Virtual meetings were designed to suit the needs of small businesses. It allows them to get the most out of business meetings and conversations without using a lot of money on transportation. Typically, small businesses lack a big budget for sustainable transport to every meeting.
But with video conferencing, it is possible to hold meaningful conversations with their clients, stakeholders, and other prospects of the business anywhere around the globe. That said, there are many video conferencing software options in the market today. It means that companies have many options, which can be advantageous for them.
Many options mean better service because these video conferencing companies are in pursuit of acquiring more customers. Furthermore, the prices are regulated to attract more clients, making it even better for small business owners.
Features a Small Business Needs with Video Conferencing Software
Before commencing the search for the best software for your business, it is best to have some basic information on what to look for in a video conferencing tool. These features will assist you in having better conversations with our prospective. Some of these essential features include:
1. User-Friendly Interface
Having a user-friendly interface is the essential aspect of video conferencing software. It should be easy to use and have a neatly organized interface. The reason behind this logic is that an easy-to-use interface reduced the time your team takes to learn to navigate the software. It will be easy for your clients or your employees to understand and navigate the software.
A hard-to-use interface mess takes a lot of time for your team or clients to learn how to navigate. In the end, you might find the software contract expiring before it has served its function. And as a small business, you don’t want that since our budget is constricted.
What’s tricky is that each video conferencing website advertises on the easy-to-use part. It means that the only way to determine that true is by having a free trial period to test the software. Although it might be time-consuming, it is good to ensure that you try the app or website before investing in it.
2. Screen Sharing
Take a scenario where you are video conferencing with your team, and you want to update them on the financial outlook of your current quarter. You have some graphs on your computer that would help you drive the numbers home, but the video conferencing app does not support screen sharing. What you are left with is an option of emailing them, and instructing them to download, and begin reading the file on their own.
That scenario takes the life out of video conferencing. Therefore, it is not best to invest in a service that does not offer screen sharing. It is a standard feature that allows you to communicate with your team or clients better. It will help you share documents or other essential details on your screen with another party without having to share the file every time.
Other Essential Features
Other essential features to look for before investing in a video conferencing tool include:
- A video conferencing record option
- Chatting capabilities
- Cross-platform compatibility
- File sharing options>
- File storage options
Once you have decided on a video conferencing platform and have done any tutorials it might have, it is time for your first video conference! Here are some best practices to follow:
1. Make sure the technology works before your meeting
You should always check to make sure everything works by testing it before the scheduled video conference. Check any cameras and microphones and ask all of your participants to check their equipment too. Make sure there is no glare from sunlight and that your Internet signal is strong.
2. Don’t be caught in your pjs
For employees that work from home, they may be used to dressing casually or may even stay in their pajamas all day. But when it is time for their video conference, you should make sure you let your staff know they need to adhere to your company dress code or if you don’t have a dress code maybe suggest they dress business casual.
3. Some quick tips for video conferencing etiquette
- a. Be on-time.
- b. Introduce those who do not know each other.
- c. If someone has a hard stop, have them announce at the start of the meeting that they have to leave and will be signing off at that time.
- d. Maintain eye contact.
- e. Be professional and friendly.
- f. If seated, try not to get up and walk around unless you are presenting.
- g. Avoid disturbances. Hold incoming calls and turn off cell phone ringers.
- h. Have an opening conversation and let everyone know when the meeting is finished.
4. Pick a good location as a backdrop
If you are at your business location, choose a well-lit, private room and one that can accommodate everyone.
If you are participating from a remote location, find a quiet space with no clutter. If there are other people in the house, ask them to keep noise down during your call and turn off radios and TVs.
5. Be prepared and show off your presentation skills
It may be a good idea to send any relevant documents needed for the meeting to everyone ahead of time so participants can prepare any questions they may have. Many video conference tools have live screen sharing and easy-to-use video editing programs so you can make visual presentations to help people participants engaged.
6. Follow a time schedule and agenda
Video conferences should be treated just like in-person meetings. Set a start time that all participants should adhere to and an agenda. It is always a good idea to set an end-time, so the meeting does not go off track. A benefit of video conferencing is if someone can not attend, you have the ability to record the meeting so they can view it later.
As a small business, it is essential to ensure that you get the best deal when investing in a video conferencing tool. You will have to conduct adequate research to find the best option to suit your business. And when it comes to picking the service, make sure that it is best fit for your business and your clients needs.