By Rob Lanterman

In this modern age, working from home is a more desirable and practical option for the average business person. If you’re an entrepreneur, working with other people and clients can be difficult if they are out of your state or country. Luckily, those before us have dealt with the same problems and have come up with several great resources and products that will help you along the way. Here are some efficient and practical conference resources to boost your work-from-home productivity.

Blackboard – Web Conferencing and Training

I have a friend who does tech support for a large phone company, and he works out of his house. For him, team meetings, training, and all communication that involves multiple people happens over a video chat in Blackboard. They have live training sessions where people are able to ask questions and send each other files and attachments. They can even collaborate on different projects with multiple people at a time. There are customizable settings you can program for yourself and they’ve intentionally made accessibility options for those with learning disabilities, mobility challenges, or those who are blind and deaf.

Slideshare – Presentations

Somehow, you need to have the ability to give presentations from home. This is especially important if you are an entrepreneur meeting with clients or in a position of authority or high decision-making within your company. Slideshare allows you to create presentations in a Powerpoint-like format and present them to people over your video chat software. One of the biggest features is its ability to connect with your LinkedIn profile – if you need to post a presentation to show people what you do or what you’re capable of, it will upload directly and act like a resume presentation.

Bidsketch – Contracts

Ultimately, conference calls and presentations serve the purpose of selling some sort of service, product or partnership. That said, it’s a good idea to have an easy-to-use template for drawing up contracts that allows someone to e-sign at the click of a button. Bidsketch offers that service, and being able to sign something over a business call or meeting is important to the collaboration process. Bidsketch comes with a large variety of templates for these contracts as well. There are all sorts of proposal templates available, whether its for Web Development, SEO, Graphic Design, Sales, or anything else a normal business may need to outsource.

Branded Bridgeline – Conference Calls

Branded Bridgeline is a conference call company that I appreciate because they are a bit smaller of a company, much like the businesses I’m writing for. First off, you do not need a pin to enter a call on this system. This is a common complaint about conference call services due to miscommunications, time wasted, problems with the pin services, etc. However, it’s still optional, so if a client or business partner needs you to enter a pin on their side (or if you feel safer with a pin securing your call), Branded Bridgeline is set up to accommodate for that. Branded Bridgeline also includes International Calls, which sometime is a problem with these smaller conference call services.

These are services that have been recommended to me by friends who have really taken their work-at-home professions to the next level. That said, I’m sure there’s plenty of resources I’m not aware of that work great in that environment. What do you use?