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How small businesses can afford a fast and reliable internet service

It may seem a little inconceivable, but one of the biggest tech-related challenges for small businesses in 2019 is an unreliable internet service. Alternative finance can help business owners afford the technology and service they need.

Despite the technological advances of recent years, getting a reliable internet service remains a major headache for small business owners. According to a new poll by IT support provider Q2Q, over half of the company bosses questioned said that one of their biggest technology-related challenges is an unreliable internet service.

The findings of the survey underline the degree to which modern businesses are reliant on a fast and reliable internet service. So much business functionality is carried out online in today’s marketplace – at offices, manufacturing facilities and retail stores, and even where we eat and drink. Connectivity is increasingly integral to how businesses operate. As a result, an unreliable internet service can be hugely disruptive and affect performance.

Furthermore, there is a clear connection between internet service and cybersecurity and GDPR compliance. The topic of data safety is headline news thanks to repeated cyberattacks at big companies and many larger firms now include cybersecurity security standards in their criteria for choosing suppliers and other working partners. Having a reliable internet service is obviously integral to operating the strong level of cyber-protection that is increasingly required.

Some of the responsibility for a fast and reliable internet service clearly lies with suppliers but business owners also have to invest, both in terms of time and money. Optimising connectivity requires selecting the most appropriate software and hardware, and taking the time to choose and monitor who the best supplier is for their internet needs. Included in all of this investment are the resources needed for strong cybersecurity and compliance with data protection legislation.

Connectivity, and being connected in the right way, comes at a cost. And at a time when small business owners are facing major market headwinds, finding the capital for this kind of investment is far from easy. This is where alternative finance can help.

In the face of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are offering small business owners an alternative means of accessing capital for vital investment, such as in internet services, cybersecurity and GDPR compliance.

This is how a Sussex small business used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the capital to purchase new equipment.

The profile of the alternative finance sector is growing apace and its continued development is set to be a major business finance trend in 2019. Tellingly, a new survey from MarketInvoice shows that two thirds of accountants are referring clients to external lenders, which underlines the increasingly mainstream position of alternative finance.

With connectivity becoming more and more integral to how businesses operate and grow, it is clear why a fast and reliable internet service is so important. To afford the organisation and infrastructure to get this level of service, small business owners need to make use of all the funding options available to them, including alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Steve Bowles on 01903 602211 or steve.bowles@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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