. Include a sign in your window, on your menu and make it part of your advertising message.
  • Address Squatters – If your business depends on quick turnover, a Wi-Fi offering may cause customers to linger longer than you want. Some businesses address that by putting a time limit on the network. For example, the first 15 minutes are free but a code is required for longer access. A purchase is then required to get the code.

More and more small businesses are offering free Wi-Fi for customers. It’s consumer friendly and they’re realizing increased revenue as a result. Consider these issues as you decide if it’s right for your small business.

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