Friday, June 13, 2008
Boy, has Mother Nature been picking on the United States lately...especially Iowa.
Not only have whole towns been destroyed by tornadoes and flooding...
But last night 4 boys were killed at Boy Scout Camp when a tornado touched down.
I can't imagine how these parents are coping...my thoughts and prayers go out to their families. And also to the boys still in the hospital fighting to survive.
As horrible as these tragic events are, it sure brings out the best in people. Volunteers from all over the country are helping out any way they can.
My supposedly "business problems" pale in comparison to losing a child.
Hope you and yours are well and safe.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Is your business ready to weather a recession? Whether you believe we're headed for a recession or not, the economy is on shaky ground right now.
So if the economy keeps spiraling downward, here are 10 Tips on dealing with a recession:
1) Cut costs cautiously. As soon as the economy starts slowing down, many business owners think they must cut costs. But this is a short-term solution. Only cut costs or decrease your prices if it won't harm your business later. You can always lower your price - but you can't always raise your price.
2) Think Sub- contractors - especially if health care costs are putting a strain on your budget. If you have employees, consider turning them into sub-contractors. There are very affordable, month-to-month video web conferencing services that allow you to still be in close daily contact.
3) Advertise, Advertise, & Advertise! During the last recession, McDonald's almost tripled their advertising campaign at a time when their competitors, namely Burger King, were cutting back. So even though this may seem counter-intuitive, a recession may be the time to increase your marketing. Hard economic times weeds out your competition, leaving the field wide open for you.
4) Plan Long term: The Japanese are famous for planning out their strategy 15 to 20 years in advance. They follow the way of the turtle to win the race. And it works! Remember, marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep marketing every month, month in and month out, not stopping and starting on a whim.
5)Choose your marketing techniques wisely. You should be keeping track of which marketing venues brings you the most business. Reduce or eliminate those marketing techniques that aren't paying off for you, or fix them so that they do increase leads and sales. And consider a form of direct marketing where you can specifically test target markets without blowing your hard earned budget.
6) Revamp your marketing tools. For those marketing techniques that are working for you, this might be the time to revamp your marketing tools. Could your sales people use more training to close the deal? Online training cuts costs and time.
7) Automate wherever you can. Find ways to automate any tasks to reduce the workload on yourself and your staff. What have you been doing manually that a computer system can do for you? Take a look at all your daily tasks and see if there is a computer solution to these time-wasters.
8) Spend your time on what really matters. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It's a proven fact that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. So treat your best customers like royalty. Spend 80% of your time focusing on marketing and delivering your product or service.
9) Make do and mend. Because raw materials were in short supply during World War II, people were encouraged to "make do and mend" an item instead of simply replacing it. Consider your own expenditures: do you really need a new computer, or could you somehow upgrade your existing one for less money? Do you need a new telephone or can you get by with the old one for a while longer?
10) Reduce inventories. If you sell a product, and you believe your sales are going to decrease, this might be a good idea to reduce inventories and not restock to the same level. This is a risky strategy (what if the recession only lasts 6 months?), so be sure you know exactly how long it will take to replenish inventories once the economy picks back up.
These 10 tips will prepare your business for both good times and not so good times.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
With oil at $128 a barrel...
Airports adding an extra two to three hours to get through tighter and tighter security...
Businesses doing more and more business around the globe...
More and more people to meet in different locations...
Video conferencing and online threaded conversations getting better and better...
Why spend the money, fight the crowds, and lose valuable time traveling for that meeting?
Here's a great article at Seth Godin's blog:
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The leading headline on MSN this morning was "Oil Tops $123 a Barrel!"
This means higher prices at the pump and on the plane. I even read that airlines are slowing down their flight times to save on fuel costs.
Higher gas prices are especially tough on small businesses because we're the first to not get paid when customers are strapped for cash.
And it's a tough decision to pass on the price increases to customers.
So as a business owner, you just have to tighten your belt and weather the storm.
Web conferencing can help ease the pain of soaring gas prices and expensive travel. So skip that gas sucking drive across town, or the cramped, crowded flight.
Meet online to save both time and money...you'll be glad you did!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
There's no question that webinars are taking the market by storm.
With soaring gas prices, skyrocketing airfares, and business owners under pressure to trim costs, webinars and online meetings are fast replacing face-to-face meetings. And costly travel.
But not all webinars are successful.
