Imagine this scenario: you are a small businesses that has succeeded in your home market and have now expanded into a new city. Your company feels a certain level of uncertainty mixed with a dash of hope when it comes to introducing the product or service that you are selling. Due to the distances involved, this creates the need to rely on digital methods of communication and collaboration in order to ensure that proper updates are given and instructions are carried out without any issues with your new branch office.
You have heard of video conferencing systems and how they have helped companies create better strategy sessions by having multiple individuals from different branches communicate in real-time meetings. Now, the question is do you really need a video conferencing system or is it an unnecessary expense that your small scale enterprise does not need at this point in time?
Expenses Versus Greater Collaborative Capacity
Implementing the use of a video conferencing system in your company comes with significant upfront costs whether you choose to install and maintain your own system or rely on third party service providers. While large corporations are able to easily absorb the expense, some small to medium scale enterprises that have just started branching out from their home markets may not be able to shoulder the cost. This particular issue is of greater concern when taking into consideration the fact that the process of business expansion often relies on sticking to a particular budget to prevent the company from being mired in unnecessary debt.
However, based on an article from Computerweekly.com it was noted that the cost of video conferencing technology and services has decreased over the years and has now become a viable option when it comes to businesses that desire the means of enhancing their productivity and allowing faster decisions to be implemented when it comes to handling new trends or addressing issues as they arise.
But I already use Emails and Phone calls, Do I really need Video Conferencing?
Most businesses utilise a combination of emails and phone calls in order to communicate with their different branches in a city, region or even across countries. It is simply easier, cheaper and more expedient to use a phone or write an email and, as such, why should a business choose to implement a service that will cost them money and may not be necessarily needed?
This is an argument utilised by many small scale business enterprises since what can be defined as their IT resources can be summed up by a simple collection of desktops, laptops and telephones.
The thought of utilising a video conferencing system would seem strange to these enterprises since, for them, the technology would be something that is relegated to the board rooms of large companies and not a small company looking to expand into a new city. However, a video released on August 11, 2015 on Businesstoday.in which showcased an SME Roundtable occurring in Bangalore revealed that not only is the use of the latest technologies not limited to large scale enterprises, small businesses can actually make use of them as well in order to compete with their larger counterparts. For instance, the advantages of video conferencing from Blue Jeans is that the service can be utilised on a wide variety of devices ranging from laptops and desktops to even mobile phones. This shows that small to medium scale companies do not need to invest in expensive in-house systems in order to utilise this technology, they can merely go to the appropriate service providers and pay for what they need.
Face-to-Face Conversations Versus Emails and Phone calls
As mentioned earlier, emails and phones are quick, cheap and are used widely by companies; they form the backbone of how companies communicate and, as such, are a ubiquitous aspect of doing business. However, as noted by Businessinsider.com, there is simply no beating the value of a face-to-face conversation. There are simply some aspects to business planning and implementation that cannot be adequately encapsulated through mere phone calls or emails.
The rapid exchange of ideas as well as the back and forth critiques of the merits of particular processes are simply not as effective over the phone or emails. Another issue is that emails are simply far too impersonal with people often utilising overly polite phrases resulting in the true tone of an issue or the need to expedite a process not making it through to the person receiving it. When it comes to phone conversations, people are more interested in getting off the phone rather than staying on it.
When it comes to expanding your business, do what you believe is best for your company; however, do think about giving video conferencing a try since its benefits far exceed the costs that it entails.