As gas prices go up, companies that used to rely on vehicle (or air planes for that matter) travel are going to find ways to communicate with customers, partners and remote employees while using as little gas as possible.
Video conferencing enables you to see and communicate with customers while keeping the car in place. You can implement a low cost desktop solution using a web camera ($20 or so will get you one) and a free (or low cost) Skype account.
If you want to communicate with many customers services from WebEx, GoToMeeting and others come to mind to enable you to do Webinars.
RingCentral recently revealed survey results which show that the majority of small businesses (59 percent) are cutting overhead costs or otherwise changing business practices in response to the economic downturn and rising energy costs while remaining productive. In addition, in response to job losses, some former employees have become employers by starting their own small businesses.
By implementing the right technology solutions you can minimize your use of fuel and maximize your communication with customers. Other benefits of using technology, such as a virtual telephone system, include enabling you to have remote employees, working from home.
For example, Medical Solutions International or MSI has been a virtual enterprise for years. With the rise in gas prices, MSI now uses its “work from home” model to attract prospective employees.
The company, a staffing service that places nursing professionals in hospitals around North America, England and Ireland, has its headquarters at CEO Robert Woltz’s Tempe, Ariz., home. Woltz has five full-time staffers and 11 part time workers who are based at their own homes, in locations sprinkled around the United States.
Even though the business is virtual and employees are based all over the US, MSI presents a unified front through its Internet phone service. RingCentral helps give the perception that they are all working from one office with one phone number. “By working from home, my employees save hundreds of dollars a month in commuting costs. It is a real recruiting advantage,” said Robert.