Here are 10 top reasons webinars fail:
1) The presenter is incompetent.
Holding a webinar is not the same as having a meeting. You have to familiarize yourself with the web conferencing platform so you can easily guide your guests and have productive back-and-forth feedback. Practice at least once to make sure you're ready for your live webinar.
2) Equipment is not in place
Make sure you're not fumbling with how to operate the equipment - or complaining throughout the webinar.
If you have a low quality, low pixel web camera, your video will be grainy.
3) Slow or unreliable internet connection
Poor internet connectivity is the MOST common problem for webinars and web conferencing providers.
High speed of 56K or above, or TIVO will give you the best quality webinar.
4) Presenter gives up too quickly
You shouldn't give up on webinars or web conferencing just because of one bad experience. As with everything in business, some webinar providers are more user friendly than others. And more affordable.
You have to advertise and build marketing buzz to attract customers to your webinar. Make it entertaining and easy to attend.
6) Ability to Entertain or Close the Sale
It takes a LOT of training and practice to be a a good speaker, or a top sales person. Make sure your webinar material engages and entertains your audience. Use visual material from pre-loaded websites, pictures, and funny stories to make your point.
7) Convenient Time
Have your webinar when it's convenient for your target audience - not when it's convenient for YOU.
8) Ability to Get Along With Other People
If you're painfully shy, then chances are your webinars will be a painful flop! Recruit or hire someone who is comfortable around people and easy going to hold your sales or marketing webinars.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a great impression!
9) Unique Selling Proposition
A webinar is not really that much different from a print ad.
You have to grab guests attention with something that will benefit them.
Center your webinar around helping your guests. Make their life easier, healthier, or wealthier! If you help your guests - they will help you by becoming a customer.
10) Good Old Fashioned Luck
Some times you just have BAD LUCK! But don't let that stop you. Try, try again.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Good Monday Morning Everyone,
Have you read the news lately?
I'm sure you've seen the recent headlines...
Recession Is Now Officially Here
XYZ Company Makes Massive Layoffs
Home Sales Plummet as Foreclosures Soar
Report Says Gas Prices Could Top $4 This Summer
And speaking of gas, rising prices are not showing any signs of slowing down.
In fact, here in the US, a gallon of gas is expected to top $4 by summer and rise to $5.50 by 2010 and $7 by 2012.
So how is your small business adjusting to this?
While the world seems to be falling down around us, smart small business owners can start now taking action to protect your profits.
One way is to use more online video conferencing to:
Cut 50% or more off your travel expenses
Slash long distance charges
Eliminate pricey conference call fees
Give more sales presentations for less cost
Provide instant training to your employees or customers
Keep in contact with clients or vendors in remote locations
Web conferencing allows you to do your business cheaper, faster, and greener.
Now may be the perfect time to check out the many video/web conferencing providers to fit your needs and budget.
Friday, April 18, 2008
If you haven't noticed, the web is changing. Broadband high speed internet is finally reaching critical mass.
And this means BIG MONEY for businesses who get on the band wagon and use video to drive sales.
Here’s a crash course on how to leverage video for huge profits in your business…
1. Use Video to Inform.
Video makes great content. Why do you think YouTube is so popular? More and more people are watching video online to learn new things.
2. Use Video to Grow Your Opt-In E-Mail List.
One of the most powerful ways to grow your business online is to build your opt-in e-mail list with a "spueeze page" with informative video on it. It’s a process that you can set up once and then watch it grow.
3. Use Video to "Pre-Sell."
For example, you could make a video of your product or service being used. Or ask one of your best customers to do a video testimonial.
No matter what you are selling, you can use video to increase sales.
4. Use Video to Generate Website Traffic.
Post videos about your product or service at the Web’s popular video-sharing sites. You simply create a free account… then upload the video.
Make sure you put your website address in your video description, as well as in the video itself. That will help route traffic from the video to your site.
I hope these ideas get you thinking about how you can use video to cash in BIG TIME online - even if you’re brand-new to the Web.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I like to save money just as much as the next small business owner.
So that's why I'm recommending you to check out OoVoo free video conferencing for up to 6 people.
I gave it a whirl and it really is impressive.
But if you need to have more people in your meeting...10...20...or more, than VideoLive conferences will fit the bill. For as little as $79 dollars a month.
Plus, you can collaborate securely - powerpoint presentations, excel spreadsheets, applications, etc.
