Friday, January 4, 2013
One of the core constructs of any business is good communication. Here are 8 business communications tools you really should know about in order to make communication more convenient and cost effective:
Email continues to be the most popular, cost effective and convenient form of communication in business. It’s been around for many years, but it has seen advancement in the form of IMAP accounts, which enable one to check emails from more than one computer, and includes auto responders, which can send periodic emails at predetermined intervals to correspondents on one’s mailing list.
2) Video Conferencing
This enables video and audio transmissions between two or more locations and is the next best thing to actually having all one’s associates present in the same room. The time and money saved on travelling is an obvious benefit, and is particularly useful for large businesses with many branches.
Many of us are familiar with the many cool features of a smartphone: it’s instantaneous communication on the move, and with use of instant messaging applications like Whatsapp and BBM, its free too. Words that were once exchanged over a telephone call can now be abbreviated over a message.
4) PowerPoint Presentations
Almost everyone uses PowerPoint for presentations, meetings and training. It’s a breeze to learn and enables one to put together professional and well-structured presentations that can incorporate some interesting frills, such as music, graphics and narration.
5) Mobile Apps
Many interesting phone applications geared for greater business connectivity have been devised, including Microsoft Sharepoint for sharing files, managing content, and mobile communication; Cisco WebEx enables the user to attend video conferences on a smartphone; and Salesforce Chatter enables colleagues to converse and exchange info privately.
The large and wieldy laptop is fast being replaced in the business arena with the light and compact iPad. It can run all the iPhone applications and it has a remarkably long battery life. It’s perfect for business because of its fast operating speed, smart design and portability.
7) Social Networking
Although Facebook was mostly viewed as a vehicle for office clock milking, businesses are beginning to respect it as a useful communication platform where, because of its high frequency visitation, businesses can get hold of clients and colleagues easily. It’s also taking off as an advertising medium where a business profile can be updated easily with news, videos, events and pictures and linked to the main website.
8) Cloud Computing
The latest in remote data accessibility that is too clever for words. Imagine being able to run out of the office to meet a client and not having to worry about finding a flash drive or loading a report onto it before leaving. With cloud computing you can access your office or home PC via your smartphone or another PC.
Written by Jason Ruger on behalf of It’s A Rat Race Out There, which looks at the ins and outs of running a business.