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If you’ve never used Skype, you’re in for a treat. If you have, then you’re already aware of the pleasure and convenience of seeing your client, business associate or family face-to-face. There’s something so much more personal about using Skype and it can be significantly more beneficial to the success of your business too.

Skype’s a fundamental tool in our office; we all have it downloaded to our iPhone’s, Android smartphone and, of course, our computers because it saves us money in travel expenses and also replaces those expensive overseas phone calls. Skype offers a low-cost and sometimes free voice-over-internet service (VoIP).

It’s clearly a very valuable tool in the business world, but still many people don’t know the full capacity of Skype. So, here are a few of the Skype basics that can help businesses thrive while saving cash:

1. Business control panel:

Skype was originally developed for personal use, but now offers a business control panel that makes it easy for companies to manage SkypeOut and SkypeIn accounts for employees. It can also be integrated with an existing company phone system, which will soon offer an IP PBX (private branch exchange) that can route calls from the office phone over Skype.

2. Screen sharing:

This is a tool that isn’t well known, but should be. It allows you to share your computer screen with your video call recipient, allowing them to see your presentation, document or whatever else you’re discussing. It’s a heck of an amazing tool!

3. Skype Apps:

These are designed specifically for Skype and allow you to download apps – whether to play games with a Skype caller, integrate Outlook or use Voicemail. A visit to the AppDirectory can help you customise your Skype experience to increase productivity and personalise your presence as well.

4. Call forwarding:

For regular Skype users, this little option can keep you from missing an important client call. Calls that come in can be forwarded to your mobile phone, so you can always be reachable. And don’t forget – Skype also has a mobile app, which means you can take Skype on the road with you.

5. File Transfers:

You can also transfer files back and forth in real time, because Skype has instant messaging built right in. It’s easy to open an IM window and drop the file right into it, giving the customer, client or business associate the information immediately. No need to wait for a fax, email or expensive package delivery.

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Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta is an Internet business veteran in Australia and is the Director of <a href="http://www.finder.com.au/">Finder.com.au</a>, which was founded in 2006 launching one of Australia's first <a href="http://www.creditcardfinder.com.au/">credit card comparison websites</a>. Following his momentum of success, he continued to launch comparison services for home loans, savings accounts, life insurance and mobile phones. His articles aim to share his professional and personal experiences in entrepreneurship, HR and leadership.

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