Why Web Conferencing Is Better Than Traveling for Business

In this article, I’m going to make one assumption; you’re in business to make money. If you’re not, then this article is definitely not for you. Some of what I say may seem to be common sense, yet countless companies continue to ignore the benefits of using web conferencing software for business meetings and sales presentations. I could bore you with figures on how much the average company spends on business travel, but chances are you just want to know how your company can use web conferencing and how it can save you money and make your employees more productive.

When a company pays an employee, they expect to get something in return. Whether the employee is working on a product, completing a certain task, or selling a product to customers, they want a return for what they’ve paid the employee. With that being said, what type of return are you getting on your employee when they’re sitting in an airport, in traffic, or in a hotel room? What will your return on investment be for picking up the tab for your employee’s meals while on a business trip?

Not only that, but you are limiting your sales potential. How many sales meeting can one employee attend when they spend a day traveling to the meeting, a day at the actual meeting and then another day traveling home from the meeting? That’s probably an unrealistic question anyways, because most business meetings out of state or country probably take an employee out of the office for more than 3 days. So that means a member of your sales team can probably only conduct one sales meeting in a week. Not only is so much of their time wasted, but the travel time and expense involved in that process can quickly put a company out of business and if it doesn’t put them out of business, a shrinking travel budget can mean they don’t have the money to seek new customers.

With web conferencing software, one employee, I repeat one employee could conduct multiple sales meetings and presentations in a single day. Not only that, but those meeting could be all over town, all over the country and even all over the world. With the added fact that many web conferencing software applications are less than $50 and allow you to have unlimited monthly meetings, do you really need your accounting department to do the math for this one? For less than the price of a one night stay at a hotel for an employee, you could be having online meetings with potential customers.

Not only does this cut your travel expenses and make your employees more productive by keeping them in the office, but now the number of potential customers you can meet with is not limited by the amount of time and money it takes to travel to meet with them.

Invest a little time into researching the different web conferencing options available. Even better, many of them offer a free trial, so give them a trial run first and see for yourself how easy it is to conduct business meeting online. Keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice. Remember that you will be meeting with potential customers and giving sales presentations with this software. Choosing a cheap, unreliable web conferencing application could not only give your customers a bad first impression, but could also override all the benefits of web conferencing.

Angel Investors Beware – Tubular Wind Generating Kites and One Tin Soldier Rides Away

You know, it takes a lot to work hard all your life, save your money, and to invest it properly. There are far too many investment schemes that just don’t work, and far too many non-regulated securities. It’s not really fair for someone who’s worked hard and earned money to lose it in a bad investment, which was based on trickery and disreputable inducement. This is not to say they shouldn’t participate in the free market economy, or that entrepreneurs and investors should not take risks.

What I’m trying to say is there are too many shysters, and as of late far too many alternative energy investment schemes which will never produce any return on investment. Now there are many people who are completely passionate about what they are doing, and they really believe in alternative energy sector, and most of them have just gotten out of college, and they have been brainwashed by academia, and overblown media reports of global warming.

Still, as an investor you must be prudent, and realize that the alternative energy sector is the next bubble, and far too many people are investing in things which just won’t work, if you are an angel investor save your money. Not too long ago, I was contacted by someone who had a tubular wind generating contraption which blue like a kite.

The tether that held the object was its power cord. Although it was designed by an MIT graduate student who apparently knows what he’s doing, and was supported by a Harvard MBA business manager, along with a Harvard lawyer to help with the patents, deal-making, and venture capital agreements, the reality is there invention will not work.

That is not to say that they won’t eventually get it to work, after they burn through millions of dollars and prototypes figuring out the mistakes they’ve made. However when I was talking to them I asked them about 15 questions, and they could answer very few of them. In other words, they don’t know what they are doing, and they’re going to burn through capital, and even Department of Energy grants, which have been allotted by the taxpayer.

The reality is that we are throwing money in investments and nonsensical alternative energy projects which will never provide a return on investment, which will never work, and are ill thought out. And we’re doing this because we want a pollution free society, because we’ve been told that carbon dioxide is bad, and that humans have too large of a carbon footprint, but that’s nonsense.