But whatever you do - you should be taking advantage of the power of video. More businesses are on high speed than dial up - so it makes the video quality and ease of use awsome.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Here in Minneapolis, Minnesota where I live...it looks like Delta airlines and Northwest airlines are going to unite.
So what does that mean? It means that there will be less airlines competing for your business - and rising airfares...again. And other discount airlines are dropping out as well.
Even Southwest Airlines, for the first time, followed a price increase by the larger airlines.
I know, I know, soaring fuel costs are taking a huge bite out of airlines profitability. They HAVE to raise their rates.
But I still like to see more competition.
So maybe now is the time to replace even more face-to-face meetings online with video conferencing.
How many of you are feeling the pain of increasing business travel costs?
Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Or conversely, have you attended a web conference where the presenter is smooth as butter? Knows the material, the navigation of the software, and provides an outstanding experience for your presentation?
These are two extremes of a web conference.
It really is a matter of "Practice makes Perfect".
You wouldn't go in front of a live audience with a speech you had rehearsed for only 5 minutes, would you? Yet people do that every day with web conferencing technology.
You need to practice if you want to deliver a great user experience on your web conferencing platform. Otherwise you'll lose customers - and sales.
At www.videoliveconferences, you can practice all you want for FREE for 30 days! How can I assist you with your audio and web conferencing needs?
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
I recently read about a video conference with a very special boy, Stefan Lyons.
He's an 11 year old who has been raising money to build a school in Africa. He started his Kenya Project of giving and tithing at the age of 9 years old.
He has raised $2,000 baking and selling cookies but he still needed to raise more money to finish the project.
So he wrote a book "My Adventures with Stitch" about his pet white rat. It's filled with true stories and Stefan even took many of the picture that are in the book.
He raised enough money to convert an old cowshed in Kenya into a large schoolroom called "Stefan's Wing.
The video conference was offered through Polycom's educational programs and included classes in New York, South Dakota, Texas and Arizona. All four time zones!
During the video conference, students had a chance to ask Stefan a lot of questions about his Kenya Project, about his being an author, and of course, about his pet Stitch.
Isn't it amazing how a young boy like Stefan can truly make a difference by tithing his time and talents to help kids in Kenya?
And because of video conferencing, you can reach out to people all over the world. And make a difference.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I know that videolive conferences isn't the only company available for video conferencing.
And thanks to improving Web applications and faster broadband, video conferencing is no longer exclusively for big firms.
Here are three good, free (or inexpensive), easy-to-use options:
OoVoo: OoVoo has the most robust video capabilities in this group.
OoVoo supports six-way videoconferencing with very good picture quality over our fast (5 megabits per second) DSL connection. The video's size scales down as the number of users goes up, so it won't hog all of your bandwidth. And you can still surf and upload files while conferencing.
Installing the desktop client and setting up an account take just a couple of minutes. Once OoVoo is installed, you will see a contact-list window similar to those in instant messaging programs like AIM or Trillian; so it's a snap to learn.
OoVoo's audio was fairly good, though there was some vocal jitter and delay here and there. Users have the option of communicating via text chat (privately or to the whole group), recording 1-minute video messages to send to co-workers, (this is something we're working on offering as well) and transferring files to other contacts.
OoVoo lacks the business collaboration features such as scheduling, whiteboarding, desktop sharing, and powerpoint presentation capabilities.
OoVoo is free (and ad-free) now, but it may add pay services in the future.
SightSpeed BusinessSightSpeed Business is a business-friendly version of the company's consumer offering. The Business service's main upgrade is that it can display up to four talking heads on screen during a call.
The service is easy to install and simple to navigate. To begin videoconferencing, your contacts must first install the basic SightSpeed client. So you build your contact list by adding names of other SightSpeed users; the app tells you when they're available.
To initiate a call, you select your contact's name, hover your pointer over one of four icons - for video, telephone, video message recorder, or text message - and click the medium of your choice.
You can easily record calls, share files, adjust video controls, and mute the audio. The well-organized administrative console lets you manage users, view call logs, and buy conferencing time; moving from one task to another is a simple matter as well.
Sightspeed's video quality was somewhat inconsistent. During one test, a face on the screen was sharp but the background seemed washed out; the next time, the whole video looked a tad fuzzy.
Whether we were using VoIP to connect with other PCs or calling out to land-line or cell phones, the audio generally sounded loud and clear, though we detected occasional stuttering. As is the case with all these applications, the amount of available bandwidth directly affects video and audio quality.
