By Tim Duffy, Executive Chairman, MeetingZone, www.meetingzone.com

As a small business owner or manager do you quickly turn or click to the next page when you read a headline that extols the virtues of conferencing and collaboration?

If you do, is that because you believe that conferencing and collaboration solutions are expensive to buy and complex to deploy and ‘out of reach’ of smaller businesses?

If the answer to the above is yes, then you should be thinking again. If you are not looking at how your business can benefit from conferencing and collaboration technology, then you can be sure that your competitors are.

Let’s just take one challenge you may well be facing as you try to grow your business. It is likely that you have employees ‘covering’ geographical regions across the UK, i.e. the north, the midlands, inside the M25, the M4 corridor and the south west. All of these employees will be working from home, making it difficult and costly, in terms of ‘dead’ time spent travelling and the hard costs associated with travel i.e. every increasing fuel costs, to come to your main office to meet with you and the rest of the team.

Not being able to bring your whole team together on a regular basis can be a problem. Your employees need to feel part of a team; to build relationships with each other and they all need to know what the others are working on and to discuss the issues they are facing.

But this potential challenge can very easily and cost effectively be overcome.

Take a moment to think if your employees actually need to ‘see’ each other when they meet? When we hold meetings the main things we need to do is listen to what everyone has to say and to share information.

So if the answer is no, there is no need for your team to see one another during regular meetings, then conferencing and collaboration solutions will quickly, easily and cost effectively allow you to bring your team all together on a regular basis, without anyone having to leave their home office desk.

All your employees need is:

Access to a telephone (fixed or mobile) so that they can hear each other and to a PC/laptop, with a broadband connection enabling access to a web conferencing solution allowing everyone to share information via a screen sharing application.

All you need to do is to choose the right service provider who can deliver integrated conferencing and collaboration solutions to bring you and your team together.

You and your team just have to dial one number to access the conferencing and collaboration service and then enter a PIN code to join the virtual meeting.

There is no need to buy potentially expensive equipment and there is no need to enter into licensing agreements. All you do pay for is the cost of each individual call into the meeting.

What could be simpler!

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