Small businesses need internet access 24/7

For owner-managers running a business with few resources, not having regular access to the internet can be a huge handicap.

But while moves are being made to close the rural divide when it comes to internet speeds – with measures such as BT’s to roll out superfast broadband across Cornwall – many small businesses still feel disconnected when on holiday.

According to a survey three-quarters of small businesses want internet access while away. But only 58% of UK hotels and B&Bs offer it.

Meanwhile, one in three business owners who went away this summer were dissatisfied with the internet access provided, according to the Payroll Site, which allows business to calculate PAYE online.

In a recent blog post I wrote, Paul Maher, owner of Positive Marketing, said he encountered problems when on holiday. Maher uses his smartphone for checking PowerPoint and word docs remotely.

“I travelled in the UK and failed to factor in that my phone provider didn’t have coverage there. I had to make a conference call with a really important client and ended up looking really unprofessional,” he said.

For many small businesses throwing everything they have at making their businesses work, being unreachable is not an option.

A failure to understand this could leave hotel operators out of pocket, as SMEs opt for destinations where they can continue to work remotely.