Yugma Skype EditionIf your business uses Skype, adding Yugma tools can boost your videoconferencing productivity at very low cost.
Yugma's video is limited to two-person conferencing - but it's simple to use, and the basic service is free for up to ten users.
If you tap into Skype's proven peer-to-peer voice and video technology and send out a meeting invitation via e-mail, attendees receive a number that they can enter along with their user ID to join the conference at an appointed time.
Control of a meeting can be passed between participants, and you can set up an always-on project collaboration and conferencing space where people can come and go as needed.
However, since Skype video is limited to two-way conferencing, the service switches into audio-only mode when more than two people have joined the conference.
That limitation is counterbalanced to some extent by Yugma Skype's impressive collaboration tools, which include desktop sharing (where other participants can view your desktop and even take control of your mouse and keyboard), document sharing, and session recording - a rare and valuable feature.
OoVoo Rating: 92, SuperiorThis free program makes multi-user videoconferencing seem as easy as instant messaging.
SightSpeed Rating: 88, Very GoodThis $20/month (per seat) videoconferencing tool isn't perfect, but it's dependable and decidedly cost-effective.
Yugma Skype Edition Rating: 85, Very GoodYugma uses Skype voice and video well, but it's limited to two-way conferencing. Free for 10 users.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Did you know that the use of webinars is growing at a rate of 20 to 30% a year?
Here's 7 Traits for a Highly Successful Webinar:
1) Find a webinar provider that’s Right for your needs
A good webinar system should:
*Be easy to use
*Have the features you require and the ability to share presentations and documents
*Charge a flat monthly rate (so you won’t get dinged for running a trial test before your actual webinar or follow-up webinars)
2) Develop really interesting, engaging content
This is probably the most important element to your webinar success. If your material is boring, you’ll lose your guests – and their sales.
Use pictures, diagrams, and live demonstrations from pre-loaded websites to keep the material fresh and entertaining.
3) Be Careful When Choosing a date and time
Avoid Mondays or Fridays as these are peak conferencing days and attendance is also often lower.
Start at 15 minutes past the hour.
The best times are 10 am and 2 pm to make sure your guests are their desks and available before or after lunch.
4) Cap Your Participants at 10 to 25 So It’s Easier to Take Questions and Keep the Webinar More Interactive
Your webinar will be more successful if you keep the size small and more intimate. Participants will feel more at ease and comfortable about participating and asking questions if there isn’t thousands of people watching.
5) Take Questions Via Chat During the Presentation
Some of your participants may be uncomfortable or unwilling to ask questions during the presentation.
6) Have an Agenda & Stick to It
Start your webinar 15 minutes ahead of time, on time, and respect your participant’s schedules by ending on time as well.
7) Run a Practice Webinar before the actual presentation
Practice makes perfect. Webinars aren’t difficult, but they are different from running a meeting or a conference call.
If you incorporate all seven of these traits, your webinars will be a huge success. And your business will reap the rewards.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Did you know that the global conferencing market grew 15.9% to become a $1.08 Billion iindustry in 2007? This is according to Wainhouse Research.
As business continues to move at a faster pace, the use of instant meetings and collaboration services will also continue to grow.
There is so much power in face-to-face communication. And now, thanks to many video conferencing companies, you have many affordable choices to choose from.
Don't miss out on this trend to grow your business by leaps and bounds...
Thanks for stopping by!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I came across this recent research by In-Stat...
Strong efforts from major companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM to promote media-rich productivity tools are boosting the prospects for video conferencing, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com).
The driving factors behind increased adoption and use are technology, bandwidth, and convergence, the high-tech market research firm says.
According to a survey of US businesses, the decision to use or not use video conferencing is no longer based on uncertainty over the quality of the experience among those who have tried it lately.
Furthermore, cost alone does not seem to be a hindrance of adoption or use. The shift to an IP environment that enables unified communications, presence, and mobile integration provides a technological environment where traditional video conferencing, as well as telepresence can become synergistic elements.
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
Current users of video conferencing are generally satisfied with their system and find value in the experience.
Past users are willing to reconsider video conferencing if the quality, usability, and cost are reasonable.
Video conferencing is beginning to resonate as a part of corporations’ commitments to “green” environmental issues, though this benefit can be leveraged more aggressively in the future.
Have a great week-end!
