Across the country, the hottest new selling point that determines the quality of a coffee shop is wireless internet access. In fact, in any and every kind of urban or suburban establishment, wireless internet is the trend. Cafés, schools, libraries, churches, homes, and even some busses can all be found to have wireless internet routers; a person can virtually sit down with their laptop anywhere in town and pick up someone’s internet signal. Notice the caveat there, however: anywhere in town.
Try taking that laptop out into a rural community somewhere in the grassy plains of Kansas, and you may not find yourself quite as readily linked into the worldwide web. In fact, in today’s world, try as you may to connect from a farm virtually anywhere, you’re not going to get anything but a dead battery from leaving your computer on. All that is about to change, however, thanks to Air Advantage.
Say hello to Air Advantage, the first company to make it their sole purpose to bring wireless connectivity to rural America. Since 2002, this Michigan-based business has been working tirelessly to perfect every aspect of their operation from essential technology to optimal marketing systems so that farmers, ranchers, loggers, and everyone else just outside city limits can have equal opportunity to access the web. And so far, they’ve succeeded. In fact, in 2006, their product and service earned the Blue Ribbon from the US Chamber of Commerce, and then earned it again in 2007.
What Makes Their System Work
The keys to their success are effective technology and maintenance practices suited specifically for clients who aren’t near the city. Their towers connect to in-home routers using 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5.3 GHz, and 5.7 GHz spectrums, running on both very common and more uncommon wavelengths, depending on the need of the client.
But what really makes this a plausible business is their maintenance plan. First, because of the design of the equipment, there is no need for the installer to know or use the network I/P scheme or customer specific I/P address. This means that the possibility of having an outside hacker infiltrate the system is virtually nil. Second, the connection process is all software-based, installed directly to the client’s computer and accessible through user-friendly menus and drop-down boxes that make everything far less painful, even for the inexperienced user. And third, because the system software is menu-driven, there is no need for the franchisee to send employees on-site to troubleshoot; all the client has to do is call the 24/7 helpdesk. All of this together means that rural customers are given access to wireless service 10-times faster than dial-up, they don’t have to trouble themselves with the headache of having technicians come out to help them, and the franchise owner doesn’t have spend the money and energy to send those technicians. Instead, techs can be busy establishing new connections with new clients.
The Franchise Opportunity
When the business began, it was nothing more than five locations and some equipment installed on area grain elevators. Since then, the operation has expanded to 40 towers serving 4,000 clients, and every month 100 more clients are added to that number. With the success that this franchise business has already seen in its home state of Michigan, it has expanded its vision and opened up for franchising in 31 states.
Hopeful franchisees need to answer only three primary questions before taking the plunge. One, do you know the target market that you’re planning to open in, and are there any competitors there? Two, do you have the financial resources to cover the minimum $178,000 price tag? And three, are you passionate about bringing internet access to people who don’t yet have it? If you can answer all three of those questions affirmatively, then Air Advantage is the home based business for you, and you are the franchisee for them.
When franchisees do step up to opening their own franchises, Air Advantage staff is present throughout the whole process, teaching them how to find the right tower location, helping establish a demographic study of the area, and developing an RF map of the area. As well, franchisees are trained in all areas of the business at the company’s central headquarters, preparing them for everything they may encounter in a day’s work. Furthermore, each franchisee is taken out into the field to visit a working tower and be taught about all the equipment they will inevitably come across in the lifespan of their franchise.
Upon opening the new franchise, staff members from the central headquarters come to the new site to help with first installations of towers and customer equipment, ensuring that the franchisee gets their home business off on the right foot. But whenever something may go slightly awry in the course of business, there is always helpdesk support for franchisee and clients to fall back on, and the central facility provides billing, scheduling, other administrative services, network monitoring, and maintenance so that everything about your work at home business is always at peak performance. After all, your growth means their growth, and your profit means their profit.
A Business With A Future
The internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so any business opportunities that get you into the market in a capacity with little current competition is one to be seriously considered, and there isn’t anyone better than Air Advantage. The longer you wait, however, the greater risk you run of watching this currently untapped market be infiltrated by other service brands and other Air Advantage work from home franchisees. In the technology industry, there is never time to waste, so don’t put this opportunity off if it’s the one for you.