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How to Make Your ISP More Profitable

As the demand for Internet access continues to grow around the world, opportunities for service providers are emerging in markets far and wide. There are ways to make the road to profitability a little smoother.

Make Sure You Have an Easy Customer Base to Grow into

ISPs with 100 customers are great, but, at that size, they will remain a hobby that you may not be able to unload a couple of years down the road. Before you build out do some demographic research.

Keep Your Network from Locking Up

Many ISPs believe that if they set maximum rate caps for their users that their network is safe from locking up due to congestion. However, if you are oversold on your contention ratios, you will lock up and simple rate limits are not enough. Don’t make this mistake.

If you are oversold, you will need something more than rate limits to prevent lockups. At some point, you will need to go with a layer-7 shaper. Your only other option is to keep adding bandwidth.

Good Tech Support Is a Must

There are many good technical people out there and there are many more that will make a mess of your business. This can create some really tough decisions.

The good ones have no vested interest in making a custom dynasty of your business (another thing to watch out for). It’s like the doctor who needs the patient to stay sick. You don’t want that. Poor or misguided tech support may be the single largest cause for failed ISPs or issues with selling your business.

Look for a Competitive Credit Card Processor

Your bank will likely provide a service for you, but they are generally a middle man in this transaction. There are credit card processing agencies that sell their services direct and may be more cost-effective. These are no-brainer dollars that add up each month in savings.

Don’t Overspend

Remember that on the open market your business is likely only to be valued at three-quarters of your revenue, so don’t delude yourself and overspend on equipment and borrowing thinking that a white knight will come along.

Bundle Data Service with Phone Service

Look into your options for reselling phone service with your data packages.

Offer Troubleshooting Services for Home PCs

You are a reliable tech contact point with your end customers, and likely know as much or more about PC viruses than the people giving out advice and charging for it at the local electronics superstore. This would be a great source of additional revenue.

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