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Small Business Network Setup: A DIY Project?

Posted 3 months ago

Setting up a network for your business might seem daunting at first, and there’s a good reason for that. If an army marches on its stomach, more and more in the modern age, a small business marches on its network. Whether or not you want to set up a network yourself is a very important decision. There are good reasons for this, the most obvious being the following matters: security, reliability, and design. Going over each one in turn will help you determine the best way to create a network for your small business.

Security

The main advantage to owning a business today is the ease with which one can interact with potential clients, customers, and partners all over the world. Unfortunately, that also means that the wrong kind of people can find you more easily. One need only remember the 2018 cyberattack of the city of Atlanta to know that without an airtight security system, no one is safe. Consider the following factors for your network security: What sort of security protocol are you using? What sort of security protocol would you be better off with, given your business’ particularly sensitive data? Do you have an in-house IT staff with experience in network security? Determine the costs involved versus the amount of tempting information a hacker might be inclined to look for, and figure out a mean sense of where your business is, and what sort of network security setup you’d need to design to fulfill your goals of keeping your clientele feeling safe and secure when working with you.

Reliability

No matter how talented or driven you and your staff might be, everyone is severely hampered when a network has proven to be unreliable. Human error is something business has dealt with since the first cavemen started selling the wheel. But network and internet errors are an entirely new opportunity for good business to break down. System failures, technical glitches, and just general computing bugs can cost you time and money. Knowing the reliability of the networks that are available to you is a matter of keeping your business afloat on a day to day basis. Outages affect everything from email & internet access to remote workers and cloud services. And that’s to say nothing of just plain slow internet speeds, which can hamper a worker almost as completely as having no connection at all. Between lost productivity and lowered worker morale, a speedy, reliable network setup is about more than just surfing the internet fast. Ask yourself: do you have all the information you need on network reliability? Finding the perfect balance of cost to reliability is a far more important factor into designing a network than many business owners initially realize.

Design

Related to both security and reliability in small business network setup is the overall design. If the reliability is your network’s brain, and the security is your network’s muscle, then design is the bone structure that all of this rests on. Even the fastest, most secure network will crumble if placed within a poorly thought-out infrastructure. The needs of a well thought out network design include a practical map of the network itself, the number and specific locations of all networking devices (such as modems, routers, and servers), and a full cabling structure of the network. Furthermore, you’ll need to think about the specifics of IP addressing structure, and how your security fits into the design. While many IT technicians will be equipped to get the most out of an existing network design, you’ll want to make sure that anyone in your employ responsible for creating one from the ground up has adequate experience and knowledge in this area.

Should You Handle This Yourself?

It’s easy to say that no one should know your small business better than yourself, but there are aspects of keeping your network secure and reliable that shouldn’t be left to chance or a do-it-yourself mentality. Take the time to do the proper amount of research and look carefully into businesses and consultants that can help you to make your network the best of all possible worlds: well-designed, reliable, and secure.

For more information on designing a network for your small business, contact us for free, no-obligation advice!

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