Google Apps is a collection of Google products. Together they offer functionality similar to traditional office suites all tied together under your own domain name.
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Google Sites… and more
And it’s free for up to 10 users!
Here are the top 4 reasons Google Apps will help your business –
1. Get email addresses with your own domain name
What impression does using a @yahoo.com or @btinternet.com give to your potential clients when they’re looking for a new supplier?
- You’re doing this part-time as a hobby
- You’re new to business
- You might not be still in business in a years time
- You’re a one person business or
- You’re a ‘fly by night’ operation.
Some or all of the above may be true (though hopefully not the last), however none of these impressions are likely to make potential new clients buy from you.
Google Apps makes it really easy to get email addresses with @yourdomain.co.uk.
They also allow you to have up to 10 email accounts all for free. In addition, if you’ve already started using a @yahoo or @btinternet email address for your business, you can route emails that people send to these email addresses to your new Google Apps email account.
2. Work from anywhere with emails and documents always available
When I started my micro business over 3 years ago I quickly found that no day was ever the same.
Maybe I’d start the day at a networking breakfast and then go on to a customer or see a prospective client. I’d often stop at a coffee shop or pub for a bite to eat before going on to work at another client’s office, or go to another networking event.
Other days I might work from home and in the wintertime even WFB (Work From Bed)!
I could do this efficiently and respond to emails and enquiries, write proposals and project planning documents because Google Apps gave me access to my emails and documents wherever I was and on any device.
There used to be the proviso that I needed access to the internet however, Google has now extended offline functionality so I can read and write emails and create documents even in the depths of the Brecon Beacons or, sadly more likely, whilst on the train to London. Then when I do connect to the internet all my offline work will be synced and emails sent and received.
3. Stay connected and share docs and calendars with colleagues and clients
These days, whatever your business, one of the recurring themes will be collaboration.
That might be with colleagues, clients, virtual PA’s or other companies you work with on specific projects. To collaborate successfully you need to be able to share information with your co-collaborators. Because Gmail, Google Calendars and Google Docs are hosted ‘in the cloud’ everyone knows that the information is up to date and accurate.
Here are two little scenarios for you:
Before Google Apps
Day One – You prepare a tender document and send out as an attachment to 3 colleagues for their input.
Day Two – 2 of your colleagues have sent you their amends and you spend the day putting these together for version 2 which you send out last thing.
Day Three – First thing you open your email to find an email from colleague number 3 who’s only just got round to replying to your original email. There’s also a reply from one of the other colleagues who’s already responded to colleague 3’s email with some other suggestions for the tender.
Day Four – Now there’s four of you, each with several different versions of the document with numerous emails back and forth to refer too. Now you have to spend more time pulling your hair out putting this all together into version 4 or 5 or even 6!
With Google Apps
Day One – You prepare a tender document and share via Google Docs to 3 colleagues for their input.
Day’s Two and Three – you all work together on the one document making revisions and amends in your own time. With each collaborator able to see the whole revision history, who’s changed what and when and read each others notes and suggestions.
Day Four – Tender document sent out on time and correct.
4. Connect Google Apps to other Cloud Apps to streamline your business
Google Apps allows you to connect to many third party apps so that you can seamlessly share information and switch between them to create more efficient working processes.
Connect Google Apps to –
- Accounts packages
- Customer Relationship Management Systems
- Project Management tools
- Expenses Trackers
- Email marketing solutions
- HR management apps
And many more.
Today’s Micro Action
Visit the Google Apps Marketplace and explore the many different third party applications and solutions available to Google Apps users and think about how and which ones you can use to make your business more efficient and successful.