A new era in networking technology could mean big things for your startup – but what is it? And how can it help you innovate?
Out with the old…
If you’re starting up in business today you’re entering a world unlike that seen by generations of business owners that have gone before. Where businesses used to take decades to build and grow, now, our interconnected world means you can be in front of global customers within a matter of minutes.
Because the digital world moves so quickly, an increasing number of startups are embracing 100% market agility – ready to move on the next idea or trend ahead of industry competition. To do so, you need to be ready – unburdened by traditional working models.
But what about your computer network and internet connection? While you’re able to retrieve emails on your phone, full network access tends to be fastened to your desk – and that desk is hardwired to the outside world.
Is 4G the answer?
A 4G Wide Area Network (WAN) might be the key to breaking free from your wired connection to the internet – and it could open some significant doors for your business.
Prior to 4G came 3G – the first real opportunity for us to connect to the internet via our mobile devices. In actual fact, 4G is essentially a turbo-charged version of what’s gone before, similar technology – but capable of carrying significantly more data quickly.
While 4G is good, it doesn’t have the capacity that’s required by businesses that have multi-users and many different applications to run. If you’re going to use 4G for business then you’re going to need equipment specifically made to harness the full power of possible connections.
For true enterprise level wireless internet connectivity you need the right means to handle the data. 4G routers are designed specifically for this – allowing you to install multiple SIMs and access their combined data to drive your network.
From the small scale, offering 2-3 SIM slots – to the industrial, offering 18+ slots, there’s a router on the market to fit virtually any requirement and one of the biggest benefits is that it can be configured and ready to starting feeding data to your business in a fraction of the time a wired circuit takes to install.
We’re just touching on the key benefits on 4G WAN technology here – if you’re keen on understanding the cutting edge technology to a greater level, this guide provides a fascinating insight.
What does it mean to you?
4G unlocks the door to a huge number of opportunities for a startup business – from employee benefits to seizing sales opportunities. Business flexibility and agility are two of the biggest keywords for this generation’s entrepreneurs – and 4G WAN could be your key to both.
1. Seize the perfect location
While business premises are generally easy to come by, the perfect one for you might not be. Is it in the ideal location? Does it offer the image your business is aiming for? Has it been used as a commercial property before now?
Today’s startups are embracing new and quirky office spaces – but that sometimes means getting an internet circuit into the property can be problematic. Choose a 4G router and wave those problems goodbye – power it up, connect your devices and you’re in business… wherever you choose to have a business base.
2. Move premises when established
Moving to a new premises can be a great way to be closer to your target audience, into richer pools of suitable employees or simply to a more appropriate space. While upping and leaving can be appealing, the thrill of opportunity is normally quickly replaced by logistical problems when it comes to relocating your network.
With 4G you can virtually unplug, move and switch back on. Your network is ready to go in the time it takes to drive your router to your new location.
3. Scale your data quickly
If your startup goes the way you want then there’s a chance you’ll be scaling your operation up in a number of areas. As you take more staff, customers and projects on you’ll need to scale your connection up to follow suit.
Assuming you have the capability with your router this represents no problem for a company utilising a 4G WAN – adding SIMs is infinitely less work than installing additional lines and upping your capacity that way.
4. Place employees with clients
It can often make sense to place an employee temporarily with a client whose office is in a different location. Perhaps you’re a marketing agency and a client requires a full-time staff member while their product launches – then again, you might be an architect who’s spending a significant amount of time on a site or in construction offices.
There are countless reasons you could be placing an employee with a client – and networking issues shouldn’t be the thing to hold you back. A 4G router can offer that person access to your network wherever their role takes them.
5. Offer work from home opportunities
Our interconnected world means a lot of roles can now be done anywhere you can find an internet connection. While this flexibility is great and can unlock the far reaches of the job market – transmitting your sensitive data over a domestic internet connection exposes you to risks.
It’s increasingly common for businesses to provide remote-working senior staff with 4G routers that allow them to connect to the internet and their company WAN without using someone else’s WiFi. The reason? Security! A 4G router offers high-speed access your network and can be configured with the appropriate level of security to keep your employee and business safe.
6. Take part in expos and shows
There are some incredible marketing and networking opportunities to be had across the country at relevant exhibitions and trade shows – but relying on the guest WiFi to run your systems can be problematic – especially if you’re taking tills and card machines.
If instead you take a 4G router, you can be certain that you’ll have solid network access at all times – what’s more, you can potentially offer guest access through your router, meaning clients and customers are more likely to come and look if there’s a good network connection to be hi-jacked for a few minutes.