It’s not meetings or paperwork, but slow internet that’s slowing down the growth of your business, a YouGov survey revealed. Thousands of small businesses are unhappy with the speed of their internet, with almost half of companies located in business parks unable to access speeds over 10Mbps.
With the growing importance of internet in the workplace, there can be no excuses for businesses when it comes to getting their products online. It not only seems unprofessional, but can be damaging a small businesses’ brand image if they aren’t readily available at the click of a button.
Who’s Losing Out?
68 percent of small business premises have internet access. That might sound like a lot initially, but compare it to the 83 percent of residential properties who have internet access, and it suddenly sounds like a lot less.
This 15 percent is a target audience that aren’t getting reached because of slow internet and exasperation with waiting 30 minutes for an Instagram picture to load. That time you’re dedicating trying to reach your customers could be better spent developing your marketing strategy and advertising your brand.
It was reported that a small business loses 15 minutes a day to slow internet. In a business with 8 employees that’s one day a week lost to staring at a loading icon. This is a huge amount of time to waste when you’re trying to run a small business.
This loss of time and energy also equates to lack of productivity within the company. Missing out valuable work time can only suggest a dramatic loss of sales. In London, 50,400 days were wasted waiting for installation of broadband – so it’s not just the slow speeds that are the problem!
What Could You Be Missing Out On?
Not only is it time that costs the business money, but lost sales.
While you’re waiting for your Twitter feed to load, there are a number of ways you could be promoting and growing your business (if you had decent internet speeds). Small businesses’ marketing techniques are failing because they can’t chime in with real time conversation, keep on topic with events and stay relevant with customers.
Networking with other small businesses can also become problematic – it takes longer to find someone to outsource a project to than it normally would. 66 percent of regional businesses would like faster broadband, and 34 percent believe a faster internet connection would increase the speed of their company growth.
Slow internet isn’t just annoying (although the pain of watching a buffering video is not to be underestimated). There are actual dangers to your business when experiencing slow internet speeds.
Larger businesses already dominate the small business world, as their large budgets allow them to build a recognisable brand for customers. Now their quick-to-respond attitude is also pushing the small guy to the back; 57 percent of consumers will leave a webpage if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
Slower internet speeds also leave small businesses more open to having their computer hacked, which is a costly affair if it ever occurs.
How to Prosper
Superfast broadband schemes are becoming more available over the country, and will be able to help small businesses get back on their virtual feet.
In the meantime, get some ideas to boost your productivity here, and keep your team working to the best of their ability.
Has your small business been affected by slow internet speeds? Or are you thrilled with your speeds? Leave us a comment in the section below!