1/24/2012 7:15 PM

With the current downturn in the economy many business owners are forced to cut financial corners wherever possible to stay afloat. Operational costs are a major area in which executives are becoming creative when developing strategies to save money. One cost-saving method found to be quite effective is eliminating the travel expenses to attend meetings. Businesses instead opt to utilize conference calls to keep staff and clients updated on current issues.

In addition to saving money by hosting conference calls, there are steps that business owners can take to make affordable calls. Organization is essential when planning a meeting because time is literally money as charges are applied per minute for each call. Therefore, it is important to develop an outline of issues to be discussed and provide call participants with an agenda before the scheduled event. While it is not always possible to stick verbatim to the planned itinerary, it is essential that the moderator of the call keep participants on track to conserve call time.

Gathering information about the participants slated to join a call is also important when considering cost savings. Often knowing the location of individuals will help calculate costs, especially if participants live in other countries. It is also necessary to know whether or not participants plan to use a cell phone to attend conference calls. It is not uncommon for mobile phone rates to be more expensive per minute when compared to landline connections. If participants plan on using a cell phone, suggest they use a landline if possible to reduce costs.

When striving to save costs, time allocation is essential. Meetings should always begin promptly on time, whether or not all participants are connected to the call. Moderators should allow equal time for discussion among callers and redirect focus if the direction of the conversation leads to an unrelated tangent. When developing an agenda, it is crucial to keep key points, questions, and answers concise.

Though there is usually an additional fee to record calls, it might be a worthwhile investment. The items discussed in the meeting can be archived for future references, as well as transcribed for participants that were unable to attend. Providing reference material and transcripts eliminates the need to schedule another phone meeting to repeat the same items addressed in the initial teleconference. It is also helpful to e-mail a summary of the conference call to each of the participants within 24 hours to serve as a personal reference.

Phone meetings are without a doubt the most cost efficient forum to host a meeting. While there are numerous of providers readily available to provide teleconferencing services, Conference Worldwide is an affordable and reputable provider accommodating business needs around the globe. For more information, please visit: https://www.conferenceworldwide.com/

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