Any enterprising business owner should be on the lookout for ways to increase their profits. Perhaps you think you’ve exhausted every channel and are just sitting back, content to let the money roll in. Well, one approach you might not have thought of is the provision of free W-Fi for your customers, which can work wonders for your profits, marketing and business rep. Sound good? Read on and find out why.

Customers will spend more time with you (and on you)

Today, it’s more important than ever to stay connected, whether that’s just to follow what’s going on in your circle of friends on Facebook, or to see in real-time how developments on the stock exchanges are panning out. Whatever their reasons, people are more likely to seek out a place that offers free Wi-Fi than one that forces them to expend their mobile data. And since they’re connected for free once they’ve settled in, they won’t be in any hurry to leave (so make the place nice and comfortable for them).

It’s not just that they’ll spend more time on your premises: they’ll spend more money, too. This is either by spending more in one session, but also by becoming a regular and visiting more frequently. In other words, providing free Wi-Fi helps to build brand loyalty.

Extra customer tracking

Setting up Wi-Fi access for your customers is your chance to collect a little extra data. As the owner of the network, you can configure it so that your website is the homepage that the customer sees when they first connect to the Wi-Fi. From there you can acquire some customer data and target ads to their devices. You can also make decisions regarding any products or services that you may wish to discard or provide.

This approach is as helpful to your customer as it is to you. This is because you are suggesting products or services that they may otherwise have not been aware of (and might be interested in).

The customers can even help you out with the marketing

People love letting others know they’re having a good time and getting out and seeing places. It’s part of the psychology behind some of the functions on social media, if not behind social media itself.

Make your premises a cool place to be – the free Wi-Fi access should contribute to this – and let people ‘check in’ there. Whether people buy off you or they’re just chatting about you of the back of what they’ve seen on their friend’s Facebook profile, either way you’re getting noticed. And it’s all free!

How do you set up a secure public Wi-Fi network?

The quick and easy way to do this is to set up a shared network. However, it comes with the pitfall that you’re not just creating general access to your Wi-Fi, but to other parts of your network as well. To put it another way, you’re compromising the privacy of your own network.

A better solution, therefore, is to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is a guest network and is separate to your main one, allowing allow customers to access nothing but the internet. You’ll need to encrypt the network with WPA2 security and create a password that you can then provide legitimate users of the network. You’ll also need a router that you can manage remotely.

By not allowing your customers to connect to the internet, you’re passing up a golden opportunity to boost your profits and your business reputation. Give just a little and you could get a lot back in return.

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