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My Business, My Money

Has your business tried online videoconferencing? If the answer is not yet, what are you waiting for? You would love it!

Getting together at practically no cost is not so difficult anymore thanks to the use of remarkable technologies. In fact, online videoconferencing is a practical tool that enables people to connect and communicate anytime and from anywhere in the world.

We often hear about the benefits of video calls via tools such as Skype, Google+ Hangout, GoToMeeting.com, Adobe Connect, etc. These tools are so practical and let business people get together, see each other, and most importantly communicate often. They are practical options to stay in touch considering that budgets for many companies only allow for fewer in-person meetings. Through the magic of this technology, we can see everyone else from anywhere and even access it through applications on smart phones.

I am convinced that small businesses need to make use of this technology right now. For instance, our business development advisers at the Nevada SBDC are increasingly using online video conversations to connect with clients and expedite the exchange of information and written materials. Another way we are exploiting the advantages of online video chatting is through scheduled meetings with key resource partners. An example is the recurring exchanges we have had with people from the Tecnológico de Monterey – Chihuahua Campus in Mexico. Google Hangout and Skype have enabled us to be in touch with each for planning and implementation of several projects.

The U.S. Small Business Development Administration (SBA) has also been pioneering the benefits of listening and watching via Google+ Hangout.  During this year’s national small business week in June, SBA hosted a series of Google Hangouts with SBA and industry experts. It was refreshing and quite a success.

So, my question is simple: has your company already tried online video conversations and meetings? I hope so, because in my interactions with business owners I hear them talk about it, but many have not even tested it yet. Reasons abound. I suspect that in some cases the simple use of the technology, such as adding several people to a conversation, can get a bit complicated. Some business owners simply tell me that the preferred way of conducting business is still to invite people to meet in person.

All considered, here are 5 important reasons for your business not to wait any longer and begin using online video conversations and meetings.

  1. For the most part this technology is FREE
  2. You can have up to 10 simultaneous video chats
  3. Nobody has to get in a car, on a plane, or travel anywhere. Therefore, it can significantly reduce the cost of in-person meetings
  4. It is a great way of communicating innovatively with clients and peers
  5. It can substantially improve the performance of groups by allowing them to stay focused on desirable outcomes

In conclusion, don’t wait any longer to try online video conferencing. You would love it because it is incredibly useful.

Marcel Fernando Schaerer, Director, Southern Nevada Operations
Nevada Small Business Development Center, www.nsbdc.org.

Photo Marcel Schearer