Dr. McElveen has a double-wide trailer clinic in a parking lot behind a rural hospital in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
His clinic isn't fancy and it doesn't have all the latest technological equipment.
And his patients are mostly elderly, poor, and not able to travel to see a specialist.
But because of the technology of video conferencing and the collaboration tool of file sharing, he was able to save a woman from becoming permanently blind.
You see, over half of people over the age of 50 are suffering from the early stages of glaucoma which can cause permanent blindness. Dr. McElveen is able to send still images of the retinas of his patients to an opthamologist over 100 miles away to detect eye diseases.
So video conferencing not only saves time and money, but some times your sight as well.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels? Or that you keep playing "old tapes" over and over again?
Then welcome to my world of software programming!
Software programming is a lot like math. You do the same problem and some times you get a different answer. Not always the "right" answer.
VideoLive conferences is in beta right now - and the programmers are getting lots of good feedback on improvements and kinks in the program.
But when they "fix" one thing, two other problems pop up! It is SOOOO frustrating. Luckily, our beta testers are a lot more patient than I am.
I'm confident that we'll get everything ironed out...slowly but surely.
My dad always told me, "the best things are worth the wait!"
I'll try to keep that in mind when I'm talking to the programmers.
Monday, February 18, 2008
That's how much gas prices rose last year alone. And it doesn't look much better for 2008.
President Bush stated at a conference on competitiveness, "Rising gas prices are like a tax, particularly on working people and small business people."
Soaring gas prices of $3.50 a gallon or more affects both individual consumers and businesses, but small businesses get hit the hardest. Small businesses often don't have extra cash lying around to cover rapid increases in their cost of doing business.
And worse, they are usually the last to get paid when their customers fall on hard times or have higher-than-expected bills.
And if small businesses are hurting, the economy suffers as well. Small business owners and their employees do most of the spending and investing in the U.S. Plus, they create 60 to 80% of the new jobs.
High gas prices put the squeeze on small businesses two ways.
1) It drives operating costs up
2) It cuts into sales by making potential customers cautious about spending money.
And eventually, small businesses are forced to raise their prices and pass along these increased costs to us - the consumers.
So what can consumers and small businesses do to fight this trend?
Look for more efficient ways to do business to keep their costs down.
One way small businesses can cut down on driving and traveling is to conduct more business online. Video and audio web conferencing has dropped significantly in price and the quality is much improved.
And the video conferencing trend is picking up speed. According to Wainhouse Research, it's growing at a pace of 24% per year and over half of small businesses are using it as a replacement for meeting in person to cut costs.
So even though the $3.50 price tag of gas takes a bite out of your pocketbook, there are ways to keep costs down and improve the way you do business
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
My husband and I are leading the We Belong To Christ campaign for our church. Our target goal is $162,000 for our small parish of only 200 or so families. Wish us luck!
And there's a lot of training we need to accomplish our goal.
Unfortunately, we all have to pile in a car and drive 2 hours to Durand, Wisconsin to be trained. And the weather is always a concern. Especially since we live in the frozen tundra where blizzards seem to appear out of nowhere!
But is there an easier way?
We started using video conferencing on the web to be trained instead of wasting time and gas driving 2 hours.
It's been so successful that our diocese is looking into purchasing video web conferencing software for all of the surrounding rural parishes.
There really is no limits on how you can use video conferencing to save time, money, and frustration.
Monday, February 11, 2008
With the growing attention on global warming, businesses are under pressure to be more environmentally conscious. And there's no doubt about it - business travel is a huge contributor to pollution.
Did you know that a flight from London to New York creates an average 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions?
Or that driving 500 miles per week creates an average 9 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year?
So how can you cut emissions to help the environment without sacrificing productivity?
Simple - collaboration and web conferencing services.
Your employees can work from anywhere, and stay connected to co-workers, customers, vendors and partners who are critical to business.
They can give a presentation, review documents, or demonstrate software without getting in a car or flying on a plane.
An average employee with a one way commute of 22 miles can save up to 81,000 MJ of energy by telecommuting. That's about 50% of the annual electricity consumption of an average household!
Saving the planet is not as difficult as you might think. Especially if you use simple to use, all-in-one VideoLive Conferences.
Your children and grandchildren will appreciate your efforts in making a greener world - by making your meetings greener.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Believe me, I know how tough it is to grow your small business when you're on a tight budget.
