No matter how small, businesses will benefit from providing guest WiFi. According to a study, 61 percent of customers ask for complimentary WiFi access in restaurants. Do you have guest WiFi for small businesses installed in your restaurant? If not, you may be missing a lot of the action.
An in-house WiFi service has become part of many restaurants’ marketing strategies. It’s tough to imagine businesses not having an online marketing strategy, Google business profile, or social media account—all of which came in waves within the last decade alone. To stay afloat, a reliable WiFi connection has become a necessity for most small businesses, either for the use of employees or guests.
Benjamin Franklin is attributed to the adage: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” He may not have been a businessman, but his words mean more for businesses in today’s technology-driven world. If your restaurant has not adapted to these recent changes, you should consider riding the wave.
Are you providing a WiFi connection to guests as they enjoy their stay in your place? Let’s see how this simple investment in technology can bring rewards to your restaurant business.
Does My Restaurant Need Guest Wifi For Small Businesses?
Guest WiFi for businesses can be a valuable way to attract and retain customers. Create a positive experience for those who visit your establishment. Here are four reasons why you must consider WiFi for small businesses for your restaurant.
1. Customer convenience
Guest WiFi can be a convenient service for customers, especially if they need to use the Internet while at the premises. As we said at the onset, many customers consider WiFi connectivity a necessity in restaurants, as well as other companies that attract customers who need to stay connected, such as coffee shops, hotels, and airports.
2. Customer retention:
Free guest WiFi can make customers visit more frequently and stay in your place longer. For example, a restaurant might attract more customers if it offers free WiFi, as people are more likely to stay and work or relax if they have access to the Internet. Moreover, the longer they remain in your place, the more likely they will add more orders to their tab.
3. Marketing and branding
An in-house free WiFi can be a good way to attract new customers and build brand loyalty. Customers may be more likely to visit an establishment that offers free WiFi and may be more likely to return if they have a good experience using it.
4. Competitive advantage
In some cases, offering free guest WiFi for small businesses may give a company a competitive advantage over similar businesses in the area. For example, if a coffee shop offers free WiFi and its competitors do not, it may attract more customers looking for a place to work or relax online.
Are There Reasons For Not Opting for Small Business WIFi Solutions?
For a balanced view, we gathered up four reasons companies might have for not opting for accessible small business WIFi solutions. Here are the primary concerns.
One reason small business owners may not offer free WiFi is the cost. According to research, 32 percent of respondents who do not offer public WiFi think that it would be too expensive. However, three out of five of those respondents also say they plan or consider offering guests free WiFi.
2. Security concerns
Another reason small business owners may not offer free guest WiFi for business is security concerns. Free WiFi networks can be less secure than private networks, as they are available to anyone who is in range of the signal. This can make small business owners concerned about the risks of offering free Wi-Fi, such as the risk of data breaches or cyberattacks.
3. Limited bandwidth
In some cases, small enterprise owners may not choose small business WiFi solutions because they do not have enough bandwidth to support them. This is especially true for establishments that have a large number of customers or that need to use a lot of bandwidth for their own business needs.
4. Lack of demand
Some small business owners may not offer free Wi-Fi because they think it needs more demand. For example, if the establishment is not in an area where people are likely to want to use the Internet while they are there, the business owner may not see the value in offering free Wi-Fi.
It will be up to restaurant owners to determine if they need to set up guest WiFi for small businesses. They must consider cost, security concerns, limited bandwidth, and lack of demand and balance these with the foreseen benefits.
Home Wifi or Wifi for Small Business?
Has it crossed your mind if the WiFi service you are enjoying at home may be enough to use for business? WiFi for small businesses and home WiFi are similar in that they both provide wireless Internet access, but there are some key differences between these.
Network infrastructure: A business network is usually more complex and has a more robust network infrastructure than a home network. This is because business wireless networks typically need to support many devices and users. Configure your internet connection to support specific business needs, such as connecting to the company’s internal network or providing secure access to certain services or websites.
Security: Guest WiFi for small businesses is typically more secure than home WiFi networks. Enterprises with higher security requirements may need to protect sensitive data and resources. Business WiFi networks may use more advanced security measures such as firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to protect the network.
Access and control: Business WiFi networks often have more granular controls over who can access the network and what resources they can access. Companies need to control access to their internal network and resources and ensure that only authorized users can access them.
Cost: WiFi for small businesses may be more expensive to set up and maintain than home WiFi networks. Companies typically need more advanced hardware and software to support their networks and may need to pay for additional security and support services.
In summary, the main difference between guest WiFi for small businesses and home WiFi is the complexity, security, access and control, and cost. Guest WiFi for business has the edge over home WiFi.
Can I Set Up a Guest WiFi Using My Small Business WiFi Router?
You can set up guest WiFi using your small business WIFi router. First, follow these steps to configure your router.
Determine your network infrastructure: If you have a small business WiFi router provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), set up the guest network either on the router or on a network switch connected to the router.
