Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean that you can’t have a lot of the same advantages of big businesses. Even SMBs today can do business internationally, and that means using a lot of the same tools as a multinational. Learn why even small companies need video conferencing, and why you shouldn’t believe the myths.
The biggest shocker about videoconferencing is how much it doesn’t cost. Back in the earliest days of videoconferencing, the equipment was expensive, just the same way it was expensive in the mid-90s to buy a new computer. With most mobile phones and tablets having a better capacity than those early computers, why do you think the same doesn’t apply to videoconferencing? The technology has come a very long way from requiring its own server and a dedicated member of the IT department to operate it.
In fact, one of the advantages of Bluejeans videoconferencing is that you can even videoconference from your mobile phone or your tablet. No extra equipment is required, though if you are using videoconferencing frequently you may eventually wish to invest in better lighting, cameras, and sound equipment.
Another Sticker Shock
Do you have any idea how much meetings cost? Verizon white paper hard and soft costs of meetings. For instance, a five-person meeting lasting two hours with four people traveling to attend assigned an approximate cost of 3300 pounds. This includes over 53 hours for preparation and travel. A videoconference means that there are no travel expenses, and prep time is cut to roughly 16 ½ hours. The total cost to have a five-person videoconference comes out to just 1100 pounds.
Another advantage to using videoconferencing is the ability to have a truly flexible workforce. Whether at home, at the office, or even on a job site the ability to reach someone for a face-to-face conversation is priceless. A recent Gigaom study points out that 87 percent of off-site feel more connected when using videoconferencing, and that cloud-based apps great way engagement and productivity. In addition, cloud-based tools are often easier to use faces, and less expensive than traditional videoconferencing solutions. Off-site workers can join from their desktops, laptops, tablets, or even their smart phones. From the main office to a home office, to a café or airport waiting lounge, the conference can be wherever you are.
Re-engaging the Workforce
According to a Gallup poll, managers handle at least 70 percent of variances in employee engagement. A staggeringly low 13 percent of workers worldwide are engaged and involved in their workplaces and jobs. In the past 12 years, these numbers have made the most boring roller coaster in the world. Part of the problem can be the lack of consistency and absence of communication in which most employees operate. Great managers are consistent and communicate in a highly effective manner. The variation in all of these groups depends almost exclusively on how the workers are managed by their immediate superior and upper management.
By seeking out and giving employees collaborative tools, you’re giving them the chance to engage with each other as well as their immediate superior by getting everyone to work together on their assigned projects. It’s possible that you will see your staff shine, and may also discover if perhaps someone else light make a more effective and less of obstructionist manager. Great managers will create the correct environment for employees to feel trusted and respected, and rely less on office politics and manipulation to keep control of their workgroups.
Even When You’re Little, Think Big
One big mistake that any small business owner can make is not to plan for growth. While you don’t want to get too big of a head, you need to look ahead and reasonably decide how much growth will be ahead of you in the next five years. If you don’t plan to grow, will be like a plant in a too-small pot, so tangled up in your own roots that you can easily choke to death. By making use of inexpensive collaborative tools that are available without much startup cost, you can have much more flexibility than if you invested in heavy and expensive infrastructure that you will not need.
The beauty of cloud-based applications like videoconferencing is that they are far more scalable than the old model of off-the-shelf software and expensive hardware. By learning how to budget wisely you can get your small business on a healthy footing right out of the gate. You can have a custom fit, instead of a one size fits all that fits nobody, and does not fulfill your immediate business needs. These collaborative tools may well be the best thing that your workforce and balance sheet has ever seen.