As a SMB owner, you need to be careful with your money and invest it wisely. There are many cutting edge tools on the market for businesses of every size, but that doesn’t mean that you need all of them or that they’re a good investment for your particular situation.
Take video conferencing, for example, it has reached a peak of popularity and is fast becoming a staple in the white collar workforce. This is, in part, due to the rapid increase in user friendly interfaces and providers that offer a wide array of services.
However, there’s more to it than simply investing in video conferencing technology, since you need to understand the services and features being offered. Here are four investments you can make for your SMB in 2016 to help you bolster success and productivity over the next 12 months.
#1 A Built In Support System
It can be daunting to invest in new technology if you don’t have a dedicated ITTS team at your beck and call. This is especially true for SMBs, where you may rely on the informal know-how of an employee or an outsourced provider.
Either way, though, if you’re looking into video conferencing, finding a provider with a built-in support system is essential. Blue Jeans small business video conferencing offers a support team to assist users with trouble shooting and other issues, and is a great example of a company that comes as an “all-in-one” package.
Small Biz Trends agrees with this logic, advising that when you’re trying to choose a video conferencing system, a requirement that should be at the top of your list is finding a reliable provider with a proven track record of excellent support and customer service.
#2 Enhanced Communication Tools
In general, improving communication as much as possible is essential for every business, but that’s especially true for SMBs. If you have staff spread out over distances also, having a reliable video conferencing provider and the ability to interact face to face on camera is very important.
Fast Company advocates for widening avenues of communication by facilitating company-wide dialogues, opening the floor for more fruitful interactions to take place and positively impact productivity and innovation. This is why investing in improved communication tools is a wise decision, and video conferencing is a good way to go.
There are also many plans designed specially with SMBs in mind, scaling features and cost down to different levels and requirements. Besides simply being able to host video meetings with colleagues in a reliable, efficient manner, today’s video conferencing technology also offers such features as screen sharing, recordable meetings, and the ability to share media with all participants simultaneously.
#3 Emphasized Interoperability
When asked to picture a video conference meeting, the first thing that comes to mind for many people in a large, clunky conference room outfitted with expensive specialty equipment.
However, you need to banish that image from your mind, because those days are gone. In the age of mobility, and specifically mobile devices, no one wants to be chained to a single room simply to participate in an online meeting.
This has led to video conferencing providers developing tools that allow participants to join a meeting using different devices. This can include a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone, allowing ample and easy access for everyone to participate.
#4 A Reworked Communication Plan
This investment isn’t based so much on money being spent, but more has more to do with time. As the saying goes, though, time is money, and that’s definitely the case when it comes to using your staff to work on different projects.
Working a communication plan from the top down is an important step for every SMB to take every few years, though, even when it involves a lot of time and energy. Incorporating video conferencing to your business’s communication plan in 2016 also isn’t as simple as introducing the technology, since you want to make sure that your employees are willing to properly adapt to a change and also understand how to use it.
There are many times that business large and small alike invest in tools and technology without really knowing how to use them. Make sure you get everything you possibly can when you invest in a video conferencing provider and technology.
When it comes to running an SMB, every step is important, as is every dime you spend. Investments take careful planning and time to implement, but there are certain tools that are worth the energy on every level.
Video conferencing designed with SMBs in mind is one of the premier tools for 2016, and is also an expanding market. This type of technology is no longer limited solely to the big boys that have the ability to outfit large conference rooms with dedicated equipment and software.
Whether you want to join a video conference meeting from your mobile device or home computer, today’s technology is all about flexibility and operating across multiple devices and platforms.
So does your business use a video conferencing solution and if not why? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.