With the high cost of insurance, taxes, and energy costs soaring, it's difficult to keep up or compete with larger companies with larger budgets.
But it is possible if you use the right budget-minded tools.
Here are 5 cost-effective ways to grow your small business sales:
1) Sales Training - Sales is the lifeline of your small business. If you don't have sales, you don't have a business.
Could your sales reps use more training to increase their closing ratios? Generate more leads? Qualify more prospects? Of course they do.
Use web video conferencing to conduct comprehensive training over the Internet. You can give PowerPoint presentations, demonstrate new procedures or products, and much more for an effective sales seminar.
2) Daily Sales Meetings: The more connected and accountable your sales reps are - the more successful they are.
With video web conferencing, you can have daily sales meetings with your reps whether they are located in the same city as you or scattered across the globe. Or you can have one-on-one meetings if needed.
3) Sales Webinars: Even if you company isn't physically located in every state or country, you can still have a sales presense.
Conduct a webinar to thousands of interested prospects or customers right from your small business office.
4) Qualify Prospects - Use Audio and Web conferencing tools to quickly and easily qualify your prospects.
In less than 20 minutes, you can find out if your prospects:
Can afford what you have to offer
Want what you have to offer
Need what you have to offer
Without spending an hour driving to a meeting or hopping on a crowded plane.
5) The most important part of successful selling is sales follow-up.
With video web conferencing, you can follow-up with your customers as often as you need to in 3 clicks. And you don't have to leave the comfort of your office.
These are 5 ways small businesses are growing their sales without breaking their budget.
Try Web Based VideoLive Conferencing for FREE...plus get 2 FREE web cameras when you subscribe...yours to keep - even if you decide to cancel.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
While planning your 2008 business goals and objectives, why not plan on going green to save some green?
When it comes to the environment, being a good global citizen starts in your own business. From recycling to using alternative cleaning products, minor changes can add up to real benefits for the planet. Not to mention your own health and happiness.
And every little bit helps.
1) Telecommuting: Video Conferencing can be used for telecommuters in your business. Employees will be able to work from a home office and still be able to meet face-to-face and collaborate in real time just like they would if they were in the office.
Did you know that Americans waste an average of 47 hours every week during rush hour traffic?
That's 23 billion gallons of gas wasted and thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide pollution.
Not only is the reduction in weekly travel time beneficial to the environment, but the added time to their day will improve worklife balance.
2) Board of Director and/or Sales Meetings:It's challenging for businesses to arrange meetings around everyone's schedule. By moving just one sales meeting or presentation online, you'll save the environment 2,690 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution.
Two people traveling from Chicago to San Francisco save 4,696 pounds of carbon emissions. If every business canceled one business trip alone, carbon dioxide pollution would be hugely decreased!
3) Access to Remote Clients or Customers: Business employees often drive across town or travel across the globe to meet with clients to go over important documents or to give powerpoint presentations.
Video conferencing can eliminate that business trip and allow you to meet face-to-face to mark up architectural CAD files or present that new marketing campaign in real time just like would in person.
And you won't have to fight long lines, delays, and tight security at the airport.
Your business can make a huge impact on lowering carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere by staying off the road and out of the skies.
These are just three ways your company can use video conferencing to go green - starting tomorrow. To get your company ahead of the curve, consider implementing a video conferencing solution now to do your part in saving the environment.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Can you believe it's already the first Monday of February? The older you get - the faster time goes! It seems like Christmas was only a couple weeks ago!
If your company is looking to buy web conferencing software this year to keep travels costs down and increase productivity, you can save a lot of money by beta testing a new product.
You see, programmers are great at programming, but they're not always great at programming software to be easy to use and understand for the average busy business person.
When I use a new program, I don't want to have to read a 30 page instruction manual. I want it to be simple - because I don't have any spare time.
But if you're willing to try out new products that are still in beta and be willing to give a testimonial and feedback on what you like and what you don't like - what works and what doesn't work - you can get cutting edge products at a deep discount.
And that's exactly what VideoLive Conferences is promoting right now.
If you're willing to help us out by taking a free look at our video web conferencing software, you can use it FREE for 30 days, and if you like it, you can buy it at a 50% discount.
And you never have to sign a contract and there are no hidden fees or extra surprise costs. You can cancel at any time - no hard feelings.
So hop on over to www.videoliveconferences.com to beta test TODAY.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Do you ever have international conference calls? Are you paying exhorbiant long distance fees for these calls?
