Whether you’re starting a new business or simply trying to keep an existing one running, the foundation for which you build your productivity can have a major impact on the success of your business.
The foundation that we’re talking about is your IT - email, documents, calendar, file storage, communication, etc.
For years, Microsoft Office was the go-to solution for all of the above. This was the software that most of us grew up using. From Excel to Powerpoint, Word to Outlook, Microsoft was the king of the small business IT solutions world.
However, today, more and more small businesses are turning to Google for their IT needs.
Google Apps for Business is a simple and affordable, yet powerful option for business owners looking to reduce costs while increasing productivity.
Starting at just $5 per user per month, businesses can set up a custom business email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), conduct video and voice calls, integrate a company-wide online calendar, get 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing, create unlimited online text documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations, plus get 24/7 phone and email support from Google. Read on for a more in-depth look at the four best features and benefits of Google Apps.
Gmail is one of the best and most used web mail services around, with over 1 billion users. As a business owner, you want a professional look to your company’s email address; and having an @gmail or @hotmail address falls short on accomplishing that.
Google Apps allows you to turn your domain (website URL) into a custom business email address (email@example.com). Forget logging in to some confusing third-party email application to access your mail, with Google Apps you simply login to gmail.com or the Gmail app. This will keep all of your email synced, giving you a consistent inbox across all platforms.
Along with the custom email address, you also receive 30GB of storage - which is twice the amount you receive when you sign-up for a personal account.
One thing Microsoft Office did really well was their documents. Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint were staples of the work day for most businesses worldwide. Google understood this, and built their Google Docs system to mimic the features of Microsoft’s products. They, however, simplified them a bit and built them on the cloud - which gives you the ability to view and edit live docs on the fly. So, for example, you could develop a meeting outline in Google Docs, share it with your managers, and have them update their sections while you work on yours.
Another powerful feature that Google recently rolled out is their voice-to-text feature on Google Docs. We understand that not all small business owners are great on the computer, so this new feature will allow you to speak and have Google type out what you’re saying.
As you create documents over time, you’re going to need a place to store them. Instead of bogging down your computers with file after file being saved on the hard drive, you can use Google Drive to store everything in the cloud.
Meaning all of your pictures, docs, PDFs, videos, and other files can now be stored in one place that’s accessible from all of your devices. This will ensure that your business can work on the fly, no matter if you’re at the office, out on a job, or at home.
Let’s face it, no matter how small your office is most people want to communicate via text. Personal thoughts aside, this is the way office communication works these days. And with that, you need a platform that will allow your employees to communicate quickly and often.
This is where Google’s Hangouts comes into play. Google Hangouts is a chat feature that allows for easy communication between all users in your organization. It includes chat, voice calls, and even video conferencing. You can use these features to hold conference calls, webinars, meetings, and more - saving you money on otherwise expensive third-party conferencing software and technology.
As happy Google Apps for Business users ourselves, we hope this post showed the value of this solution for your small business. You can learn more about their pricing here, and see why more than 5 million business have switched to Google Apps.