Although most people think we only communicate with the written or verbal word, the vast majority, or 93 percent, is based on nonverbal body language. According to Professor Albert Mehrabian’s communications model, 38 percent is paralinguistic (the way words are said), 55 percent is in facial expression and only 7 percent in the words that are spoken. The fact that the telephone has been around for more than a century but we still need a face-to-face highlights the importance of seeing the people we do business with. For large enterprises that can afford business travel or expensive videoconferencing solutions it is not a problem, but for small business, it has been responsible for limiting potential growth.
While routine business travel may still be out of reach for many small companies, now there are videoconferencing solutions anyone can afford. And the technology is seeing increased adoption as the changing ecosystem of the workplace now places more value in quality of life (QoL) and collaboration.
The Acceptance of Videoconferencing
A business trip no longer has the same importance for today’s workers as it did for previous generations. For millenials having to travel to another city, state or country on business is mostly seen as wasteful, inefficient and it takes away from the QoL they value so much. This has led to increased adoption of videoconferencing, making it the same as a face-to-face for this particular demographic. But as companies see the cost saving benefits of the technology, they are lowering the number of business trips they approve.
This level of acceptance means using the technology benefits everyone involved, which gives small businesses an accepted product they can use to enter new markets without breaking the bank.
The Benefits of Videoconferencing for Small Businesses
A new generation of information and communications technologies (ICT) has introduced higher levels of efficiency and productivity by giving small businesses access to solutions which would have been cost-prohibitive in the past; this includes videoconferencing.
Some of the benefits it offers small businesses include:
1. The elimination of business travel unless it is absolutely essential. Eventually, a trip might be necessary, but it can be limited to only a few key trips, while the rest of the meetings throughout the year can be carried out via conference.
2. Give employees the option of working from home by telecommuting. With the right unified communications (UC) solution in place, videoconferencing can be integrated to provide a comprehensive platform that allows employees to work from virtually anywhere.
3. It increases efficiency because videoconferences have a predefined time in which they have to be carried out. This ensures the job gets done within the allotted time, thus avoiding the unnecessary small talk of face-to-face meetings.
4. Better client contact and engagement by personalizing product demonstrations, sales calls, and follow up discussions with a face-to-face communication.
5. Increase your reach by accessing markets in different cities, states and even countries. Whether it is to hire talent, acquire new customers or find new partners, rewarding relationships can be forged on your PC or smart mobile device.
Choosing the Best Option for Your Business
The market is full of videoconferencing solutions providers, and before you choose the company, you should go through your particular needs by writing them down. Once you have this list, find companies that are able to deliver everything or most everything on the list. Key features that you should look for include ease of use, quality audio and video, flexibility, security and an indispensable tool in today’s environment, mobility.
Whether it is a free service or a fee based solution, you have to have a clear implementation plan to fully exploit this technology so you can reap the benefits it has proven to deliver. A study carried out by Polycom and Quocirca earlier this year revealed more than 90 percent of those who regularly use videoconferencing are able to see higher productivity and improved teamwork inside their business.