Do you ever wish you could meet new customers, recruit new employees, or pitch your product or service without shelling out big bucks for travel expenses? As a small business person on a tight budget, of course you do.
For many solopreneurs and self-employed business people, travel is usually an expensive and time-consuming luxury that is really out of reach. Very small fledgling businesses, let alone one-person operations, really don’t have the time or money to waste flying or driving around the country cultivating new business. Sure they’d like to but odds are that for many small businesses the cost to do so is just too prohibitive.
But fret not. In this day and age there is a solution, and a good one at that! With the right online meeting software you can eliminate trips to distant cities yet still preserve the power of meeting in person.
At NextAdvisor.com, we’ve tried all the major meeting solutions. Here are some of our favorite ways entrepreneurs can get the most out of this handy technology:
1. Pitching New Clients
If you offer a product or service to clients based around the country or across the globe virtual meetings can let you make a full presentation of your company without having to invest extensive time and money in making a trip to speak in person.
Tools like Adobe’s Acrobat Connect Pro can even let you remotely run a computer in your client’s office if you need to demonstrate something or allow you to work collaboratively on a virtual whiteboard of ideas.
2. Customer Service
Once you have signed on a new customer you can maintain contact and truly great customer service with an online meeting tool.
If your customers have trouble running a piece of software or implementing your solution virtual meeting tools let you handle installation remotely.
If you need to adjust your plan or map out a new project you can handle that with real-time document collaboration or video conferencing. Instead of trying to navigate a document together over the phone, pull it up in a virtual meeting space and make the changes together.
Many entrepreneurs make their businesses work with the help of contractors and other remote workers. Instead of being limited to people you can interview locally or making a lot of long phone calls, try interviewing over a solution like GoToMeeting. That way, you can bring in a group to speak to the candidate, no matter where they are based.
4. Staying in Touch With a Remote Workforce
Once you have hired those contractors, stay up to date on their progress, check in on projects, and have regular staff meetings with online meeting software. For the self-employed business person or an entrepreneur without a conference room teleconferences with online meeting software let everyone be in the same place without having to rent a room or bring employees and contractors into your home office.
The good news is that most of these services all offer 14-day free trial periods. This way you can try them out first without even paying a thin dime. Features, pricing, and scalability vary widely, so be sure to do your research before you sign up for the paid versions.
In addition to detailed individual reviews, you can find a handy comparison chart at NextAdvisor.com, which can help you decide which company offers the product you might get the most out of.
Mary Humphreys works as a Content Manager with NextAdvisor.com, an independent research and review site for everything from Credit Cards to VoIP Providers.