If you own and operate a modern brick and mortar business, you’re likely trying to do anything you can to bring more people into your store. Theoretically, the more foot traffic you’re able to drive into your storefront, the more money you’ll be able to make.
One thing many business owners are doing is offering free public WiFi to their patrons. And while this can have many great benefits, it can also be a sticky service to render. So to ensure your business goes about this the right way, here are three tips for becoming a public WiFi hotspot and offering free Internet access to your clients or customers.
Understanding The Potential Benefits
Before you decide whether or not you’ll offer free public WiFi, you should know and understand why this is something that so many businesses choose to give their customers. According to Steven Scheck, a contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, having free WiFi at your business can make your customers stay longer, bring in more customers, and make customers have a better experience with your business. All of these things could lead to an overall more successful business. But while these benefits could be great, it’s equally important to know what could go wrong and how to protect your business from those challenges.
Give Guests Their Own Separate Network
There’s a certain amount of risk you take on as a business owner when you offer free public WiFi from your premises. One of these risks could be to the security of your own business’s sensitive information. So to help keep breaches from happening to you, Brett Snider, a contributor to FindLaw.com, recommends creating a separate network for your guests that’s apart from the network you use for business purposes. By doing this, none of your company’s data will be directly connected to your customers, giving you an added layer of security to your sensitive data and other business information.
If and when you decide to offer free public WiFi at your business, you might find that some people decide to take advantage of this without helping to keep your business afloat. In this type of situation, it’s important to have a way to handle these squatters. Robert Moskowitz, a contributor to Intuit Quickbooks, recommends displaying signs that read that the WiFi is for customers only. While this may cause some people to leave your store, it could turn others into customers who want to support your business and are grateful for having reliable Internet access at your expense.
If you’re considering whether or not to offer free public WiFi at your store, use the tips mentioned above to help you do this in a safe and effective way.