Access the router or network switch/access point: To access the router or network switch/access point, you must know the device’s IP address and login credentials. These are listed in the device’s documentation or on the device itself.
How Do I Set Up A Guest WiFi?
Now that you have a small business WIFi router set up, how do I set up a guest WIFi? Follow these five steps to enable guest WiFi
- Enable guest WiFi for business: Most routers and network switches/access points allow you to enable a guest WiFi network. Follow the instructions provided by the device’s documentation.
- Set network name and password: Choose a name for the guest WiFi network and set a strong password that takes work to guess.
- Configure security and access settings: Determine what level of access you want to give customers. You can limit their access to certain websites or services. Follow the instructions provided by the device’s documentation to configure these settings.
- Test the guest WiFi network: Connect a device to the guest WiFi network and try to access the Internet or other services to test your connection.
- Communicate the guest WiFi network details to your guests: Provide them with the name and password for the guest WiFi network and any other relevant information they need. Provide them with instructions on how to connect to the network too.
Choosing a proven and reliable WiFi network service, such as Beambox, for guest WiFi for small businesses can save you a lot of time for installation
Getting the Most Out of Your Guest WiFi for Business
Marketing has developed so much since the onset of the information age. You can dig deeper through WiFi analytics to know your customer, increase sales, build brand loyalty, fine-tune your operations, and redirect marketing strategies.
Restaurant owners can use guest WiFi for businesses to enhance their marketing efforts: collecting customer data, offering promotions and discounts, creating a personalized customer experience, and increasing social media presence.
Let’s see how guest WiFi for small businesses accomplishes these.
1. Collecting Customer Data with a Guest WiFi for Small Businesses
As customers log in to the guest WiFi network using their email addresses or social media accounts, small business owners can collect customer data such as email addresses and demographics. Use this data to create targeted marketing campaigns or to understand customer behavior and preferences.
Customer data is important to understand your business’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Some of the information that can be captured using guest WiFi for small businesses include:
- Customer behaviors
- Customer traffic
- Average time spent in the place of business
- Popular visit times
- Customer loyalty (frequency of visits)
With these data, restaurateurs can:
- Analyze promos and campaign results
- Create behavior-driven and segmented marketing strategies
- Target potential new markets
- Improve sales and daily operations
Restaurant owners can use guest WiFi for small businesses to offer promotions and discounts to customers. For example, they could email customers who have logged in to the guest WiFi network offering a discount on their next purchase or a free item with purchases as part of a loyalty program.
Other forms of promos may include:
- Birthday discounts for booked parties
- Priority tickets to special events
- Point-based discounts and freebies
- Tier-based discounts (the higher tier based on spending, the more benefits earned)
Leveraging the information you gather about your customers can get your creative juices working to find more ways to offer special promos, freebies, and discounts.
3. Creating a Personalized Experience
Small business owners can also create personalized experiences for their customers. They could send customized offers or recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases or interests. For example, restaurants can invite red meat lovers to a special dinner night to introduce a new recipe.
Other marketing strategies that may be personalized are:
- Targeted monthly newsletters
- Music and special performances
- Charity events
- Partnerships with suppliers
Receiving personalized service builds up an appreciation for the customer and fosters customer loyalty
Small business owners can increase their social media presence and build their brand using guest WiFi. Customers will likely follow the business’s social media accounts if they have already connected to the network through the guest WiFi for small businesses.
Leverage the impact of your restaurant’s social media presence with the following creative social media marketing ideas:
- Video clips of the action in the kitchen
- Share high-definition photos of your recipes
- Share photos of your restaurant from different angles, both inside and outside
- Promote your loyalty program
- Share customer reviews and post appreciation
- Promote seasonal menus
- Run surveys on events your customers want
As you can see, creative social media marketing ideas have no end as both you and your customers can take part in producing them.
Choosing a Guest WiFi Company
Your choice of guest WiFi company is also important. A guest WiFI company provides wireless internet access to guests or customers in a specific location, such as hotels, cafes, and restaurants.
These companies typically set up and manage the network infrastructure, including routers and access points, and may also offer additional services such as user authentication, bandwidth management, and analytics.
Some examples of guest WiFi companies include Xfinity WiFi, Boingo Wireless and The Cloud.
A Guest WiFi for Small Businesses That Can Work Wonders
As we’ve seen, the benefits of guest WiFi for small businesses far outweigh the perceived issues of cost, network security, bandwidth limitations, and even lack of demand.
Also, installing guest WiFi is relatively straightforward: just a matter of selecting a reliable network.
Do you have guest WiFi already set up in your restaurant? Leverage your network to get the most out of reviews, contact lists, and information about your new and loyal customers.
Beambox’s WiFi marketing solution can help you do all that. Thousands of small businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels are already reaping the rewards of having Beambox in their venues. More importantly, these businesses are already collecting data that is helping them plan, monitor, and redirect their marketing efforts. Moreover, Beambox is a plug-and-play device that’s easy to install and configure.
Learn more about Beambox and start growing your business now.
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