There’s no denying the importance of face time—or the competitive advantage businesses enjoy when they can video chat with colleagues, remote workers, and clients from anywhere in the world.
Video conferencing apps increase productivity and save time in innumerable ways. They reduce travel time for business meetings, optimize meeting attendance, and allow those in different time zones to chat in real time, helping to streamline sales and the decision-making process.
If you’re ready to get on board with video conferencing but aren’t sure which app is right for you, here’s a look at three of the best options for small business owners.
This video conferencing software has appealing capabilities, and scales easily as your small business grows. The starter plan allows conferencing for up to ten participants, but you can upgrade to the pro and plus plans and increase to 50 and 100 participants, respectively.
GoToMeeting is known for its ease of use, security, unlimited meetings, simple interface and crisp imaging on any device. Some of its key features include screen sharing, HD video, a downloadable mobile app for on-the-go conferencing, and the ability to share documents in real time.
GoToMeeting’s plans start at $26/month, with limited features for the basic plan. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial and tour the software’s basic features with just an email address and account password (no credit card required).
Although the monthly cost is higher than its competitors, GoToMeeting is very customer friendly and offers a 60-day refund.
Like GoToMeeting, Zoom is an easy to use conferencing app that is also easy to scale. But unlike GoToMeeting, Zoom is more affordable, with its top Enterprise plan priced at $19.99 US/month.
If you’re on a shoestring budget, Zoom also offers a robust free option that allows calls with up to 100 participants, unlimited 1 to 1 meetings, advanced video, web and group conferencing features, and online support.
Zoom users love this app’s flexibility and ease of use, high quality audio and video, integration with Google Calendar, simple screen sharing and instant messaging, and the ability to easily record meetings.
Because Zoom offers a free basic plan that meets the needs of many small business owners, it is one of the most popular web conferencing tools available.
Popular for its advanced interactive features (e.g. participant polling, drawing and white boarding, chat messaging), WebEx is an excellent option for businesses interest in simple, real time collaboration. WebEx’s mobile capabilities make it easy to schedule, attend and record meetings, participate in video and audio conferencing and share screens.
Web Ex has also added value for customers with its latest feature, Cisco Spark – a secure online space for teams to collaborate from anywhere in the world, from any device.
A free account is available for conferencing and screen sharing. WebEx conveniently allows users to invite meeting participants who don’t have accounts; all they need are the conference details and an internet connection.
The most affordable monthly plan costs $19US/month and allows calls for up to 8 participants, with HD video, screen sharing, security features, and messaging and file sharing capabilities.
Before you buy, be sure to make use of the free trials offered by each company. Although a quick review may make a tool sound like the perfect solution, usability may turn out to be an issue as different apps are not always intuitive for every user.
If you’d like to do a bit more research before making a decision, take a look at this recent article from TechRader. This review includes WebEx and GoToMeeting among its top five video conferencing apps currently on the market.