Is it really possible for a small business to operate with the same efficiency as a Fortune 500 corporation? Many proponents of big business claim that keeping up is a numbers game: if a business doesn’t have the money to rank among the top in their industry, there will be a noticeable lack of efficiency in their operations and processes. However, recent technological trends and advancements have been shown to bridge the gap between the ‘big business picture’ of global co-operation and the small business struggle to keep up.
The importance of global communication
Today, being a global company isn’t so much an option as a necessity. According to Chron, the major benefits of going global could completely change the way a business operates, and for the better:
- Access to a wider variety of revenue streams allows business to be more profitable on multiple fronts, increasing profits in tandem with growth.
- New supplies and resources from global partnerships give global companies the opportunity to diversify and target a larger audience.
- Access to a larger talent pool makes it possible to understand a wide variety of cultures and collaborate directly with affiliates across the world.
- Being global also offers business the ability to measure marketing efforts and performance more completely, by comparing themselves with a broader selection of competitors, both direct and indirect.
The benefits of being a global company are obvious and is an option 99 percent of small businesses should be approaching, but the apparent cost of scaling up and out this way, makes it difficult for many small businesses to truly reach a global scale. However, many have found a way to set aside these concerns and push into the global market by utilizing the technology of video conferencing to spread their reach and facilitate growth.
The Internet takes center stage
Online video conferencing is a form of technology that appeals to businesses of all sizes, but the most important message from its growing popularity is the ability for small businesses to go global with relative ease. Companies like Bluejeans offer economical conferencing options for small to mid-size businesses, allowing them to make contact and keep in touch with colleagues, affiliates and even remote employees all over the globe. Until recently, this was difficult for anyone outside the Fortune 500. By making video conferencing a priority, small businesses achieve all the benefits of operating on a global scale without worrying about the big business costs.
Computer World reports that while most “high-end” systems are too expensive for most small businesses, an economic alternative allows even an ‘army of one’ to cut costs, increase profit channels and take on big business on their own terms. These technological advancements have allowed small local businesses to contract with telecommuting employees and marketing specialists from everywhere in the world, getting input from the best sources at all times. Small business owners can now also gain access to high-scale and high-profile industry seminars, formerly barred to sole proprietors thanks to exorbitant travel costs, fees for room and board and the price of admission.
Until the advent of video conferencing, being a global company was impossible with less than 50 employees—now it’s just a matter of calling the right people and developing those relationships. This change in the scale gives small businesses the ability to learn the same processes, communicate with the same thought leaders and even participate in the same industry-influencing discussions as the biggest, wealthiest business leaders. In this way, video conferencing has evolved from a communication tool, to a way to level out the playing field; no longer do entrepreneurs have to admit that a conference, seminar or affiliate is “out of their league” as long as they use this technology properly.
Changing the game
How are big businesses handling the recent revelation that going global doesn’t require the support of millions of patrons? As it turns out, most are either ignoring it entirely, or spinning the facts to make these benefits seem available only to other companies on their level, leading to the multiple misconceptions that Small Biz Daily quotes as reasons many small businesses opt against video conferencing—from assuming it’s too complicated without a dedicated IT department, to believing it requires large-scale profits even for small-scale conferencing, these myths are pervasive and entirely false.
Video conferencing is just one of the hundreds of ways that the Internet and other advances in technology are changing the way we all do business. By making it easier and more economically viable than ever to support small and local businesses (and to operate efficiently from all over the world), these changes are definitely helping small business take on the ‘big’ guys.