This guest post was provided by Stevo, one of Bravo’s very own Support Gurus.
Bravo is the only truly cloud-based pawn platform and comes packed with advanced cloud capabilities. Everything you do in Bravo is backed up on the cloud which enables Bravo to provide solutions unrivaled by other software providers, but also makes a solid Internet connection a necessity.
If you live in or near a metropolitan or urban area, finding a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) like COX, Time Warner, AT&T, and Century Link won't be very difficult. However, for the pawn shops that are located in more remote/rural areas, you may not have the same luxury or ISP development.
Luckily, there are alternative solutions to receive a decent broadband connection - even if you aren't in an area near a cell phone tower or with 4G/DSL coverage. When all else fails, look up to the sky - or technically, Outerspace.
A Satellite ISP may be the solution for you!
For decades, satellite televisions have been a reasonable alternative to cable TV providers. This has extended into Internet coverage too, and satellite Internet providers have the capability of offering Internet speeds comparable to those of cable providers, and definitely trumping dial-up services.
So even if you're out in rural areas in Hawaii, or on top of a mountain in Alaska, there is still a strong possibility you can receive a reasonable Internet connection via a satellite provider - even more so for those in the lower 48 states.
The costs are very similar to what you would expect from cable providers too - approximately $50-130/mo depending on the speeds you require.
How it Works
Satellites are positioned 22,000 miles above the equator and are geostationary - a fancy way of saying that the satellites are always above a specific point in the sky as the Earth rotates. The satellites communicate with a ground station known as a "Gateway" in order to send information to and from your computer. With modern satellite technology, it's now possible for these satellites to transmit data at super-fast speeds, therefore providing faster Internet connections.
Just like with satellite television, the company or provider you choose will install satellite equipment on your property such as an antenna dish and a modem. The antenna dish is installed outside with an unobstructed southern view of the sky to communicate with the satellites above the equator. The antenna will connect to a modem which will then connect to your store’s router - and then you are practically ready to go!
With Bravo being a cloud service, you are going to want to have at least a 10Mbps download speed and close to a 5Mbps upload speed in order to run our application. The average optimal packages for satellite internet service providers are at about 17Mbps for download speed and 5Mbps for upload speed.
This means that you would definitely want to opt for their fastest and most reliable packages. At these speeds and with the recommended hardware requirements, a 3 workstation store will run optimally on Bravo. Take note that running Netflix and Pandora while using Bravo will make Bravo run slower, but that’s the cost of quality entertainment right!?
Shopping for Satellite Providers
After some research, I found that users in the U.S. found that Exede Internet, Hughes Net, and Dish Networks offer some of the best and most reliable services available. The best by far was Exede Internet who offers packages with 17Mbps down, and 5 Mbps up - great for running Bravo.
There are 3 things you should consider when shopping for a satellite Internet provider:
1) Connection Speeds: Download speeds are always going to be faster than upload speeds. Bravo has to upload a lot of data to the cloud, so it is imperative to get as close to optimal upload speeds as possible.
2) Bandwidth Thresholds: Depending on the plan you select, you are given a certain amount of data per month (usually ranging from 5GB to 25 GB/mo), the more the better.
3) Customer Service: Since you are running a business the Internet is a necessity and downtime can be crippling, it is crucial to find a provider that has excellent customer service and will respond and fix issues quickly. Look at reviews on the company and the quality of technical support they have.
Once you've selected the ISP best for your store and it's up and running, you are ready to go live on Bravo. With reliable Internet on your side, you will also be able to leverage eCommerce sales - especially through the Buya and eBay integrations inside of Bravo. With the right tools behind you - Bravo and reliable Internet - there is nothing stopping you from running one of the most successful pawn shops, even in a rural area! Like we say here at Bravo, "Keep Calm and Pawn On!"
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!