If so, then web conferencing can eliminante these charges. With VideoLive conferencing, which includes VoIp, it allows you to talk to anyone in the world using only your PC and a web camera if you want to be seen.
And there are no outlandish conference call fees. Or frustrating dropped calls either.
You can have as many ad-hoc meetings as you need. Plus talk as long as necessary to get your work done.
Stay tuned for more ways video web conferencing can decrease your costs!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Everyone likes to get free services, right?
If you google free conferencing services, you get pages and pages of companies claiming to be free.
But as my Economics teacher often said in class, "TINSTAFL! There is no such thing as a free lunch!" He drilled it into our heads that there is ALWAYS a cost.
So let's look at the 5 ways you are actually paying for that "free" conferencing service:
1) The conference access number is what’s known as a Non-Geographic Number (NGN). NGNs normally cost more, sometimes much more, than calling a normal landline number.
Ask your service provider to tell you how much your conference calls will cost including costs of the phone calls to the conference bridge.
2) You're charged for calls from the moment each participant dials in, whether or not you're on the line yet or not! This is the biggest rip-off.
Make sure you know when the charges begin and end.
3) Charging high rates for services and hiding them by not providing a detailed breakdown in the hope you’ll just pay the bill without questioning it.
Ask for a detailed break-down of itemized charges.
4) Charging for guests who were booked on a conference but didn’t attend.
Ask whether no-shows are charged for or not.
5) Charging for guests even though their call has been dropped.
Demand refunds for dropped calls.
If you want reliable, unlimited video or web conferening capabilities without hidden costs or fees, then consider VideoLive conferences.
We're not free, but we're one of the most affordable providers in the industry.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Our heat wave here in Wisconsin was short lived.
Now we're under a winter weather advisory...
Schools were let out early...and all after school activities were cancelled.
And it's a whopping 40 degree change in temperature!
But here at VideoLive Conferences, we're toasty warm because none of us have to leave our home office to have a team meeting.
All I have to do is set up my marketing meeting in 3 clicks, send an email invitation to my team for a direct link, and we're meeting live!
Pretty convenient - especially during a full fledged Wisconsin blizzard!
We offer not only state of the art video conferencing affordable for any small business budget, but we include two FREE web cameras as well.
And these aren't cheap web cameras we're trying to get rid of. They're high quality 5.2 megapixels with automatic infared lighting and built in microphones.
The reason we include these is so that you get crystal clear video - just like watching T.V.
Plus if you hop on over during February, you'll also get half off the one time licensing/set-up fee of $479. So you save $239.50.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Here in Wisconsin, we've finally come out of the deep freeze. For the past 9 LONG days, we've been averaging about -15 below freezing!
So today it's a balmy 32 degrees! I read that it's been colder here than in Siberia.
Did you know that 99.7% of U.S. businesses account for approximately 44% of the overall U.S. private payroll? And they create more jobs than any other sector of the marketplace?
Alan Greenberg, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research, reports that "Next-generation Web conferencing solutions give SMBs the capability to impact local and global economies as never before possible."
Wainhouse Research recently released a new study on web conferencing and its impact on small businesses.
It surveyed over 1,500 participants, of which 75% worked at companies with less than 500 employees.
Here are the Highlights:
"Outbound" Web conferencing applications that involve customers and prospects are most important to SMBs.
75% of SMB respondents believe the ability to involve/reach more people and save travel costs and time are major reasons to use Web conferencing
59% say it makes meetings more productive.
55% of SMBs (and 44% of large enterprise respondents) say that in addition to the more predictable improvements in business practices, Web conferencing enables users to solve problems they could not solve before.
69% of all respondents use Web conferencing to enable new meetings that could not be held in any other way due to cost constraints, timing and several other issues.
It is evident that even the smallest of small businesses need web conferencing to drive sales and keep costs at a minimum.
Are you using video web conferencing in your business?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Here is a short list of 8 ways more than half of small businesses are using video conferencing right now.
Are you taking advantage of meeting online to save both time and money?
1) Meetings With Prospects and Clients
2) Company Meetings
3) Sales Meetings
4) Employee Trainings
5) Customer Support
6) Product Demonstrations to Potential Customers
7) Product Launches
8) Virtual Classrooms
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Did you know that top Industry Analysts at Wainhouse Research predict that as early as 2009…
“Desk-top computer video conferencing software will be as essential to your business as your phone, fax, and email.”
