In today’s ever-changing business landscape, more and more independent small business owners are looking nationwide or even globally to find quality employees. But how do you keep everyone in the loop in spite of being geographically divided?
Thankfully, we’re in the Internet age. The virtual meeting – aka web conferencing – has come of age, and location is no longer an obstacle. It’s easy to implement an online meeting either through your own network or a service such as iMeet®.
Here are some reasons to consider virtual meetings:
1. Reduces Costs
Having virtual meetings saves money and helps reduce expenses in your small business. That’s one whopping reason for small businesses to give it a try. Gone is the need to fly in clients or senior staff, rent cars, or shell out for that pesky per diem during their stay. This is a huge savings for any business, but particularly for one that’s just getting off the ground.
2. Saves Time
In any business venture, like money, time is of the essence. Scheduling virtual meetings is a great time management tip to reduce the hours you’d otherwise spend coordinating travel. Virtual meetings can come together anytime and anywhere – even on the go, should the need arise. People can just stop wherever they are and find a quiet, web-connected place to talk. Once these become second nature, you’ll likely discover both you and your team are more efficient and productive.
3. Involves Your Entire Team
Nothing is worse than having a meeting where not everyone can attend. Someone’s out sick, someone else is traveling, and so on. Having critical sessions without key people can result in skewed information and maybe even hurt feelings. But a virtual meeting assures your whole team will be there, even those who telecommute or work from home. And you can ensure your message is consistent, knowing you’re all walking away with a collective understanding of goals and priorities. It’s a win-win.
4. Preserves Materials
Have you ever passed out documents to your staff during a face-to-face meeting? Far too often, those papers ended up in the circular file afterward. When you hold your meetings virtually, you email attachments to each and every person, and no one can ever say they don’t have the material.
5. It’s Environmentally Friendly
Whether or not your business is currently eco-conscious, you can rest easy knowing that holding virtual meetings is better for the environment. By reducing travel and printing less paper, you lessen your carbon footprint. Consider working this effort ever so subtly into your marketing plan. Customers nowadays respect a lean green business, and it could result in better sales.
Though there are many benefits to virtual meetings, there are also times when you want to meet face-to-face. If you’re trying to close a high-stakes sale or attempting to land a lucrative client, you may want to invest the funds for a personal meeting. Virtual meetings are great for staff members and business partners – just don’t try to shave costs too much when big profits are on the line.
What other benefits of virtual meetings have you experienced first hand in your business?
Written by David Bakke, Money Crashers
David writes about small business, careers and technology on the money management blog, Money Crashers Finance.
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Photo Credit: swanksalot