If you run a business and still think of Google only for search and AdWords, you may be missing something that could help your business work smarter and cheaper. The search giant is really a softy when it comes to small business, and has been working to woo biz owners and startups into its Google Apps for Business bundle.
It’s a bundle bursting with productivity tools small businesses need, starting at, well, free. And these aren’t stripped down versions, either. With little fanfare Google Apps for Business has already signed up some 5 million firms – most of them small.
Here are reasons to consider Google Apps for your business:
• Custom Gmail for business: A business-class version of Gmail lets you create a custom email address using your own business domain name and have email you can access anywhere, anytime on any device you choose.
• Storage galore. With the paid Gmail version, you get an astounding 25 GB of storage capacity for each inbox. That’s essentially a bottomless email inbox, so you’ll never have to delete emails. Even the free version has 10 GB.
• Google Calendar is a great tool for organizing your day, week or month. You can get reminders on your phone or in your inbox. Attach files or docs to your event so you have the right materials when your meeting starts.
• Keep everyone together. Use calendar sharing to find time with others in your business, and let the smart scheduling feature suggest meeting times that work for everyone.
• Schedule clients too. You can even create a calendar and embed it on your website or set up appointment slots so customers can choose the best time for them. Calendar lets you automatically send invitations and track RSVPs via email.
• Shared online workspaces. Google Sites is the app that helps you build a project website without writing a single line of code. It’s like writing a simple document. Or choose from hundreds of prebuilt templates. Use your team site to organize everything from calendars to documents to presentations, to videos. Google-powered search makes it simple to find what you’re looking for later. Share your site with co-workers or customers with a single click. •
Daniel Kehrer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org