Online meeting software helps eliminate the need for travel expenses and reduces the gaps between you and your remote teams. You won’t have to pay for airline tickets, hotels, and food plans any longer; the software allows you to host online meetings and conferences from the comfort of your home or office, connecting with anyone, anywhere in the world. Here’s how to find the best online meeting software for your budget.
Why Online Meetings?
Besides the overall convenience, online meetings can help mitigate travel costs when it comes to hosting remote team meetings or conferences, and allow a certain level of flexibility when scheduling your meetings. Eliminating travel costs entirely from your budget will save you thousands per year, and reduce lost time associated with waiting in airports, lobbies, etc.
An online meeting service is not only cheaper than hosting in-person meetings, but it can also help you increase the efficiency of your meetings as well. A quicker, more precise meeting is always a more successful meeting. You want your participants to stay engaged and truly take away some new knowledge from what was presented.
The first component of your software that you need to consider is its features. What does your online meeting software offer? Video conferencing tools? Screen sharing? Global connectivity? Consider what you need versus what is an extra. Do you absolutely need the video service, or is that an expense you shouldn’t add on to your budget?
Different providers will offer packages that come equipped with various features. The most basic of packages usually come with simple online meeting software and not much else; but if you can afford the more advanced packages, you’ll get access to some pretty amazing features that make meeting software well worth the cost.
Compare packages between providers will let you know which features are offered for the price you want. You may find that certain providers actually offer more features in their basic package than the competition, or that a basic package simply won’t meet your business’s needs.
Compare Customer Service Records
How a brand handles customer service should be the deciding factor in your decision. A company can offer the greatest, most high-quality software you’ve ever seen; but if they don’t stand behind that product with excellent customer service, you’ll want to choose a different provider. Customer service can almost be more important than the product itself. In fact, studies show that most customers actually depend on customer service ratings to help them decide which brands to choose from.
If customer service isn’t a priority for the company you’re considering, you’ll be wasting your money and creating further holes in your budget. Pay close attention to things like customer reviews and ratings with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). One detailed customer service review can tell you a lot about how the company values and works with its customers.
Once you’ve chosen a features package and a company to work with, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: the overall cost of the software. Does your provider charge on a monthly or annual basis? Are the charges per user, or is it one flat-rate per month?
Don’t assume anything when it comes to cost, especially when you’re working on a budget. Not sure about a certain pricing structure? Call and ask about the details (see what we mean by check the customer service rating?). Don’t be afraid to ask questions; a company that truly wants to serve its customers will have no trouble answering any and all questions you can throw at it.
You’ll want to evaluate any long-term costs as well. Is the software web-based, or are you going to need extra equipment? Can your internet bandwidth handle more than a few people in a conference room at a time? Upgrading your internet speed or equipment just to make your software usable can put you well above your spending limit and outside of your budget.
Evaluating costs isn’t a walk in the park, and for some people, it’s just not their strong point. That’s where a financial advisor can help. If you’re struggling to evaluate your business’s finances, a financial advisor can provide sound advice to help you create a budget and accurately evaluate your spending. To compare the best financial advisors in Austin, visit Careful Cents.
What’s Your Hard Spending Limit?
Be sure to have a firm spending limit in place to keep yourself within your budget. It can be incredibly tempting to stretch the budget to accommodate for extra features, but again, if you don’t need these extra features, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Stay within your hard spending limit to avoid any overages and to keep your budget on track.
Ideally, you’ll want a software like this to cost under $50/month. There are packages that exist for under $20/month as well, so no matter what your budget and overall spending limit is, you should be able to easily find a plan that’s right for your business.
Overall, online meeting software is the best alternative to hosting costly and often distracting in-person meetings. Hosting meetings from anywhere in the world is an added bonus; meaning those sales or quarterly finance meetings are no longer confined to the stuffy meeting room on the third floor. Evaluate your expenses to create a fixed spending limit for your meeting software, and be sure to compare pricing, features, and customer service records for whichever brand you decide on. A good business should stand behind its products with a good customer service reputation.