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We all rely on the internet for so much today – so what would happen if your connection was to drop? We explore the cost to your business, and how you can protect yourself from such losses.

Today, we all rely on the internet at work; indeed our working lives would simply not be the same without it.

We all count on our internet connections to send and receive emails, access and edit documents through Office 365 and make phone calls using VoIP. We also use it to access cloud services like Salesforce and Dotmailer for our sales and marketing processes, or Sage and Quickbooks for accounts. This list goes on…

…Oh, and we all browse the internet on the odd occasion…

Now, try to imagine what would happen if your internet went down. Can’t? What if you were to unplug your router for a little while – 30 minutes, say?

Most of us wouldn’t want to entertain doing this. At best, we’d interrupt the daily goings-on of our staff – stopping them communicating with customers and prospects (possibly leading to observant users discovering Chrome’s hidden dinosaur game). At worst, we wouldn’t be able to process orders, run invoices, take card payments or handle support tickets. The office might be open, but realistically the business is all-but closed.

That’s just for half an hour; how about an afternoon…or a couple of days?

Adding up the costs

Broadly speaking, you can divide the cost of losing internet connectivity into four main categories:

Marketing costs

Whether it’s the day-to-day marketing of your business, or a major marketing campaign you’ve just launched, attracting customers and prospects to your business and then not being able to process their orders, take their card payments or answer their questions will have a hugely detrimental effect on the success of these activities – impacting their ROI.

Sales costs

Being unable to process orders or payments because you’re unable to access your CRM system, or your card machines are down, will inevitably lead to lost sales. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has walked out of a shop having seen the ‘sorry, we can’t accept card payments today’ sign.

Productivity costs

The people that work for you will be affected by these sorts of problems the most. Offline tasks are limited these days, so you could well see an exodus to the nearest coffee shop with free Wi-Fi, or the busy tapping of thumbs as your team try and send emails on their smartphones. It’s not ideal

Reputation costs

This could be the biggest problem of all. Loss of reputation can be difficult to calculate because of its intrinsic value, and even harder to recover. Your customers aren’t likely to react well to not being able to get hold of you, while your prospects may just opt for your competitor.

How can you protect yourself?

Thankfully, there are some great ways in which you can protect your business from lengthy internet troubles.

Implement an internet connection with SLAs

When losing your internet can cause you this much trouble, having a single, basic broadband connection at your office may not be the best choice.

You can protect yourself by opting for an internet connection that gives you Service Level Agreements (SLAs) such as a dedicated leased line.

SLAs are designed to protect your business against internet drops, and will typically cover:

  • The connection’s ‘uptime’
  • The speed and stability of the connection
  • A target time in which the connection will be brought back online if it was to go down

Your initial reaction may be that leased lines are expensive – but it’s not so these days, they’re now very affordable – particularly when offset against the cost of losing your existing connection.

We provide fibre leased lines to businesses large and small, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to find out more about them.

Install backup connections

As part of our leased line solutions, we often recommend installing a backup broadband connection. In the unlikely event that your connection drops, your backup connection will keep the doors open while the fault is being fixed.

Run your business off more than one connection

If you struggle to cost-justify a leased line for your business, we’d suggest that you install more than one broadband connection – preferably fibre broadband if it’s available to you.

You can split your traffic over the two connections, and have everything fail over onto one connection should another go down.

Make sure you have a strong DR plan

It’s better to be prepared if a disaster were to hit your business, whether it’s your internet going down or something else. Creating a solid, plausible disaster recovery plan that covers how your business reacts to such situations is well worth taking some time over.

If you need some help with this, we’re happy to offer you a DR consultation.

Let’s stay connected

If you’re concerned about the impact on your business of your broadband going down, please contact us or get in touch with your account manager. We’ll happily help address your concerns, and suggest a solution that suits what you need.