Imagine never having to gas up your car on the way to work, never doing a round in the office on the way out to make sure all the lights were off, never printing off twice as many presentation packets as you need for a meeting and eating the cost. Avoiding these normal, albeit frustrating and tedious tasks could save you dozens of hours and maybe even thousands of dollars every year; believe it or not, it’s possible.
It may not be possible to completely abandon the office, but with the right video conference platform you and your colleagues can make important presentations and host meetings from the comfort of your own homes. No pricy travel expenses, no long commute, just you and your people in a virtual room, going over important information in your own time.
Renting a room for your next big meeting could cost you. According to How Much Is It, small low-end meeting rooms could set you back around $20 per hour, but more spacious, aesthetic and functional locations could cost up to 25 times that amount. Add to that the cost of catering, renting a projector or other presentation hardware, and you’re looking at a major expense—one that you could end up accruing every quarter. On top of that, depending on the distance from your business location or the homes of your employees to the chosen meeting room, you could be placing undue hardship on your employees in the form of unforeseen fuel costs, extra time spent in transit and fitting the meeting into their doubtless already busy schedule. You can help alleviate this by reimbursing employees who travel greater distances, but this gives you yet another expense for which to budget.
Alternately, you could pay a small monthly fee for a professional video conference system by Blue Jeans Network or any of the other video communications services catering to small and mid-sized businesses, and be able to have a proper meeting any time, from any location, with full presentation capabilities and more. Why downgrade to a smaller meeting room, cut down on the number of collaborative efforts or give up on getting everyone on board to stay within your budget when you could keep communications open digitally and give your employees the ability to work from home? Career Cast reports that employees who work from home can be close to 15 percent more productive than their office-bound counterparts, meaning that switching to virtual meetings won’t just save your business money, it could actually allow employees to make your business more money.
Other savings your business can expect to obtain by making your meetings digital are a little less obvious at first glance, but add up quickly enough to all but outmatch the money you’ll save on fuel.
Color copies average around 25 cents per page nationwide when printed offsite, making a 10 page full-color information packet cost a minimum of $2.50, not including tax or accounting for finishing services. If you need anything stapled, bound or trimmed, that adds on costs ranging from five cents for a single staple to $3 for simple tape binding. Suddenly your small meeting group of 12 requires a minimum printing budget of around $70, and that’s just for one packet. If you decide to do all your printing in-house, Cost Owl reports that even the lowest-end commercial grade color laser printer will set you back around $13 thousand, with leasing options around $500 or more per month.
Going virtual takes this concern off your hands entirely by making your meeting handouts as digital as the meeting process. You can send out collateral well in advance of your meeting without spending a cent on printing, and never have to worry about printing too many or too few packets ever again.
Another more subtle cost-saver for digital meetings is on the electrical front. By going virtual with meetings and allowing employees to telecommute, you’ll no longer be covering the same amount of overhead for your office; with fewer employees onsite there are fewer lights, computers and other devices running at any given time, and that could cut your electricity bill by half.
A Worthy Expense
It may seem at first that a video conferencing platform, even from an economic option like Blue Jeans, is an added expense that you just can’t afford, particularly if you’re running a small to mid-sized business, but you’ll find that the money you save in going virtual for your meetings will pay off your system in no time. These systems don’t just save money, either, they also make it by allowing you to get in touch with prospective clients, affiliates and colleagues from all over the world in order to expand your company’s reach. With everything video conferencing can offer your business, can you really afford not to give it a try?