The food truck with no wheels

You’re at a summer BBQ. One of your friends introduces you to another friend, Susan. Susan recently purchased a food truck. She’s very excited because a food truck lets her be where the people are. And, she adds, she got a great deal. The only hangup is that her food truck has no wheels. You give her a look. In response, she explains that the food truck doesn’t always have no wheels, only some days. She just doesn’t know when.

Susan needs a spare set of tires

When I tell this story to clients, they know that Susan needs a spare set of tires. Sure, Susan can make food – she can do the work of the business – but it doesn’t mean much if she can’t deliver the goods. And tires are so cheap!

We aren’t talking about tires, are we?

When it comes to the importance of connectivity, most law firms aren’t much different from a food truck with no wheels. Your firm depends on reaching your clients, opposing counsel, and filings. You simply can’t do those things effectively without an internet connection.

And tires are so cheap!

Tires really are cheap. When you compare a spare set of tires to the cost of the food truck itself, Susan’s time, or the cost of not doing business at all, tires are grossly undervalued. The same is true for a secondary internet connection. Aside from the computer on your desk or the phone in your pocket, there may not be a better dollar-for-dollar purchase your business can make.

Thinking about a spare set of treads?

If you’ve been convinced (or simply don’t want to be a Susan), there are some things you should consider when choosing a secondary internet connection. The first is that you may already have a secondary internet connection – your phone.  

Your phone as a spare

Depending on your cellular provider, phone, plan, and expected usage, your phone may be able to service you in times of need.  This is by far the cheapest option, but you’ll want to be sure that your phone gets excellent signal where you work. Small changes in signal strength can greatly impact your ability to work, especially when you add one or two laptops into the mix.

Mobile Hot Spot

Similar to your phone, you can purchase devices and plans to meet the needs of your law firm.  For small firms, a mobile hot spot can perform double duty during emergencies. When a hurricane approaches, you or another key team member can take the device with you.  Again, you’ll want to test different cellular providers to find one that gets excellent signal in your office.

A second internet connection

You need two, physical internet connections, owned by different companies.

In South Florida, there are many internet providers, but the majority of these are resellers. AT&T and Comcast own most of the ground cable. When a construction crew accidentally severs a ground cable, a company like Windstream calls AT&T or Comcast to fix it. You must do your homework before choosing a reseller.  If you buy the same ground cable twice, you won’t have a spare.

Spare tires aren’t all the same size

A spare isn’t meant to be used on a road trip and your secondary internet connection isn’t meant for your business to run on forever.  Most larger firms probably don’t need a full-sized spare.

A large firm usually relies on fiber. Fiber is more reliable and offers service restoration guarantees should it fail.  It is, of course, more expensive. When you purchase a secondary internet connection, you aren’t trying to match what you get with fiber. You just need enough to get you through the service window.

Free help finding a spare

If you’re like most, you’re happy to know this information, but it’d be even better if someone else actually did something about it.  You’re in luck! We help law firms to find a secondary internet connection and we do it at no cost to you. So, if you need help, simply send us an email or give us a call.  We’re happy to help.

Categories: Strategy

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.