How do I expand my small-scale business without capital?
Many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t survive for more than a few years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30% of them fail to make it through their second full year in operation. The causes of failure are diverse and include everything from subpar software and IT infrastructure to basic lack of capital. This article will focus primarily on the latter.
The challenges of not having enough capital to run your SMB
Simply starting a company can require over $10,000. In many instances, SMBs turn to banks for loans to help get through the early stages of business formation. Even with seemingly adequate funding, though, SMBs can still face numerous headwinds right away.
These range from the predictable (needing to procure sufficient inventory) to the more volatile (having to spend more on accounting services/software due to one-off changes in the tax code).
Added to the other costs that SMBs must bear on basics like insurance and office space, it’s no wonder many don’t make it past year two. But it’s possible to make an SMB budget more sustainable by implementing video conferencing software.
How video conferencing tools help with budget crunches
Video conferencing solutions can bring meeting participants together without requiring any pricey travel. Plus, web meetings enable more flexible, less capital-intensive remote working arrangements.
As a whole, video conferencing supports better, more cost-effective collaboration. More than simply helping an SMB optimize its budget, video meetings can also support expansion by connecting employees, recruits, and customers across many locations, in high-definition.
Here are some of the more specific ways in which video conferences fuel SMB success, even on a shoestring budget:
1. Hold productive meetings, no office required
Office space is expensive. The associated costs have spurred organizations across the U.S. to seek smaller workspaces and to take advantage of co-working and hotdesking environments. For example, real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has charted growing densification of office space throughout the 2010s.
With video conferencing tools, SMB employees can make the most of even a small office or conference room that would be too cramped for a comfortable in-person meeting:
- Anyone can be invited to the video meeting, whether it’s meant to be a small linkup between a specific team or an all-hands gathering.
- It’s easy to join. Meeting participants only need to click a button in the solution when it’s time for the event to start.
- The web meeting can be recorded for later distribution and viewing, so that no one misses out on what was covered.
Video conferencing software empowers teams to lead engaging and useful meetings without being constrained by physical space. That makes SMB expansion more feasible, since huge office spaces aren’t needed when setting up shop in new locales or trying to reach more customers.
2. Hire the right people from multiple locations
Many job searches begin by looking only for nearby candidates who don’t want/need to relocate. This makes sense in some respect, because moving is disruptive and often expensive, plus the position specs might not permit remote work.
But implementing a video conferencing platform allows for more flexibility in hiring. Say your SMB is looking to incorporate in an additional state and bring some employees on board there. Video conferencing would help in multiple ways:
- A crystal-clear video feed could be set up for the interview. The candidate and interviewer would get more insight into each other’s reactions, including body language.
- If hired, the candidate could then use video for their own work, perhaps as part of a remote working arrangement. They could join web conferences, view content through screen sharing, and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere.
- Video conferencing software could also be useful for specific external-facing tasks such as conducting in-depth sales demos. A video conferencing solution is a powerful asset for sales personnel, who can use its built-in screen sharing capabilities to walk prospects through a product or service.
3. Reach audiences on any device or in any location
One of the central challenges for any SMB is building a reliable base of customers. How an organization pursues that goal will vary based on its industry, size, and personnel, but video conferencing will often be a reliable supporting tool along way.
Webinars show how a video conferencing system can expand an SMB’s reach without breaking the bank. A majority of B2B buyers have used webinars to support their purchasing decisions, according to the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.
Within a video conferencing solution, video feeds can be configured to show, say, a panel of subject matter experts discussing a relevant issue for buyers. But a video conference platform can go even further and enable deep interactivity between presenters and the audience, thanks to features like polling. A solution can also help manage registrations and any follow-up questions.
Audiences can participate in these events from any device. Webex supports phones, tablets, PCs, Macs, and standards-based video conferencing systems.
To learn more about how Webex can help your SMB grow more efficiently and stay within its budget, get started with a free plan today.
Jul 16, 2021 — Marte Holt Sannesmoen