Posted by: ebcbroadcast | October 5, 2012

5 Keys to Leverage Technology and Protect Your Wallet

5 Keys to Leverage Technology and Protect Your Wallet
Written by Jody Knouse Poland and Jennifer Vickerypublished in North American Business Review, US edition

Even though gas prices aren’t quite at the $4 mark, the cost of driving to the office to attend meetings can really add up, especially when all of the employees on your payroll are doing the same.  With the additional costs incurred commuting, small and large businesses alike are turning more often to telecommuting and teleconferencing.

Here are 5 easy ways to help put the ‘tele’ into your business and a couple of extra dollars back into your (and your employees’) pockets.

1. Conference calls instead of meetings.  “Meetings via phone can be as effective, or even more effective, than in person meetings,” says Jody Knouse Poland, professional business coach and co-founder of The Renaissance Group.  “Just because the meetings are held over the phone doesn’t mean they should be treated any differently than an in-person meeting.  Send an agenda ahead of time, come up with talking points, assign certain items to team members, take roll call when the meeting begins to ensure everyone is present, and follow-up via email with a meeting summary.  Best of all, you don’t need a pricey conference call system as there are plenty of quality free conference call services available.”

2. Become a scheduling master.  Look at the location of your upcoming meetings and see how you can package them together so there is less travel.  Or perhaps make one day out of the week your travel/meeting day during which you line up all your meetings, so that the rest of the week you can stay put.  This can really help with the gas bill and result in more productivity.

3. Sharing is caring. “Sharing your work via screen share or other collaboration tools such as Google Documents, Podio, and Basecamp really promotes teamwork on projects and cuts out the travel,” explains Poland.   “Best part is, many of these tools have free or low cost plans.”

4. Sales can be online.  Nowadays, prospects are open to receiving sales “calls” online. Try utilizing a webinar, e-newsletter and other online tools to replace the cost of travel involved with sales.  Make sure your materials are clear and consistent and that you’re tracking results. You will be surprised with how effective online sales can be.

5. Skype is your friend.  There is a lot that can be done using Skype and other services just like it.  Anything from interviewing, training, meeting, or even a virtual lunch break can be handled from just about anywhere, as long as the device you are on is equipped with a camera.



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