As a entrepreneur and home business owner I do a lot of video conferences. It seems that more and more users these days believe in the face to face approach, even when in two (or more) different places. For me, the setup is simple. All I need is my computer, an internet connection, and Google Hangouts. However, if you run your business out of an office you may wish to invest in something more. Having your own video conferencing solution will make your business appear more professional then asking someone to Skype you. 🙂 But how do you find the right solution?

When you make an investment into anything as a business, you need to see an ROI (return on investment) on it as fast as possible, or it’s just not a very sound business decision. One of the business decisions you’re likely to make in the modern business world is to start using video conferencing. This business tool allows you to speak with clients and business colleagues around the world as if you’re all in the same room at the same time. You cut travel times and expenses, but how can you make sure you’re getting the right system for your business so you’re going to realize an ROI. These tips will help you to see your ROI even faster.

Know What Kind of Hardware You Need

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to purchase much more than they need for video conferencing. Small businesses with very little operating capital will spend thousands of dollars to purchase and install the same equipment that large offices utilize. While this may be very impressive to clients who visit your office, it will be very difficult for you to see an ROI on it, according to INMA. Instead, you should make sure you have the system you can afford for video conferencing. Keep in mind, there are companies with the software available to help you speak face to face through web conferencing utilizing tablets and smartphones as well as desktop computers. Since this is equipment you would likely purchase for your business regardless, you’re going to have a much easier time recouping your ROI when you purchase the software needed to start talking in this manner. All you have to do is pay to have the right to use the software, so you start realizing an ROI almost as soon as you start using the technology.

Schedule Fewer Meetings and Get More Done

While the great thing about using video conferencing is the ability to have more meetings, you can actually take advantage of it so you spend less time in meetings altogether. When everyone is in a room together, so much time gets lost to socializing rather than getting right down to work. The start of the meeting is hardly ever the time when the meeting actually begins. This is different than when you’re using web conferencing, according to Computer Weekly. Make sure you get everyone on point as soon as the meeting is supposed to start and you will have a much easier time covering everything you might normally need two meetings to cover. This means your key employees will spend less time giving progress reports and touching base with the team and more time doing what they do best. Your company will get more done and your possibility for an ROI will increase several times over. If you’ve already taken the step to minimize what your expenditure is on your conferencing system, then you have an even shorter road to your ROI.

Bring in More Ideas

There is only so much space in a conference room, meaning you tend to only pick your top people to be in the meeting room. The problem is this cuts out of the meeting some of the people who really have a lot to offer. If you’re using web conferencing software, you can include even more people to the meeting who can put in their two cents and get the work flowing even faster, according to Mashable. Remember that after meetings, many of the managers will need to pass along information to the people under them who do the actual work. Often, something is missed, or the employee has a question the manager cannot answer and another meeting is necessary. By having more people in on the meeting, it’s possible to eliminate this slow process. The right people will get the right answers and ask the right questions, so everyone is on the right page.

Make Use of What You Have

Your web conferencing solution is designed to be used. If you don’t use it, you will never see an ROI. This doesn’t mean you have to invent reasons to use it, but just think about the ways in which you can eliminate costs by using this great tool and move forward with using it for that purpose, according to IT Business Edge. For instance, if you have a meeting every morning with all of your key employees, but some of the employees cannot be at the meeting because they’re traveling, or visiting clients, include them through this technology. You will get more done in a shorter period of time simply because no one will have to fill in these individuals. Instead, they will be in on the meeting and they can get right into the swing of things.