There is a vast array of tech, software systems, and applications available to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Business owners appreciate the value of providing their company with an online presence, but many may be unaware of exactly what is out there and just how cost (and time) effective it might be.
For wholesale businesses, the Google Apps system provides a whole range of solutions for many of the online management problems they may be struggling to resolve, ranging from file sharing to connecting with salespeople across countries.
Put simply, Google Apps is a suite of online applications (apps) providing a range of tools that are designed to help with the organisation and smooth running of your business. Because everything that you create with them (from emails and documents to calendars and web pages) is stored on Google’s own servers, you don’t have to worry about security and you won’t need to worry about manually backing up your data as everything will be saved in the cloud.
The other big benefit of Google Apps is that everything you host there can be synced with other devices and shared as you deem fit.
Any business that deals with either clients or other businesses needs a reliable email system that works well and conveys professionalism. Issues that many business users experience with popular generic accounts include the lack of credibility in the address and the need to create multiple accounts.
With Google Apps, users are able to use emails that include their domain name such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org etc. Multiple emails for the same domain are no problem either, so each department or colleague is able to have their own email address. Because everything is hosted on Google’s servers (the cloud) and is subject to stringent security requirements, you won’t have to worry about hosting, spam, or security issues.
#2: Sharing documents and files
Whether you are on the move or in the office, sharing documents and files with other devices and users in your group can present some challenges. Even if you hold regular meetings with your colleagues, that won’t be any help if you need to access those files when they are away from the office.
Because Google Drive utilizes cloud computing, everyone that has permission (and levels of access can vary from full editing capabilities to just viewing) is able to access files and documents from anywhere on a device that is connected to the internet. All users now have the ability to work on the same document at the same time, with no concerns about overwriting someone else’s work, as Google Drive will show you who is working on each project in real time.
#3: Keeping everyone in the loop
Business owners know that one of the key factors to growth and profitability is collaboration. When you need to share your latest idea or bring colleagues in on a conference or video chat, you may currently find yourself booking office time for everyone involved. While you may struggle to describe an idea or product with only a phone call, email, or text, a real-time video hook-up makes sharing ideas easy.
Using “Hangouts” through Google Apps will provide your team with live conference calling that has the ability to seamlessly integrate with Google Docs. With features that include screen sharing for all your users and telecommuting collaboration, many businesses are now beginning to realise the benefits of enabling their team members to work in a home office environment.
Step 1: Go to https://gsuite.google.com/ and sign up for the 30 days free trial, after which time you will have the option to either sign up to a paid Google Apps Business Account or continue with a free basic for up to 10 users. The paid business account does include full tech support the option to disable those irritating ads.
Step 2: Fill in all the required details and enter your existing domain name and email address or chose to create new ones through the system. Create a Google Apps account using your name and a chosen password, fill in the “I’m not a robot” box, tick to accept the terms and conditions, and you are good to go.
Step 3: Once your account is set up, you will need to verify your existing domain, (unless you chose a new one at step 2) select the apps that you want to use and add authorised users to your account. If you are going to use your existing email addresses, you will also need to set those up. There are a comprehensive help section and access to the G suite learning centre to assist users in familiarizing themselves with the system.
Like any other online system, the Google Apps interface is likely to present something of a learning curve to those using it for the first time. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to do and luckily for new users, the system is pretty robust, so there is plenty of room to indulge in some practice before you launch yourself into some of the system’s more challenging apps.