Web Conferencing: A Vital Tool For Most Small Businesses

Are you a small business proprietor considering whether to implement web conferencing solutions in your line of work? Then consider this: a study released in 2006 has shown that small and mid-size companies consider web conferences more vital than in-person meetings for driving revenue and conducting business. The small businesses found that web conferences produced a more immediate impact on sales and marketing than traditional face-to-face meetings.

The study was conducted by Wainhouse Research and sponsored by Citrix Online, a leading provider of easy-to-use on-demand solutions for web conferencing, such as Citrix GoToMeeting and Citrix GoToWebinar. It included over 1,500 respondents, about 75% of whom worked at companies that had fewer than 500 employees.

According to Alan Greenberg, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research, “The majority of companies polled indicated they are increasing their use of Web conferencing, and are enjoying a high to very high return in value. Though companies of all sizes use Web conferencing to drive business processes, SMBs are much more aggressive in using online presentations and demonstrations to drive marketing and close sales by facilitating meetings with customers and prospects.”

The small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) reported that they used web conferencing to hold business meetings more often than any other method–more than in-person meetings or phone calls. For these SMBs, web conferencing was considered as the favored means for driving revenue and conducting business. According to the SMBs, they valued web conferencing for its benefits of efficiency and reach. Web conferencing allowed them the capacity to quickly scale sales and marketing, and to connect with international audiences on demand. In the survey of the respondents, a number of them emphasized that they considered web conferencing to be so vital to business that they found it impossible to conduct business-as-usual without the technology.

The study produced the following observations about what SMBs thought about web conferencing:

“Outbound” web conferencing solutions that involve customers and prospects were deemed as most important by SMBs.

75% of the SMBs stated that the ability to connect with more people and save travel costs and time are the main reasons to use web conferencing. 59% of the SMBs say that web conferencing allows for more productive meetings.

55% of SMBs said that in addition to the other ways that it is expected to improve their business, web conferencing lets them solve problems they could not solve before. 44% of large businesses echoed this response.

69% of all respondents, large and small, said that they use web conferencing to hold meetings that could not be held in any other way due to cost constraints, timing and other issues.

Effective Business Networking: How to Keep a Conversation Going

Whenever you meet someone new, whether it’s at an informal gathering (e.g. a party) or at a more formal venue (e.g. a business conference), sometimes it’s hard to know how to start a conversation. Keeping it going is even harder. How can you have a great, memorable conversation that your conversant won’t forget? The good news is that there are two simple tricks for captivating the person your talking to. Keep reading and I’ll explain how.

Trick #1: Turn the spotlight on them, not you. Rather than focusing too much on you, the more you can get your conversant to think about and speak about themselves, the more engrossed they will be with the subject matter of the conversation. Confident people realize that if they listen more than they talk, they will learn more about someone, and in the process, they are able to captivate the talker. In most cases, the talker won’t even realize that he or she is doing most of the talking! This technique works surprisingly well, and even causes you to be more memorable to the speaker. My manager still remembers one conversation I had with him when I first got to know him. He considers it one of our best conversations, but the truth is, I didn’t say much but rather kept the conversation on him!

Trick #2: Echo key words like a parrot. Conversations naturally bounce back and forth between you and the other person. It can be nerve-wracking when it gets back to be your turn, and you don’t know what to say next to keep the flow of the conversation going. Fortunately, a foolproof technique is to identify a key word that your speaker just said, and to echo it back, prompting further elaboration. For example, here’s a sample conversation that makes use of the echo technique to easily keep a conversation going (and even steering it different ways):

  • Partner: “I had a great time at the conference.”
  • You: “Conference?”
  • Partner: “Yeah, food was wonderful, and the keynote speakers were really good too.”
  • You: “Good keynote speakers?”
  • Partner: “Yeah, Bob Johns was there, and Adam Carlson gave a talk on business ethics.”
  • You: “Business ethics?”
  • Partner: “Yeah… [conversation continues].”
  • You (repeating earlier keyword to take conversation a different direction): “You said the food was wonderful?”

Keep these two simple techniques in mind, and the conversations will flow and be more memorable. Good luck!

How Small Business Owners Should Get in Touch With Their Target Market

When it comes of online marketing most of small business owners tend to raise their shoulders and think on short term advantages. But did you know that 40 percent of the new businesses will fail in the first three years of their existence? That is because most small business owners do not make long term plans and tend to use bad alternatives to promote their businesses.

Get Involved

For small business owners online marketing is not an easy job. It takes time and energy to develop and implement online marketing techniques that really work for a specific website.

First step you should do is to determine your target market. Your customers wait for you to reach them. Because online marketing has so many strategies you can take advantage of, you should first focus on the group of consumers you want to get into contact. It would be a waste of resources to try to implement strategies that reach people overseas if you have a local business.

How to get to local customers

If you want to be noticed in your area you should address to your neighbors. Not literally, but to try to get to them using the internet. After all, this is not such a hard step because you live in the same environment with your target and you know what its main concerns are. This way you can easily estimate how much money a person or family in your area is willing to spend for your services or products.

Communication is a very important aspect for every business. Keeping close contact to your target should be your main concern. But how to do it nowadays? You cannot just go on the street and try to convince people to come and buy from you. You can easily attract new customers through texts and images. In this article I will mainly focus on texts that can help you attract people from outside to your website.

Articles

Maybe you never liked to write stuff when you went to school, but internet is mainly about written information and transmitting the information to those who search for it. One good way to get to your local target is to write articles about topics related to your business and then submit them on several directories.

Articles are very useful for traffic ranking. There are sites where you can submit articles to and they will distribute them to their readers. To really take advantage of your articles they must be rich in keywords that are related to your website. Articles must attract readers so, it is important to set a good title, to give useful information about the domain you are activating. Always relate the title with the article and do not try to fool the audience because you are the one that will lose in the end.

To give you a small idea about article writing, think on the pages on your site. You added useful information to promote your business. An article is not exactly like that, because most article directories will not allow you direct publicity. But you always have a box at the end of the article where you can add a link and a small description of your site and business.

How does writing articles help you? Let us think that you own a beauty salon. A women, let us name her Georgia from Glen Echo, is looking for a beauty salon in her area. Last time she went to a beauty salon and she considered that she paid too much for the services. Now she is searching on the internet for a new beauty salon and one of the search results is an article. You previously wrote an article titled How to be beautiful in Glen Echo and submitted in an article directory. Georgia reads this articles she finds some good beauty tips and she wants to get more information about your business. Because she thinks that last time she was ripped off, now she will go to your website, look for price list and your address. She likes what she reads and decides that tomorrow morning will call you. Do you get now the role of submitting articles to promote your business?

Press releases

Press releases are very good for promoting new products, services or events. They are very good in promoting your business and get in touch with new partners and customers. Do not forget that press releases must be rich in keywords, just like the articles. A press release is a very good opportunity to announce journalists about an event, invite them to the event, and maybe read an article in a local newspaper about it. I worked in the media for a while and I can tell you that are times when journalists just crave for a new topic. Get in touch with some local journalists, create a connection with them and you will see benefits.

Press releases work just like articles when it comes to search engines and displaying results. Do not get into the trap that press releases are only for the big companies. You can promote a new product, services in simple words by making them wish they had what you are promoting for.

Getting in touch with your target market must be a priority when you want to make a name on the internet. There are numerous and efficient ways to do it. Building a name is a step by step process that will attract financial benefits for your business.