A product from Microsoft that need not cost you the Earth! Don’t believe me? It’s true Skype is even worthwhile on the free plan. I use it in my business on a daily basis. There are plenty of other options out there, but let me walk you through why I think that Skype is the best so far.
The Carousel of Progress – Skype…Really?
Small business owners and non-profit directors are always short on time and searching for ways to be more frugal with their dollar. So it continues to surprise me how many are still not using Skype!
True, I was shy to jump in, but I quickly saw the value of this video-calling interface.
Skype – The Noun
Skype is part of Microsoft. In their words: “Skype is for doing things together, whenever you’re apart.”
Here is a list of a few of their useful features:
- Free video calling.
- Call mobile phones and landlines.
- Group video calls.
- Send files.
- Instant messaging.
- Screen sharing.
Skype is a tool that makes your business or organization more efficient, and yes, more social.
Remember that ride at Disney World, Carousel of Progress? Remember where they introduce two kids communicating across continents – One in the USA, the other in Japan…? Skype brings that to reality – RIGHT NOW – And forces Disney to work fast on telling us where we go next.
For Mr. Restaurant Owner, start dialogue about importing new food menu items.
For Ms. Event Coordinator, discuss tour plans for visitor groups, or place setting details for the hottest wedding of the season.
What’s in it for you?
- Save on travel costs.
- Save on phone bills.
- Accomplish more in less time.
- Experience face-to-face with people far away.
- Expand your base of collaborative partners.
- Pursue additional demographic markets.
- Be in two places at once.
By meeting via Skype, you can talk with the person farthest from you on the planet without opening your front door. Further, you don’t even have to pick up your phone, so you can avoid long distance or roaming charges.
Because you have a line to the world from your computer or smartphone, you can be more efficient with time. Quick trips become quick conversations. And, face-to-face or groovy avatar — your choice on how people see you.
Explore partnerships with sources you may not have considered before, potentially improving the value of your operation. In turn, create opportunity for appealing to more customers in different markets.
One nice thing: You can absolutely participate in a meeting while getting a cup of juice for your son or daughter. It happens every day!
Skype – The Verb
Those more fluent with the platform will actually say, “Skype me.” A bit like “Facebook me,” or “Tweet me.”
One person calls the other, and shazam — You’re connected and can discuss, play music, share screens, etc. It’s like being in the same room!
Here’s a very beginner attempt at sharing screens via Skype:
Above you see my friend, Dorien, and I met online to create an instructional video for our collaborative project, Facebook Game Of Like.
Get ‘Er Done
Note: I was not impressed when they integrated Skype into Facebook, but I do like Skype in it’s stand-alone form.
- It’s easy.
- It’s productive.
- It’s a time-saving tool.
In short, it’s every bootstrapping organization’s friend!
Are you using Skype?
What are your experiences?
Tell me if I left anything out below… 🙂