There are numbers that back up all of the above use case scenarios for the nbn™. Back in 2017, Xero Small Business Insights found that small businesses in mature nbn™ regions grew employment by one-third more than businesses in non-nbn™ regions, and increased revenue by almost two-thirds more.
In other words, they were finding more business, and this was keeping them so busy that they needed to grow as a business to accommodate demand. The nbn™ acted as the catalyst for business growth strategies.
NBN Co itself aims to make the nbn™ a benefit to businesses, too. In 2020, the company announced a $700 million “multi-faceted” package through 2023 that would support business innovation, productivity and growth.
The nbn™ enables businesses to take advantage of technologies that are business-critical, but also rely on fast, robust, and high-data Internet connections. For example most businesses now rely on cloud infrastructure to handle business operations and store data. The cloud offers businesses a number of benefits – they no longer need to maintain expensive datacentres on-site. Nor do they need to keep upgrading their storage environment.
Cloud services can also be accessed from anywhere, and as the past two years of disruption have shown, it’s important for the modern business to be able to continue operating, even if the office is inaccessible. In addition to making the work environment accessible in the cloud, the nbn™ has also allowed colleagues and customers to have meetings over video conferencing, and enabled teams to continue to work on the same documents and projects.
The nbn™ has underpinned much of what Australian businesses, of all sizes, have needed from their technology over the last few years.
By the end of this year, the nbn™ is projected to have contributed to the creation of an additional 148,000 jobs in Australia. It will boost the nation’s GDP by over $10 billion.But where will this growth come from? And just how can SMEs capitalise on it?
It will naturally follow with an increase in spending on technology, but that’s not a bad thing. Looking at research conducted by Ovum, small businesses in Australia only spend around one per cent of revenue on technology – around $5,000. It’s all relative, of course, but the investment afforded to technology is no doubt an important one, and one that will lead to future growth.
The reason for this is simple: businesses get busier the more technology-driven they become. Orders come in from different locations, customer enquiries accelerate exponentially, and you get busier. You could spend thousands of dollars on a newspaper advertisement, only for it to be noticed by a handful of people in your local area. Or you could invest that money in building an email list that you can engage with into perpetuity, and establish a presence in social media networks that results in your brand’s fans doing the promotion work for you.
Businesses also increase their efficiency. Investing in technological outputs mean you’re able to automate previously human-owned processes. This means that your people can focus on higher-value tasks that ultimately result in better revenue. For years AI has been seen as technology for the biggest businesses, but an AI chatbot sitting on the nbn™, for example, is technology that is readily available to even the smallest of businesses.
There are tools readily available that give businesses value-adding, growth perpetuating features. In many cases, simply adopting the nbn™ and having access to fast Internet is enough for businesses to inspire them to look into what they can do with it, and in many cases, the benefits from the nbn™ are very much low-hanging fruit for growing these businesses.
The benefits of the nbn™ for small businesses include:
Modernise your business
Jump on the cloud and work from anywhere. The nbn™ directly boosts your business’ productivity.
In the world
With the nbn™ you’re able to access a global customer base and expand your reach worldwide.
You’ll also be able to access talented employees and business partners from anywhere in the world.
With the nbn™ you’ll be able to upload daily videos, host podcasts, engage with your customers over social media and establish yourself as a thought leader.
Once you’re on the cloud with the nbn™, you’ll be able to continue working even if your office is closed. You’ll also enjoy the lifestyle change of being able to work from anywhere, and at any time.
You can move your business with you
Save costs on office space by moving to a suburban or rural office location. Or even do away with the office entirely and run a virtual office environment. For small businesses, real estate no longer needs to be one of the most expensive considerations.
Become more productive and efficient.
Using automation and AI you’re able to save your team from the most menial tasks, and instead they can focus their energies on adding real value to the business.
Software solutions that were too expensive for a small business to purchase outright can become affordably available through a monthly cloud subscription service, giving SMEs access to better technology that will deliver superior results back to the business.
The nbn™ for small businesses is highly flexible, and can grow as the business demands require. Rather than over-investing and wasting unused resources, or running the risk of business growth leading to an Internet connection that is no longer adequate for the business needs (but expensive to upgrade), the nbn™ seamlessly scales up and down as needed.
A good business nbn™ service to small businesses will also include unlimited data (because the business is going to want to use a lot of data), and a static IP address, which is a technical feature, but important for businesses that do want to set their network up on the cloud, and make use of collaboration and enterprise security features.
Beyond the raw speeds, the nbn™ network also handles telephony, and businesses will want a solution there. Here, too, a good retail service provider (RSP) will be flexible, allowing organisations that don’t make many calls to pay on an ad-hoc basis, right through to plans that include handsets with enterprise features and unlimited calls. Many small businesses will even want to outsource the management and maintenance of their phone systems to their RSPs. This is called a “Cloud PBX” solution, and it’s another headache for the small business that the RSP can answer for them through the nbn™.
One thing that small businesses do need to be aware of is the kind of nbn™ connection that is available in their area. Most of them offer these kinds of speeds mentioned above, but knowing the type of connection can also determine what the best options might be for the business.Regardless of which connection type is available to you, you should have plenty of options available for connectivity that you can talk to your RSP about.
Because the nbn™ - and the broader Internet – is so flexible, the precise benefits that it offers Australia’s small businesses will vary from sector to sector. Here’s a couple of examples, just to show how varied it really can be:
The nbn™ benefits both the business and consumer with cafés. Not only do EPOS systems run reliably and quickly on the nbn™, but the café can also offer a free wireless signal to patrons to use, encouraging people to spend more time in the shop while they work, study, or just relax.
Any business that operates in the digital world needs to be fast and responsive without delay. Digital Agencies will want to work on asset creation online, and even edit videos in the cloud – something that requires very high broadband delivered very quickly. Additionally, for the customers of digital agencies, being able to see prototypes of projects in the works allows for more fluid feedback and promotes collaborative communication.
Finally, there’s the small IT organisations, who specialise in supporting their local areas. For these businesses, being able to transition to managed services, where they look after their customer’s software and cloud environment for them, results in far healthier revenue streams and a deeper engagement with the customer that is harder to break.
More and more consumers look to book their restaurant meals online, and the restaurant websites increasingly need to be ecommerce savvy. Once the customer’s in the restaurant itself, the benefits are much the same as what the café enjoys, but the ability to update digital menus in real time allows the restaurant to maximise the value of every consumer by offering them rapid specials and highlighting premium recommendations.
Gyms are heavier users of media and the Internet than many people stop to think about. From streaming video and music within the gym itself, to managing security systems (so that the gym can be a safe, 24/7 environment when staff aren’t around), right through to outreach to members via digital media, gyms stand to gain a lot from being digitally-savvy. They can also add products and services – for example, a gym might organise “exercise at home” sessions that are broadcast as teleconferences, and then charge people for the session when they can’t physically make it to the gym.
The successful modern business is online, and that starts with the nbn™. Talk to SpinTel today to discuss your options and start the journey online.Get in touch with us!