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Do Small Businesses Really Need Video Conferencing?

3 people on a video conference call

As a manufacturer of a whole range of video conferencing solutions for businesses small and large, you might expect we’re going to say that small businesses need video conferencing hardware.

But is video conferencing equipment for small businesses really an essential investment? At a time when businesses face a tight squeeze on budgets thanks to rising inflation, interest rates and a cost of living crisis, meaning staff are expecting higher wages, it’s easy to put off investing in technology.

Time is Money, Make Every Penny Count

It may be a cliche, but for small businesses this old adage possibly carries more weight than for larger businesses. With spiralling costs across almost every aspect of business, a robust video conferencing system can be a worthwhile investment for small businesses who hold a lot of client meetings.

Of course, face to face meetings are a great opportunity to build relationships and perhaps share lunch, however travel for the client or the host business and other expenses such as sustenance soon start to add up when visiting multiple clients.

There’s also the consideration that travel time is often not the most ideal working time, of course you can try and squeeze in a few email responses, but with less than robust WiFi on the move any serious work will have to wait until you’re back in the office.

Small Business Budget Busting Costs

We know our business costs are rising, travel doesn’t have to be one of them. Following on from 2 years of lockdowns and restrictions as a result of COVID, we’ve all learned to adapt to remote meetings, video conferences and spending less time travelling, so saving on travel expenses is an easy change that a small business can make with the help of a great video conference solution.

Using a return journey from Birmingham to London for a fictional meeting and lunch, return travel alone comes to £47.10 for a single traveller. If 3 people travel for this meeting, that’s almost £150 before any other expenses like the cost of lunch are considered, which could easily reach £200 for 6 people. At almost £350 for a single meeting, this amount soon adds up when visiting multiple clients and new business pitches.

If a business meets 2 clients a month and travels to pitch for 4 pieces of work, the cost could reach £1,300 a month. Consider this against equipping three meeting rooms with suitable video conference hardware and five at desk solutions if meeting rooms aren’t big enough for all attendees. With an SSP of £794.95, for the JPL Agora and £79.95 for the new Vision Access, you could equip the above meeting rooms and key users for a single investment of £2,784.60. In just over 2 months our fictional small business could see a cost benefit through reduced travel expenses.

But Laptops Already Have Built-in Video Conferencing Tech

Of course they do, as does almost every other piece of IT hardware being used in and around the office, however this doesn’t mean using them is always the best solution.

Embedded video conferencing solutions come with their own challenges, cameras are smaller, meaning that the video quality isn’t as good as a stand alone USB video camera due to smaller imaging sensors and lenses. Equally, because of the portable nature of devices like laptops, the environment they are used in isn’t always lit well enough to produce a great image either.

For some small businesses looking to make the most of video conferencing technology, this may not be a concern, however a consideration must also be given to the client on the receiving end of the call. Poor image and sound quality may affect their impression of your business’s care and attention to detail in a similar way that you might not let someone wash your car if they turned up in a dirty van.

First impressions count and at a time when more businesses will be competing for a smaller number of clients and sales, if those first impressions can be improved through high quality video conferencing cameras for your small business, why wouldn’t you take that advantage?

Video Conferencing Systems are Complex to Install

Not everyone is an IT whizz and the idea of installing something seemingly as complex as video conferencing technology in a small business can seem like a daunting task.

This is where the Plug & Play technology used in our range of video conferencing cameras becomes invaluable. Unlike some other systems, our cameras simply plug in via USB and work with whichever communications platform your business is using.

The most difficult thing you’ll need to do is decide where and how to position your new video conference camera. Even this is made easier with the JPL Agora thanks to the wall mount bracket supplied in the box and the integrated monitor stands on our smaller desk based solutions.

Of course you may also want to wall mount your video conference camera and we’ve discussed how to set up the perfect video conference earlier this year, so you can be sure you’re getting the most from your small business setup.

Small Businesses Often Have Limited Meeting Space

Nothing is quite as awkward as trying to fit too many people into a meeting room when entertaining clients. Unexpected or last minute additions to a meeting can mean that attendees are squeezed in like sardines.

Unfortunately many smaller businesses don’t have the luxury of a board room and even those using shared office spaces may have to pay for the use of a larger meeting room (yet another cost). This is another example of where the right video conferencing solution can pay dividends.

Instead of everyone trying to fit into one room, others can dial in from their desk using a high quality USB webcam such as the JPL Vision Access. This helps to keep meeting room numbers down and everything else running smoothly.

Beyond the big client meetings however, desk based video conferencing also proves valuable at other times, such as team meetings or brain storming sessions when colleagues may be working from home. We’ve previously looked at the many benefits of video conferencing and found evidence to suggest that video communications prove more effective than voice only.

Small Business Video Conferencing Solutions, Sorted.

No matter the size of your business, speak to one of the JPL team about how our range of high end video conferencing products can help you maximise the value of your time in the office without breaking the budget. From one camera to one hundred, our team of experts will help you find the right solution.

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