Skype has today launched Skype in the workspace, a new online platform for businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe.
Microsoft says the free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections.
"In the world of business, one of the riskiest things you can do - but perhaps the most thrilling - is to become your own boss," says Ural Cebeci, Skype.
"Fuelled by an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to see ideas, products and services brought to life, many people overcome the initial challenges and successfully start their own business.
"At Skype, we believe there's an opportunity for small business owners to share experiences with and learn from each other.
"Skype in the workspace brings you closer than ever before to the customers, partners, suppliers and prospects that you need in order to be successful.
"No matter what your business or where you're based, joining the Skype community allows you to make valuable personal connections in real-time, face-to-face."
Just starting out?
For new startups, Microsoft says Skype in the workspace offers up "a whole range of experts and consultants who are on hand to provide best practice and guidance for getting your idea off the ground."
"As a first step, click 'add a service' and create an offer to publicly demonstrate your services," Cebeci explains.
"We'll look to help the right members discover your business, but at the same time you'll be able to get busy promoting your page via other social media platforms."
Looking to expand?
For businesses that are a more established and wish to expand however, Cebeci says there are already hundreds of new business relationships to be made and promotional tools to help you succeed.
"Once you're signed up, you can instantly connect with other users and arrange Skype sessions to showcase your product or service," he says.
"Then, when an opportunity is over, the person you've done business with can instantly give you a testimonial of the product/service you offered, helping your build a portfolio of endorsements backing your business."
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