Create a WI-Fi Hotspot at your Business

Tips and Tricks for Setting up Public Wi-Fi at Your Business

So you’ve decided to set up public Wi-Fi at your business. It’s a great idea that can help drive traffic into your business, and may even entice customers to stay longer. Whether you decide to provide free Wi-Fi, charge by the hour or by the day, or even provide Wi-Fi only to purchasing customers, you’ve got a few things to consider before you setup a Wi-Fi hotspot. Cable ONE Business has put together a comprehensive list of tips and tricks that will help begin creating a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Business Wireless Internet Service Provider

You’ll need a business internet account in order to  provide customers access. Take the time to research the Internet plans available in your area and the providers acceptable use policies for sharing your business internet connection with your customers. Some providers may require you to subscribe to dedicated internet access which extends benefits to your business such as symmetrical upload and download speeds. A business Wi-Fi hotspot should be able to provide reliable wireless access that will deliver fast speeds to all the customers connecting to it.

Keep these ideas in mind when shopping for a business Internet service provider:

  • How many people are likely to be connected to your Wi-Fi at any given time? This information can help your provider determine the bandwidth you’ll need.
  • All users will share the bandwidth you choose. When you set up public Wi-Fi at your business, make sure it’ll be fast enough to satisfy your customers.

Wi-Fi Hardware

  • If your business is very small, you may be able to make do with residential hardware. Even so, we recommend upgrading to hotspot equipment, like a commercial router and modem that can handle more connected users at once.
  • To create a Wi-Fi hotspot with ample coverage throughout your entire facility, you may need to place Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters in several places around your business.
  • A Wi-Fi hotspot business needs hotspot equipment optimized for the usage your business will offer, so be sure you choose equipment that can manage the expected number of connections.

Wi-Fi Security

  • You’ll probably want to separate your public Wi-Fi from the Wi-Fi network your business uses. Don’t risk compromising your business’s security by using one network for both.
  • Change your Wi-Fi password regularly. Whether daily, weekly, or monthly, your small business Wi-Fi hotspot will stay more secure this way.
  • Determine how you’ll distribute your password. Some Wi-Fi hotspot businesses prefer to print the password on a receipt, ensuring Wi-Fi service is free only for paying customers. Other businesses will display the password openly on a sign of some kind.

Specialized Wi-Fi Solutions

  • If you’ve ever used a small business Wi-Fi hotspot, you may have been taken to a page with the company’s branding, where you agreed to terms and conditions. This requires a specialized solution with hotspot equipment, including hardware and software that provides a variety of options for the Wi-Fi hotspot business and its customers.
  • Certain hotspot equipment allows you to configure the download and upload speeds users will get on certain websites. For example, if you don’t want people streaming movies at your location, you could reduce the speed for streaming sites.

Promoting Wi-Fi at Your Business

There are as many ways to announce you’re a Wi-Fi hotspot business as there are ways to promote your business itself. Here are some ideas:

  • If you use a specialized solution, you might consider adding promotional discounts on the landing page where customers login. Incentivize customers to return with discounts on their next visit, along with an offer they can take advantage of today.
  • Update your ads to mention you offer public Wi-Fi.
  • Add signs inside and outside your business to promote your Wi-Fi service.
  • Your employees can tell customers as they’re being served that public Wi-Fi is available.

One Last Tip

Before you consider becoming a Wi-Fi hotspot business, be sure you have plenty of electrical outlets in your business that customers can use to charge their devices.