Appearance is everything in business.
Like it or not, the way you appear to your colleagues, clients, and partners can have a tremendous impact on how comfortable and confident they are in working with you.
Some studies have suggested there’s even a correlation between the time you spend on personal grooming and the amount of money you earn. And it’s not just your personal appearance, it’s your company’s appearance: your logo, building, website, and everything else that represents a business.
But what happens if your business isn’t in a financial position to afford the latest in commercial self-presentation? How can small businesses access the latest equipment that will show them in their best light without incurring a bill for tens of thousands of dollars?
The answer is simple: share.
Video Technology Worth Sharing
By pooling their resources and sharing the cost of buying the latest advances in video conferencing, small businesses can get their hands on the type of equipment previously solely the domain of major corporations. With a little organization and agreement on who gets to use what and when, everybody gets to improve their professional image.
The technology we’re talking about here is not just a higher resolution camera or a clearer audio channel. There are many affordable video conferencing hardware solutions already available that will present your smiling face and best suit in HD quality for the cost of hundreds rather than thousands.
No. These are machines that will transform the way you conduct presentations, pitches, first-impression meetings, and convention appearances.
These are machines that let you appear as a 3D hologram on a stage halfway across the country. That let you create whole new worlds for your customers to explore. Machines that let you move from the static to the cinematic.
Products that do things like this:
That’s Microsoft’s long-promised HoloLens technology adding augmented reality to the immersive virtual reality glasses technology that is fast becoming a part of modern video conferencing.
While Microsoft has yet to stock consumer shelves with its HoloLens just yet, it’s certainly an example of the kind of transformative technology that is worth sharing with a few trusted business colleagues.
Small Businesses and Cost Sharing
One property developer in Louisiana is already incorporating the idea of shared high-tech business facilities into the design of its buildings.
Tower Place in Monroe offers tenants access to a 3,500-square-foot business center that has been dubbed the Think Tank. Within its walls are housed a range of video conferencing, wireless video, and audio conferencing equipment that can be deployed in open plan or private room settings.
Private offices, conference rooms, and training rooms all powered by video conferencing can be rented for as little as $45 a day.
It’s a commercial real estate version of this shared business equipment idea, and it takes only a little tweaking to return the video conferencing machinery back into the ownership of the small businesses that will actually use it.
The Latest Video Conferencing Equipment
If you are going to share office space, you could dedicate one room to an immersive beast of a video conferencing unit such as the Cisco TelePresence IX5000 series. That features three HD screens, 4K cameras, custom speakers, and seating for 6 to 18 people. It looks like something NASA would use to pilot a flight to Mars, and that’s just what your partners, guests, and clients will think.
That’s tech normally out of reach to a small business, but split three or four ways it could be just a few thousand dollars each.
If you wanted something a little more sci-fi, you and your partners could invest in a Musion holographic video setup. These machines are the power behind the much publicized holographic appearances of Tupac and Michael Jackson, and retail for at least $10,000.
But what a scene you’d create at any tradeshow or convention if you and your products were presented in such a fashion. If you and your partners work in the same field you could send the Musion out with just a few employees to appear at such events across the country. Each businesses could take control of the holographic stage for a portion of the convention so everyone gets to share your newly acquired marketing machine.
Or you could invest in the software side of matters and design your own augmented reality scenarios to display for your clients as you chat with them in a video conference call using virtual reality glasses.
It’s certainly a more compelling first impression than your small business competitors will be able to mount. And it’s through a little good old fashioned sharing of the wealth.