Why is Conference Calling an Important Business Asset?

by : Jim Mcdonald

Operating and profiting from a business has never been exactly what you would call easy, even in the best of times. But it seems like in today's global business environment that the margins have been squeezed even thinner. Even the tiniest gain in efficiency and effectiveness could have an impact on your bottom line. That's why conference calling can be considered an important business asset. Your business's profitability will be improved any time you can achieve the same or even greater effectiveness at a lower cost.

Business travel and physical business meetings have become more expensive and more dangerous. The price of oil has risen to historic highs and the cost of airline tickets and even road travel have increased accordingly. The threat of terrorism and the phenomenon of kidnapping for-profit have made large gatherings, especially at offshore locations, dangerous and unwise. Yet at the same time, companies have become more geographically dispersed. Workgroups that may have formerly been located in different parts of the building might now be located in different parts of the world. Product supplies, developers and customer support are often located away from the executive core.

E-mail can help but it will never replace personal contact. There's no way to be sure that you have communicated your ideas effectively in writing. There's no guarantee of understanding on the other hand. Even Internet chat cannot replace the give-and-take of a real face-to-face conversation. Conference calling provides the best solution to this dilemma.

Actually, conference calls have been around for decades. Announcing that you had to return to the office for a crucial conference call was like wearing a badge of success. Conference calls were serious business. But in the beginning they required operator set up, allowed only a limited number of participants and were not the most reliable form of communication. Today's conference calling is a quantum leap above your father's conference call. Internet technology and computerized automation make setting up a conference call as easy as calling home.

There's no argument about whether conference calling is amazing technology or not. The real question is how can conference calling be an asset to your business? First of all, conference calling is an excellent way to provide highly secure conferences. This is not just about the attractive terrorist target that a gathering of important businessmen might make. What about the hotel worker who comes in and refills your water glasses during the meeting? Is he really part of the catering staff, or is he listening in for valuable business intelligence? Conference calling offers secure, encrypted security for your crucial company communications.

Does your business have employees or workgroups scattered around the country, or even the world? Conference calling provides an inexpensive way to link all of your remote workgroups. It allows them to collaborate on the creation of documents and share presentations. Your business may include committees, an executive board or satellite chapters. Conference calling is an outstanding way to accomplish a quick gathering of committee members or board members. If you need to discuss an issue and get a quick decision, you can't do better than conference calling. You're not requiring anyone to travel or even leave their office. Their participation is a simple as picking up a telephone.

With the constant introduction of new products, software and other productivity tools, effective training is vital to the success of any business. But what if your employees are scattered out in different locations? Conference calling, videoconferencing and web conferencing can enhance the learning process. It doesn't matter if your employees are located in different cities or just different parts of the building. By not requiring them to physically attend a training meeting, you'll save time and money. Training can be accomplished quicker and can be scheduled on shorter notice.

Companies of all sizes can benefit from conference calling. There are many conference call providers that offer a complete range of services for different budgets. Most provide the capability to set up an online account and get started in minutes. Take a look at your business processes and see if the introduction of conference calling could make those processes more efficient, effective and profitable. You owe it to your bottom line.