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Why Small Business Owners Should Use Google Apps
Let’s face the facts; if Google decides to do something, they usually do it quite well. (Okay okay, except for those initial iPhone competitive attempts, but they are indeed making up ground. Or the whole Google+ being the “next big thing” – but hey! at least they’re trying).
Anyways, back to what Google is good at…just about everything else. Please allow me to take you on a little time-travel as we flash back to the mid 1990s. Do you remember the days of logging onto the internet with dial-up and printing off those generic MapQuest guides back then?
Many many years ago, circa 1997, my family took a road trip from Wisconsin to Yellowstone. During the days before the trip, I clearly remember my Dad printing off a 10-page MapQuest route and me thinking it was the coolest thing ever – that is until we actually had to use it.
Having been assigned the role of co-pilot, I was in charge of helping my Dad navigate the 16-hour journey. Let me tell you, those maps were horrible! Exits were mislabeled and we ended up using a vintage “1995 United States Road Atlas” and asking kind-looking strangers for directions along the way.
Flash forward to nowadays and that glorious app called Google Maps, a nearly flawless specimen of internet perfection if you ask me. It gives you directions to just about anywhere and even provides bike and walk-friendly roadways, locations where to expect traffic delays, road construction, and detours. How cool is that? However, I digress…
Being a small business owner myself, I can’t help but be amazed at all the cool services that Google offers to the public – for free! However, there is one service that isn’t free but IS well worth the price, and that’s Google Apps for Business. If you’re unfamiliar with this amazing suite of cloud-based software, no worries; I’ll fill you in along the way.
Today, we here at PaySimple are kicking off a 4-part blog series on how small businesses can and should use Google Apps for Business to increase revenue, scale their businesses, and honestly, make life easier. These aren’t just some generic statements about Google Apps. These are worthwhile tips from the front lines, from a small business owner who uses Google Apps for nearly 100% of my business tasks. On a side-note, if you’re looking for a way to collect payments for your small business, you might want to check out our company, PaySimple.
Gmail – The Best Small Business Email Provider
I’d have to say that one of my biggest annoyances when doing business with people is when they’re using a “local” email domain (read Comcast.com, Charter.net, BellSouth.net) or an ancient email domain (Hotmail.com, Yahoo.com, Aol.com).
If you’re using a Hotmail email address for your business, you’re doing more harm than good! Hotmail is synonymous with teens chatting on MSN Messenger and AIM in the 90s, not the email provider of a successful business owner. If you want a good laugh, check out this hilarious cartoon about what your email address says about your business by The Oatmeal.
However, fear not, there’s still help for you: enter Gmail. If you haven’t heard about Gmail (I’m not sure that’s possible) it’s a totally free cloud-based email program that lets you check your email from anywhere you have an internet (or data) connection.
You have two options when it comes to using Google as your email provider. The first option is to sign up for a totally free Gmail account using a firstname.lastname@example.org format. When using as a business email, here are a couple tips:
If you decide to use your name, keep it professional. No one wants to do business with CrazyBob78@gmail.com, but Bob.R.Miller@gmail.com sounds like a standup guy.
If you decide to use your business name, keep it concise. Which looks better to you? BobsComputerRepairShopAndPartsStore@gmail.com or BobsComputerRepair@gmail.com
Own a website domain for your business? Even better!
Even if your website is still “in the works, ” and whether you purchased it from GoDaddy, Web.com, or another domain service, you can set up email on that domain – no expensive IT guy (or gal) required. The setup is really simple and will take effect in just a day or two; after which, you’ll have your very own email@example.com email address. Cool, huh? Follow these simple instructions to set up Google Apps for Business email on your website’s domain.
Not convinced that Gmail is the best small business email provider? If you need more convincing, here are 3 big benefits that I’ve found:
I never have to erase email archives…ever. I create folders and store away email invoices, receipts, signed PDF contracts, etc. This makes tax & audit time a breeze.
I have 100% up-time. When was the last time Google crashed? You might have missed it when you blinked.
Cloud-based accessibility. I can check my business email from any computer, anywhere in the world. Not to mention checking my email on my iPhone or tablet.
I know you’re going to ask, “How much does it cost?” The answer is $50 per email address, per year. That’s NOTHING when you think about the credibility you get when you have your own, personalized email address. For about $4.25 per month, you get a very professional Info@BobsComputerRepair.com email rather than BobsComputerRepair@gmail.com. In today’s age where consumers are extremely scam-weary, small things like that can really matter.
So get on it! Sign up for Google Apps today. Don’t worry, none of the links in this blog are affiliate links. Google doesn’t even have affiliate links. I’m just a 100% Google Apps evangelist. It’s made my business run smoother since Day 1.
Come back next week for Part 2 of the series. I’ll be focusing on how small business owners can leverage Google Drive for Business.
Google Apps V/s Yahoo business mail
Google offers 15 GB per user with Google Drive for file upload.
Yahoo offers unlimited with a fineprint, but not drive.
Google is $50 per user per year, Our Offer Rs.365 per user per year
Yahoo comes upto $11.94 per user per year
Google offers their Google Docs service
Not available in Yahoo!
Desktop email client integration
Google provides IMAP and POP access, but uploading calendars and contacts requires a Google Desktop Sync application that only runs on Windows.
Simple POP access available but not no calendars/contacts
Google Apps was built from the ground up for the browser, and it shows. This is fairly evident with the popularity of GMail, which is the corner stone of Google Apps
Yahoo web mail is quite good, however cannot be compared to GMail.
Google Apps offers the Sites service, which is like an extremely stripped down version of Sharepoint.
None available in Yahoo!
Google: Excellent implementation of collaborative calendars. Free SMS Alert
Yahoo!: Calendars present but not shared. No SMS
Google Apps offers this out of the box with the Google Talk application, (Google Hangout)
Not Available in Yahoo!
Present in Google.
Present in Yahoo!.
Mobile Phone Integration
Google Apps support is all over the map, with Blackberry being the best supported, then the iPhone and obeuously Nokia and Android too. Email/contact/calendar sync is also seamless.
Yahoo!: Can be configured but Email/contact/calendar sync is not good.
This is a new feature from Google, but one that is a key differentiator in my opinion.
Yahoo does not offer it.
Google provides 24/7 phone & email support. They also have very good online documentation.
Yahoo provides 24/7 phone & email support.
Active Directory Integration
There are ways to integrate Google Apps with active directory, but it requires some Python scripts.
Yahoo!: None available.
Out of all of these features, it is the seemingly simple things that appeal to most Google Apps users; things such as intuitive collaborative calendaring that integrates seamlessly with the other functions such as Gmail. For service-based companies or any other business that requires constant, reliable contact Google's offerings can be a breath of fresh air. Other features such as from-anywhere email access, company name-based email, and the extremely intuitive Gmail interface for all email also make Google Apps a popular option.
As you can see, Google Apps just beat out Yahoo business mail. The key was all those extras that Google throws in and that Yahoo does not. Interested to switch to Google Apps, Use the Quick Connect Form at the top right hand corner and we will get back to you soon.
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