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10 Reasons to Consider Google Apps for Business

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.

Basically, Apps for Business is a cluster of cloud-based tools you access via web-connected computer or mobile device. They include documents, presentations, spreadsheets, online storage and sharing, calendars, email and more. The free version for individuals and teams of up to 10 includes the basics, while the paid “business-ready” version offers more (including 24/7 customer support) for $50 per year, per user. Get full details at

Here are 10 reasons to consider Google Apps for your business:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Super search: Gmail’s search feature lets you find anything in your email, while labels and filters help keep your email organized. What’s more, text, voice and video chat features let you see who’s online and connect instantly. You can even see your contacts’ profile photos, recent updates and shared documents next to each email.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Core Needs are Covered: Google Docs (like Word), Spreadsheets (like Excel) and Slides (like PowerPoint) give you all the power you need to create documents with images, tables, drawings, links and more. Keep and share lists, track projects, analyze data and track results. Sheets includes tools such as advanced formulas, embedded charts, filters and pivot tables.  Slides lets you create presentations with embedded videos, animations and fancy transitions.

8. Easy to Import and Convert: With Google Docs, it’s easy to import your existing work and convert it from most common text, spreadsheet and presentation formats so you can edit and share. Optical character recognition (OCR) even lets you import editable text from PDFs and images.

9. Access Your Files From Anywhere: Google Drive – included in the Google Apps bundle – lets you access your files from anywhere. With Google Drive on your PC, Mac or mobile device (as well as your browser), you’ll have a single place for the latest versions of your files, accessible anytime, anywhere. You can upload and store any type of file you choose. Share files or entire folders with individuals, your team, as well as customers or partners. In the Docs, Sheets and Slides editors, multiple people can work on the same file at the same time.

10. 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.

Copyright © 2000-2012 BizBest® Media Corp.  All Rights Reserved.

10 Ways Small Business Uses Google Apps

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.

The first six tasks use the Google Docs template gallery; the other four use website templates from Google Sites.

  1. 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.
  2. Build a business budget: Easily build budgeting spreadsheet that you can edit from anywhere throughout the year – no matter where your spending takes you.
  3. 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.
  4. Survey your customers: Get feedback from customers and visitors about your product or service with a form. Easily analyze and graph the data.
  5. 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.
  6. Manage your projects:  Give others in your company insight into key milestones, completion dates, and other project details.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Take your team online: Build a team site with team rosters, schedule team meetings, and track progress of action items all in one place.
  10. 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

Copyright © 2000-2011 BizBest® Media Corp.  All Rights Reserved.