This post was written by John Cole, a digital nomad and freelance writer.
Many email providers will claim to be the perfect fit for your small business needs.
Despite its image as a consumer app, though, Google’s Gmail service may be the most versatile and powerful you could choose.
Gmail provides a no-nonsense nuts and bolts service to everyday users and individual professionals.
But for those who need a bit more from their inbox, there are also a few bells and whistles of which it can boast.
While the basic service is free and will power most of the email needs of your small business, there is always the option to upgrade to G Suite should your company expand and desire a little more whack in the communications department. To do so can cost as little as $5 per month.
But let’s start with what the free package can do for your business.
For a start, there is security. Gmail is a rarity in the webmail trade for its always-on HTTPS connection.
For the non-techy, this means nobody’s going to peek at your email while you’re using WiFi (unless they look over your shoulder)!
Additionally, your messages are saved on Gmail’s own server in an encrypted form. Meaning, you should be safe in case of the kind of security breach that has plagued other webmail services.
You don’t want to wake up to find your company’s bank details and private correspondence are in the hands of malicious powers!
Another reassurance that Google’s technical strength can offer is the reliability of its service. While other services flounder, you will rarely hear the words ‘Gmail down’.
Gmail is online and working 99.978% of the time.
Customers endure less than two hours of disruption over an entire year.
So how about your day to day email needs?
Naturally, with the power of Google behind you, you need never flounder while looking for an important email again.
Google’s search power enables you to track those errant messages in moments. You can filter messages as they come by setting up some categories with certain rules, which Gmail will use to divert your incoming mail to the appropriate place.
This can boost productivity by avoiding distractions and all that time you may otherwise spend flipping between different areas of your inbox.
That said, you may not find yourself searching too often, since Gmail’s famous threaded email format allows you to just scroll through a conversation you’ve been having with somebody on a given subject. You can archive your messages with a single click when you’re done, so they’re neatly out of the way but kept forever on standby… just in case.
When your company does need to expand, G Suite can offer you improvements that you didn’t even realize you needed.
One cosmetic improvement you can make is to replace Google’s logo in your colleagues’ inboxes with that of your own company, which adds a nice touch of professionalism and keeps folks on-brand.
You can extend this professional-scale branding to the world outside, by switching out the ‘gmail’ part of your email address with your own domain name, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. And should you have any problem doing so, or indeed with any of G Suite’s more powerful functions, Google’s support team are on hand around the clock via email and telephone to bring you up to speed.
Used in conjunction with Google’s other communication tools such as shared calendars and documents, Gmail can facilitate a smarter way for your whole business to operate.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already experienced doubts over the usefulness of your current email service – so go on, give Gmail a try.
Here’s an infographic by The Cloud Migrator showing what Gmail can provide:
Are you using Gmail for your business? If so, which of its features haven’t you tried yet?