Today’s business world is constantly changing. But keeping up with the rapid speed of transformation is harder than ever, especially for resource-constrained small businesses.
To remain competitive with larger, more established corporations, small businesses must learn to adapt to industry changes in cost-efficient, productive and innovative ways. One of the keys to becoming more agile is effective company-wide collaboration. In fact, a Frost & Sullivan report found collaboration accounts for more than one-third of the success or failure of a company’s business.
3 Ways a Culture of Collaboration Can Give Your Business an Edge
Workplace collaboration is all about connecting the right people with the right information or resource at the right time. Fortunately, facilitating collaboration is easier than ever with today’s various communication and collaboration tools. From conferencing and IM to document sharing and video calls, small businesses have more ways than ever to share ideas in real-time.
Companies that successfully ingrain collaboration into their culture will see a few key benefits:
1. Stimulated Participation and Innovation
With intense competition, it’s critical for small businesses to harness the power of employees across departments and regional silos. Ad-hoc collaboration tools like IM, group document sharing and team collaboration apps encourage employees to instantly share information, bounce ideas off one another and stay on top of project deliverables. On the other hand, tools like web conferencing with screen sharing allow employees to talk through ideas in real-time, stimulating creative breakthroughs. Ultimately, this type of continuous communication allows employees to perform better while also feeling like part of the team no matter where they are located.
2. Faster, More Informed Decision-Making
When employees can easily share resources and knowledge across various business functions, managers have better visibility into each project. As a result, leaders, are able to make more informed decisions quickly. What’s more, conferencing tools such as InterCall Unified Meeting 5 allow up to 125 participants to join a meeting from anywhere and weigh-in on important decisions. Having more decision-makers at the table helps ensure the best ideas are heard, prevents a “boss is always right” culture and creates a sense of organizational transparency.
3. Cost Savings
Continuous communication makes it easier to catch mistakes or problems with work earlier, reducing the amount of time- and therefore money- spent on revisions or total re-works. Cross-company collaboration also has the potential to improve the product-development process and take time off the sales cycle. These benefits have a direct impact on the company’s bottom-line, allowing the business to collect revenue sooner.
Lastly, today’s various collaboration tools enable employees to work or connect with coworkers and customers from anywhere. This means small businesses no longer need to rely on in-person meetings for sales pitches, client presentations or status meetings. By replacing in-person meetings with virtual ones, small businesses cut down on travel expenses. In fact, an IDG report projects telepresence will cut travel expenses by over 90 percent,
In today’s competitive environment, small businesses supporting a culture of collaboration are better positioned to solve problems, react to changing trends and achieve better results. By providing a mix of communication tools, collaboration across departments and locations not only becomes easy, but also second nature.
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