Resource type: Blog
How video conferencing could benefit your business
Using low-cost video conferencing services could transform how your business manages its internal communications, training and its relationships with customers and commercial partners
The face-to-face meeting is still a powerful marketing and sales tool. Businesses that add video conferencing to their communications could vastly reduce their travel costs and even expand their market. Connecting via video means your local and global customers are just a click away.
Small businesses can instantly get started with video conferencing, as low-cost services are readily available. If your business already uses Google’s services or Microsoft Office, Google Hangouts [https://hangouts.google.com] and Skype for Business [https://www.skype.com/en/business/skype-for-business] integrating them into your business’s existing communications systems is straightforward and cost effective.
When your business wants to move up to holding full video conference meetings, the hosted services that use the cloud are instantly available. All you need is a Web browser and a fast Internet connection. Here, leading services to consider include: GoToMeeting, LyteSpark and BlueJeans.
Many of the video chat services are free. However, they can have limits on the number of people you can hold a meeting with. More advanced video conferencing services, as they are hosted in the cloud, use subscriptions. The higher the subscription the more advanced the features that become available.
The amount of your subscription is usually linked to the number of people you need to hold meetings with. Often, you can try out a service for free for a limited time, and then buy the level of access you need. What is ideal with this payment method is you can expand the service when your business needs to hold larger meetings.
Using today’s video conferencing service doesn’t require complex or expensive equipment. All smartphones and tablets have cameras that make using video chat as easy as making a phone call. Apple’s FaceTime for instance is standard across all their devices.
Many of today’s laptop computers have cameras built in allowing a fast and efficient method to hold a meeting with several people. All of Apple’s iMac range of desktop PCs for instance have cameras built in making them very easy to use with all video conferencing services.
Standalone cameras can also be bought from suppliers such as Logitech that offer HD quality and sound. These cameras can be fitted to any PC that has a USB socket. The cameras can also be positioned in a meeting room when larger groups need to communicate.
Whatever kind of video conferencing your business wants to use, remember they all rely on a fast and stable Internet connection. Transmitting HD quality video and sound uses a lot of bandwidth, so check your business’s internal network and its connection to the Internet can handle the quantities of data that video conferencing needs to transmit and receive. You don’t want a colleague, customer or business partner waiting for your video to buffer because of a slow Internet connection.
Having video chat and video conferencing available to your business offers a new communications channel that could transform many aspect of your business. Being able to see as well as hear colleagues, customers and business partners is a great way to reinforce these relationships, as well as reduce costs and improve efficiency across your business.
For more information see our guide: Video Conferencing for Small Business
To read about how Actorbank use the technology see their case study