The Magic of On-Line Consulting
BLAZEbusiness is an on-line consulting business. What does this mean? It means we do not come and physically meet with you at your premises. Instead we connect with you using the internet, a mobile, or a landline phone.
However we used to come and physically meet with you at your premises. And that meant we could connect face-to-face with you, which is a great way to get to know each other. And we could see your premises, and sometimes see and/or meet with your staff on the job as well. Sounds great - doesn’t it?
Well yes, and also no. It cannot be denied that a face-to-face connection, in the flesh, is a way to establish a physical familiarity with each other very quickly. And while not everyone requires that physical familiarity, many people really appreciated it.
But after that, the advantages of face-to-face meetings end … and the disadvantages begin:
- From our end it took a lot of organising and effort to make a physical trip across the city or over the country. So we needed to make several appointments for a day to capitalise on that effort.
- Therefore the appointment necessarily became a fixed event – due to appointments in similar areas needing to be organised in a sequence on the same day. If someone pulled out in the middle of the sequence we often still had to charge costs, as we couldn’t then easily fill that vacated appointment time.
- But once we had actually set out on the journey it simply wasn’t possible to reschedule an appointment at all.
- Additionally for the client, if unexpected things cropped up on the day of the appointment that often would have the effect of making the appointment now inconvenient for them, and then they would become conflicted about attending it.
- Face-to-face meetings also had many costs, some of which were travelling costs, and the also the time lost while travelling.
In contrast to all of the above the advantages of on-line connection are:
- Rapid and relatively effortless connection.
- Less physical effort - so the meeting is more relaxing, which is also true for the client.
- Time efficient - so we can get more done in the same time.
- Less distractions - so both parties tend to be more focused which leads to a better outcome.
- All this means costs can be contained, which in turn keeps the fees contained.
But I’m not familiar or comfortable with the on-line world !!
Well, join the club. You’re certainly not alone on that score.
- Firstly, at the beginning neither were we. And many small businesses, while happy using a computer and/or mobile for emailing, making calls and surfing the internet, have little knowledge or experience of other things that can be done on-line.
Such as using the internet to make an audio call (like a phone call except using the internet), or a video call, or to send files from one computer to another, or for sharing computer screens between people many miles apart etc… the list goes on.
- While you may not be familiar with some or all of these things, the good news is that … this is all that it is – a simple lack of familiarity. An example could be with kids learning to ride a bike: the first time they try it can be a bit overwhelming, … but in a very short time they are pros at it!
- And it’s often the case with anything new – the thought of learning something is way worse than the actual reality of learning it. And certainly I.T. has become a very mature, smooth technology, and for most people once you get shown how to do something using the internet, by the second or third time it’s become a simple, easy thing to do. It really is just a matter of being shown how to do it, familiarity - then you’re happily sailing away. We’ve seen that time and time again.
The first consultation
We always encourage everyone to have a video call of some kind with us for the first meeting. In a video call we can see each other “live” talking in the screen, as well as hearing our voices. This can be a very realistic way to connect and get to know each other in the beginning. However if you are certain you don’t want to even try this, there is always the option of a simple voice call on the phone.
The different ways we can connect to you on-line.
We use “Zoom” media communications software to connect on-line with you. Zoom is an audio and video calling application (“app” for short, or software program) which runs on your computer desktop or mobile device and is free to use. Using Zoom we can have a very realistic meeting with you - just it’s over the internet.
You can download and install the Zoom app before having your first meeting, which we recommend - as it’s overall a slightly simpler process to do that. But there is no need - if you’d prefer not to that’s okay - Zoom will just automatically install itself when you have your first meeting.
Zoom is simple and intuitive to use for meetings. Elžunia will send you an email with a link in it, and just clicking on the link will take you to the meeting.
However we also have step by step On-Line Guides to assist you with using Zoom if needed. While you can just follow Zoom’s on-screen prompts generally without any problem at all, if you choose to use these On-Line Guides you should definitely be up and running in no time.
Computer & mobile devices
The final option if you prefer it, or when all else fails, is a landline to landline voice call. With this back to the “bricks and mortar approach” the audio quality is usually the most consistently highest, although that’s all that you can do - talk.
On-Line Connection hardware
Laptop (notebook) and Desktop computers
In our experience the best quality for a video call is using laptop or desktop computers. The bigger screen, and sometimes clearer graphics speak for themselves. Plus this call will go over the internet (either using a cable from your computer or a wireless connection in your building), and that usually means a consistently good transmission quality, as it doesn’t rely on there being suitable mobile reception at both ends.
However mobile devices are fine when reception is good.On-Line Guides