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This is going to be number- and statistic-rich post so hold onto your keyboard!

While the goals of saving money and improving ROI aren’t unique to small businesses, they can carry an increased importance when you’re dealing with smaller budgets.  Small businesses currently employ nearly 120 million people in the United States and 90 million in Europe, meaning a lot of people stand to benefit from companies trying get the most out of each dollar.

One of the easiest steps a organization can take to save money is to incorporate video conferencing for small businesses into some of their routine tasks.  When you consider that most companies already have the infrastructure in place to do this, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs.  Plus, not only does the company stand to save money, they are likely to see an improvement in employee performance and retention.  This post looks at 4 ways a small business can use video technology to save money and grow their business.

Interviews

There has been a 103% increase in the amount of people working from home since 2005, making it easy to see that remote work has moved from being a trend to being an expectation in many industries.  However, you don’t even have to offer remote jobs to leverage one of the biggest advantages of hiring remote workers - the remote interview.  Remote interviews can not only save you time and money, they can increase your appeal as a company and expand the talent pool.

We already looked at how to get the most out of a remote interview (and why), but for now know that I consider video interviews to be the premier way to interview candidates.  Here’s why:

  • It saves you time (and therefore money) by allowing you to schedule interviews whenever and wherever - you are no longer bound to your office or normal schedule.

  • It let’s you recruit from other cities or countries without having to go there yourself or bring the candidate to you.

  • It is far cheaper than paying to bring a candidate into the office and helps weed out those without the proper requirements early on.

  • It allows you to easily include people from other offices, thereby saving them time and money.

Sales

While video sales are not idea for some industries, the majority of companies still stand to gain by working them into at least part of the process.  For instance, giving a demonstration of your product over video save both you and the client significant time.  In addition, if you offer a service, offering video meetings or consultations can have the same effect.

One thing to note in regards to sales is that video offers an added benefit when it comes to clients.  Not only can it save everyone money, it can create a competitive advantage for your company.  When you realize that remote work and clients are quickly becoming the norm, it’s easy to see that the companies quickest to adapt will have an advantage over those that don’t.  Offering video capabilities to your sales team could not only mean savings, it could mean new business down the road.

If you want more detailed information, check out our post on how to land remote clients.

Telecommuting

In case it’s not yet clear - we are big proponents of remote work and telecommuting.  Visiple is a fully-distributed team and uses video conferencing daily to collaborate and communicate.  We also know that we’re the minority and realize that it’s not practical for every company to go fully remote.  However, there are significant advantages to allowing your employees to telecommute for a few days a week.

The average employee can save a company $11,000 in expenses like overhead and supplies by working remote.  In addition, offering the option to telecommute will make you significantly more appealing to job seekers with 68% of college graduates stating the ability to work remotely would increase their interest in an employer.  While hiring people might not seem like an obvious way to save money, employees that are interested in and loyal to their work certainly yield better results than those that aren’t.

And guess what?  Remote work can have an immediate impact on your current employees also, especially when you consider that it can improve productivity, decrease stress, and increase retention.

Customer Service

70% of companies believe it is cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.  While customer service is only a part of that equation, happy customers are more likely to stick around compared to those who aren’t.  Depending on your product or service, adding a video chat component to your website could be a great way to improve loyalty and satisfaction among your users.

Companies like American Express and Amazon have already started offering one and two-way video conferencing with some of their products in order to answer questions, resolve issues, and even recommend improvements or accessories.  While your company might not need all of that, research has shown even adding a live chat function to your site can increase conversions so it’s safe to assume including the option for video will only add to your appeal.  

A great place to start with this without investing too much money is to offer a “scheduled video meeting” button on your site.  Users can use this to get help with a product, get a feature set up, or even ask for advice on how best to use your service.  More importantly, because you aren’t committed to live chats all the time, you can still reap the rewards without shelling out for more staff.

Wrapping Up

Video conferencing for small is playing a growing role in how modern business gets done.  Not only can it help secure savings for a small business, it can improve the relationship they have with their employees.  Companies that begin to incorporate video, even in the small roles, stand to gain from both a business and recruitment standpoint, meaning those that don’t will soon be playing catch up.