As the national broadband rollout continues across Australia, many businesses are preparing to make the leap to the NBN yet have little understanding of the benefits. So, what are the advantages of the NBN? Let’s unpack them.
Better connection equals better customer service
Remember those early days of dialup internet, where we would wait minutes for a page to load? In some locations, slow internet speeds are still a reality. And those slow speeds are costing businesses time and money. Xero recently surveyed the nation’s small business owners and found 48 per cent of respondents struggled to reach and bring in new customers as a result of their poor phone or internet connection. Moreover, 70 per cent said poor connectivity is hindering their efficiency and productivity and 62 per cent believe the quality of their customer service is affected by poor phone and internet connection. With responses like this, there is little doubt the NBN’s faster internet speeds will improve your relationships with your customers.
Faster internet is the gateway to online retail
Once your business has access to faster more reliable internet, then taking your business online is the logical next step. Australia has one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world. Brick and mortar retailers that have taken their business online are already benefitting. In 2018 more than half the growth in Australian retail was from online businesses. Last year, Aussies spent a total of $28.6 billion (US$20.3 billion) on online shopping. It’s predicted by 2021 the Australia online retail market will be worth A$35.2 billion. If your business doesn’t have an online store it is missing out. Even if your business sells services rather than products, you can still benefit by setting up am online shopfront to peddle your services and set up booking and payment gateways.
Expand your presence and even go global
Access to faster internet also provides the opportunity for you to expand the presence of your small business online. A great website with all the bells and whistles has the potential to attract customers no matter where you are located. Whether you have a unique product or a compelling service, you can expand your reach far beyond your local community. You could even take your business global. Cooma-based business, Birdsnest began as a storefront but is now one of Australia’s largest online fashion retailers, selling products across Australia and around the world. As founder Jane Cay says, ‘Google doesn’t care where your business is as long as it’s the most relevant’.
While the NBN is yet to be available to all Australians, the rollout continues, with completion of the network expected by late 2020. Your small business may not be connected yet but be prepared for a brave new world.