BizBest has often recommended Google apps (some free; some fee) as great productivity tools that any small business or startup can access quickly and easily, including business email through Gmail, shared online calendars (Google Calendar), documents, spreadsheets and presentations (Google Docs), easy-to-build websites (Google Sites), and many others.
These easy-to-use applications offer dozens of ways to leverage the web to work efficiently and get ahead of the competition. Here are 10 ways that small business owners are using Google Apps for key tasks every day using Google’s template galleries for such tasks as invoicing, conducting customer surveys, managing employees, building a budget, writing a business plan or creating a website.
- Design your business letterhead: Create a professional looking template for your outgoing letters and share it with others in the company. Print letters directly from your browser.
- Build a business budget: Easily build budgeting spreadsheet that you can edit from anywhere throughout the year – no matter where your spending takes you.
- Create professional looking invoices: Save time by creating invoices in a spreadsheet – totals are automatically calculated, and you can share them with co-workers to ensure accuracy and speedy payments.
- Survey your customers: Get feedback from customers and visitors about your product or service with a form. Easily analyze and graph the data.
- Write a business plan: Put your vision down in a doc. Share it with family, investors, banks, and others to get input and spread your ideas.
- Manage your projects: Give others in your company insight into key milestones, completion dates, and other project details.
- Build your own company intranet: Build an internal website (intranet) where employees can access company news, employee training information, company policies, holiday schedules, and more.
- Track all of your projects: Centralize project information in one place. Display a team profile and key dates, and embed project docs and spreadsheets directly in the site.
- Take your team online: Build a team site with team rosters, schedule team meetings, and track progress of action items all in one place.
- Create an in-house community: Build a community by creating employee profile pages where your employees can post their goals, internal resume, and internal blog.
Also check out some of Google’s new resources, including product videos and other templates at www.google.com/apps/smb.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.