Well, I don't know if desktop video conferencing will ever be as important as my cell phone! But even now, VideoLive Conferences is working on our next release to have video conferencing on your cell phone.
So maybe it WILL be just as important?
What do you think? When I think of a video phone - I think of the Jetson's cartoon!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Do you know that your customers use Google 57.7% of the time? That's according to the November 2007 Nielsen Netratings report.
And Google has more marketshare than MSN and Yahoo combined! (MSN has 17.9% and Yahoo has only 12%)
What does this have to do with video conferencing? Plenty. You see, google loves business sites with lots of good content - the more, the fresher, the better.
So you can use video conferencing or webinars to interview experts in your industry, promote a new service or product, or do a live on-demand teaching seminar to your customers.
And you can bet Google will take notice - and increase your SEO position.
Here are 12 video conferencing rules to follow so your meeting runs smoothly:
1) Have an agenda
2) Start and end your meeting on time
3) Introduce yourself and others who are in the meeting
4) Identify yourself when speaking
5) Use names to direct questions to specific people
6) Don’t speak over people or interrupt
7) Mute your microphone when not speaking
8) Let people know who’s in the room if they are not on camera
9) Speak clearly
10) Make eye contact with the camera
11) Turn OFF your cell phone
12) Avoid drinking coffee, shuffling papers, covering the microphone, tapping your fingers, or clicking your pen. These noises are easily picked up by the microphone and can be very distracting.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Just last week, our server went on "vacation", leaving us scrambling to set up a back-up server. The lesson learned here? Back up, then back up again, then back up again.
I'm sure we're not the only small business who's ever been interrupted with server issues.
But for some good news, if you have a loved one stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, you can use videoLive conferencing for free. No strings atttached.
It's the least we can do to support soldiers and their families.
All you have to do is email or fax us a copy of your order papers and you'll be good to start video conferencing as often as you can access a computer.
So please help us spread the word!
Thanks for stopping by!
Friday, January 11, 2008
I can't believe it - we've actually been beta testing the program the past couple of days.
There are a few minor glitches in the program - like the video freezing but that will be fixed by tomorrow.
That's IF the programmers do their part! Some times I wonder if they really know what "tomorrow" really means.
But things are moving right along. It's been a rocky road at times but we are so close to having a great product for small businesses to not only help you cut costs and be more efficient, but also to go green.
We all need to be good global citizens, right?
By meeting online instead of taking to the skies or the lonesome highway, you can reduce thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide pollution. Not to mention adding more quality time to your day.
Have a great week-end!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
When you run a small business, you have to wear many different hats at different times. And in my case, I had to wear the hat of interpreter.
I mentioned that we have programmers from India, right?
Personally, if I had it my way, I would have hired American programmers. No offense to you Ven if you're reading this, but Americans speak better English and it's easier to communicate.
But Ron (AKA: my partner) already had an agreement established when I came onboard. So mute point.
On to my funny story...
I told the programmer, Ven, that we needed a home page for the program. "No problem" he said. So the next day I checked to see if there was a home page.
Yep, there was...a blank page with a picture of a "home" on it!
It was pretty darned funny...Frustrating - but funny!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Since this is my very first post to my new blog - I wanted to make sure you know how completely and utterly NON-TECHNICAL I am!
You see, I just recently figured out how to change the colors of text in word documents! I know enough about computers to be dangerous - mostly to myself.
So what does this have to do with video conferencing? It means that if I can figure out how to have a video conference - so can ANYONE else.
My husband of 20 years even started laughing when I told him that I was going to help launch a company to develop software for video and web conferencing. He knows I'm not the most technical - hey, I even have trouble with the DVD player - but I'm learning!
So how did this all start?
On Craig's List!
One day I was poking around the business ads on Craig's list and I saw an ad that read:
WANTED: Business Partner to Launch Marketing & Website For Revolutionary Software Company.
I was curious...so I sent an email.
To make a long story short, I met with Ron several times (at Dunn Brothers Coffee shop in Hudson, WI - my husband didn't want me getting murdered...or worse!) and we hit it off.
He demonstrated the software to me...I jumped right in...and we formed a partnership.
I'm finding that a partnership is a lot like being married. Sorry Andy, if you're reading this!
You have your good days and bad days. And some times I just want to wring Ron's neck!
More on that later...so here I am blogging!
Thanks for stopping by!