Making Guest Wifi Work For You - How could you set it up?

Advertise that you offer it:

In a lot of environments, customers now expect wireless, and if they think that you don't offer it then they wont be interested. A common example of this is the hotel trade. As a bare minimum you need a Wi-Fi area in the bar or a common public area. For bonus points get coverage into every room. If you run a hotel or similar then make sure the fact that you offer wireless is plastered all over your website and any flyers you hand out anywhere or adverts you put in magazines etc. Put up signs and stickers in prominent places such as windows and public areas and watch the punters roll in

Make the wireless network easy to find:

In order to find your network people will need to pick it out of the list of most likely 10 or more networks if you are in a built up area. Make sure that your network has an obvious name like "FREE Wifi" or "Guest Wi-Fi". Putting the name of you establishment in the SSID will help also and start the name with a "_" to help push it to the top of the list.

Advertising on your landing page:

Use the landing page to advertise. This can be to advertise the offers you have such as "buy 3 purple things – get a green or yellow thing free of charge". This may tempt people who otherwise wouldn't pop into your gift shop to pop in to take advantage of the offer. Once they are in the gift shop you can then use your charm to sell them all kinds of useless crap they don’t need! Also, you can sell advertising space if you have a landing page that is likely to draw lots of attention.

Use Facebook to get free advertising:

Facebook is a great tool to put your business out there as it is used by everyone these days.. Even stuffed animals and dogs have accounts! For a quick and easy win, install a solution that forces people to "like" your establishment or "check in" to it. This will show on their Facebook page in their status, and all their friends and followers will see it and know how great you are for offering Wireless! Some studies show that a Facebook "like" is worth as much as $168 in advertising. Some other studies show that a "like" is worth about $2.. Who knows what it is really worth? Either way its got to be a winner for you. Even at $2, if your solutions costs you £400 in real money to put in then at the current exchange rate you will have it paid for within 327 "likes"

Charge for premium access:

Trying to charge for basic access is commercial suicide these days.. Wi-Fi you have to pay for may be better than no Wi-Fi at all.. But only just! However, offering 2 levels of Wi-Fi is pretty acceptable. Basic FREE Wi-Fi should be available to all. This could be a rate limited option with a timer that kicks users off the network after a set amount of time. However, you could then offer premium Wi-Fi at a small charge that gives a faster connection speed and no kicking off the network - hurrah!

There are many other ways to make your wireless work for you but hopeful the above will get you thinking

By Darren Gauntlett