As a freelance writer for hire, I have learned the fine art of working anywhere I can find a Wi-Fi connection and a table big enough for my laptop. Because of this, I take note of what establishments offer free wireless internet and which ones do not. I have talked with a few different people who own or manage businesses around my town, and from these discussions I’ve formulated these reasons why your business should consider offering free Wi-Fi.
- Customers who utilize Wi-Fi are often excellent tippers. At my local Starbucks, I visit frequently enough that I know the staff by name; I try to put a little extra in the tip jar since I’m friendly with the employees. Additionally, since I often get a refill while I’m there, I feel like a bigger tip is in order.
- Those of us who work “on the go” often bring in additional customers. If I need to have a meeting with a client, I bring him or her to my favorite coffee shop. If my mom calls me up and wants to chat while I’m working, I suggest she joins me here at Starbucks too. These are extra customers I am bringing into the establishment that would not otherwise visit.
- I am not just a customer, I’m a paying customer. A major concern some business owners have about offering Wi-Fi is that it attracts freeloaders. I can only speak for myself and some of the other self-employed individuals I know, but we always purchase something when we utilize free Wi-Fi. Even if I do not feel like anything heavy, I will at least grab a mug of tea.
- Customers who come in to work will often shop too. Since I have used it for an example so much in this article, I will continue speaking of my trips to Starbucks. I work in the store so often that it becomes a very handy place to shop. I grab a gift card or cute knick knack every time I need a little gift.
- Working customers are friendly customers. Those customers who come in on a regular basis to use your free Wi-Fi are likely to be some of the most friendly customers you have. Since we come in your store regularly, it pays to be friendly. We make your establishment a great place to visit and work.
- Many Wi-Fi customers are happy to help preserve space. When the coffee shop is crowded I will always squeeze in a small space of counter or share a table with another working patron. I know that you want to save room for your other customers too!
As you can see, there are many benefits to offering free Wi-Fi in your business. You will attract a large number of friendly, paying customers who will add to your bottom line. In most cases, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs of offering free Wi-Fi.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.