If you want to go ahead and invest in one of these crazy new inventions or alternative energy schemes, go ahead. However, I am warning you that you should not expect your money back, or any return, rather you can watch your money ride off into the sunset and sing the tune; “one tin soldier rides away.” Please consider all this.

Women in Business: 5 Things You Must Do First Before Starting a Business While You Work

There comes a time in your career when you realize that something is missing. You reach a place where you feel stifled professionally and confined by day-to-day tasks. What used to give you a rush and sense of fulfillment is no longer there.

You could seek job opportunities elsewhere, but you have real family obligations to consider. In a slow economy plagued by budget cuts, furloughs, pink slips and hiring freezes, this is not the most viable solution.

When you arrive at this very place, the question that must enter your mind is, “Is that all there is?”
The short answer is No. There’s so much more!

The good news is you have a choice: stay in a rut or be the author of your life and write a new script.

It’s possible to restore greater self-fulfillment in your life on your own terms, beyond the confines of a job by using your expertise, skills, and knowledge to start a business while you work.

However preparation is key!

Here are 5 must do’s to business start up success:

1. Explore the reason why. There are a variety of reasons why many aspire to start a new business. For some it’s about creating a life of greater meaning and purpose. For others, it’s an opportunity to gain more financial security, or answer a “calling” of sorts, among other things.

Whatever the motivation for starting your business, it must be something that resonates profoundly and becomes the fuel that keeps the flame from within ignited. Without a deep-rooted conviction for the reason why, you stand a real risk of throwing in the towel at the slightest hint of difficulty or challenge you will inevitably encounter with your business.

2. Bring “you” to the journey. Although you may be venturing into unfamiliar territory as a new business owner, it doesn’t mean you are starting from scratch. The reality is that you already come equipped with resources, skills and abilities to thrive as an entrepreneur.

There are many success traits all entrepreneurs possess: problem solving, communicating, collaborating, decision-making, and risk taking, just to name a few. Some of these traits have been honed and groomed from your career experiences, but they are also innate qualities you possess as a woman.

Trust and rely heavily on your unique life experiences and strengths as the greatest assets to accompany you at the start of your journey.

3. Take others along. You are a woman who juggles many life roles as professional, mom, wife and homemaker. Adding another responsibility to the mix as entrepreneur could tip the scale too heavy to one side, to say the least.

But this new role and responsibility doesn’t have to throw everything off balance. To avoid this, allow others to help you, get used to delegating more and give yourself permission not to be “super woman.”

Your family members in many instances will be your biggest fans, but be sure to get their buy-in from the start. Help them to see “what’s in it for them,” so that you experience less resistance and push back in the long run. Allow your family to be more self- sufficient. In so doing, you create a bit more “space” in your life for business development, without feeling guilty.

Also, consider your professional network. Are there any colleagues or contacts in your circle that can facilitate any aspect of business planning or development, more quickly and easily? If so, use this support system to jumpstart the process of building your business.

4. Get your finances in order. The good thing about starting a solo business such as a coach, consultant, trainer, speaker or the like is the small start up cost involved and the low risk. So it’s easy to get in the game; the challenge is staying the course.

One the most important aspects of sustaining over time is having adequate cash flow to fund your business operating expenses, while also maintaining your household financial obligations. This can be achieved by doing two things: effective budgeting and investing in your business. You will have to get in the habit of saving money, “trimming the fat,” and spending smarter so that you can free up money to invest toward your business.

Additionally, the “cost” of doing business in the initial stages extends beyond covering expenditures. It also involves having enough funds for professional development. In order to develop and grow as an entrepreneur, you will have to invest some time and money to learn how to be a successful business owner. Otherwise your business will stagnate and cease to exist.

5. Commit to peak performance at all times. Working at your best capacity begins on the job. Your ability to get things done timely and efficiently, without fail, will make the difference in sustaining high energy levels throughout the day. It will also minimize the extent to which you are working long hours or bringing work home at night.

Without careful attention to this factor, it will be virtually impossible to carve out consistent time for business development, creativity and focus. In order to maintain excitement and momentum toward building a business, you will need to reserve and protect “space” in your life for it.

By taking these five preliminary steps at the very start of your journey, you will gain a greater clarity and assuredness about starting a business than you ever thought possible. And the sky’s the limit on how far you can go!