Top 5 Benefits of Skype for Small Businesses

Free web and video conferencing tool helps small businesses save money

For small business owners and their employees, saving money is a top priority. This means that sometimes owners choose to e-mail instead of calling their contacts, to save on their monthly phone bill. However, it’s important to still maintain all crucial business processes such as getting in touch with suppliers, calling prospects and keeping in contact with clients. All of these could mean a very expensive phone bill, especially if a number of these people are abroad. 

This is why a number of businesses are using Skype, one of the best known online meeting tools around, with, according to its website, nearly 30 million worldwide users. Chosen by home and business users alike, it lets people communicate either Skype-to-Skype, which is free, or Skype to landline or cell phone for a small fee. 

If you work for, or own a small business and are looking for an online meeting tool or an inexpensive way to stay in touch, you should definitely give Skype a try. Some of its main benefits include:

1. Price - If you plan to use Skype just for calling other Skype users, then it’s free - you can even have a small online meeting. Skype also lets you video conference with another person using the free plan. The only drawback is that you can't have a larger video conference on the free plan, as you can only hold a video call with one user at a time. There are no monthly fees to pay unless you’ve chosen a monthly plan. You can also save on your phone bill by inviting other people who you need to call often to join Skype too. If you prefer to call on a landline or cell phone, you have the option to choose a pay-as-you-go plan, which charges a small amount for these kinds of calls - if you call international numbers often, using Skype could work out cheaper than using your office phone. 

2. Ease of Use - Skype is very easy to install, setup and begin using. It has a really user-friendly interface that anyone, regardless of their level of tech knowledge, can learn to use. Adding new contacts, sending instant messages and placing calls are all done with the click of a button. It’s also very easy to know if Skype was set up correctly, as the tool has a test call number where users can check if their audio and microphone are working properly. This is great, as there is no guessing whether Skype was installed correctly or not. 

3. It is where you are - With a number of Skype versions available, you can use it anywhere, from virtually any device. Whether you’re on your office computer, laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone, you can have Skype with you and make free or cheap phone calls from anywhere in the world. This is especially handy if you need to be out and about often for your job, as you can still hold your regular calls from wherever you are via Skype, as long as you’re connected to the Internet. There’s no need to postpone calls just because you’re away from your desk. This is a huge benefit for small businesses as there usually isn't a large number of staff available to take or make important calls at all times. 

4. Reliability - In the early VoIP days, call quality was bad and calls got dropped often. This kind of technology wasn’t an option for businesses as not only it was very annoying to have calls drop all the time, but it was unprofessional to choose such bad quality services. However, VoIP has improved greatly since then and Skype is very reliable. As long as your Internet connection is stable, you can expect your call won’t get dropped. Furthermore, if the Internet connection is bad for any of the parties, Skype will inform users of that, so they know that the call might get dropped. Skype also encourages users to rate their calls when they’re done, and Skype is continuously improving the reliability of the service. 

5. Call quality - As a small business, it’s important to choose inexpensive services that are of high quality - this is where Skype really delivers. Calls both to other Skype users and landlines are crystal clear, so long as the caller has a good headset with a high-quality microphone. Calls to landlines and cell phones get connected quickly and don’t usually suffer from problems such as echoing or words getting cut off. For the most part, it’s as if users are talking to someone just next to them. And what's better than that for establishing strong and long-lasting business relationships?