Most people have heard of Gmail. Over 200 million users worldwide use it to manage their daily communications. While it’s a bad idea from a branding perspective to use a regular Gmail address for your small business, it’s a fantastic idea to use Gmail for business.
While regular Gmail addresses end in @gmail.com, Gmail for business allows you to use your own domain name while experiencing all the benefits of regular Gmail. You get the best of both worlds, and you get it for free.
The Benefits of Gmail for Business
This is perhaps the most immediate and practical benefit of using Gmail. Without fail, the first comment I get after switching a business to Gmail is something like, “Wow! My spam has completely stopped.” Google’s Postini filtering controls allow you to tweak your settings in the rare event that the defaults don’t give you the results you want.
Huge Storage Space
Each user currently gets about 8 gigabytes of storage space for messages. It’s hard to explain in a practical way just how much space this really is. Suffice it to say that after 5 years of daily use receiving huge files on a regular basis, I have not even reached half of my storage allowance.
IM, Voice and Video Chat
Gmail allows you to send instant messaging and video chat with other Gmail users. It also integrates the ability to place telephone calls to mobile and land line phones.
Over the Air Sync with Mobile Phones
Gmail allows you to keep your email in sync with your iPhone, Android or Blackberry automatically over the air.
Access from Multiple Platforms
Gmail allows you to access your messages from your favorite email program (like Outlook, Windows Mail or Mac Mail), from your mobile phone, or from a web browser on any computer connected to the Internet.
The Power of Google Search for Your Email
Gmail allows you to use the same powerful Google search engine that you use to find information on the web to search your email. Searching is precise and fast!
Google Apps Marketplace
If the out of the box Gmail system doesn’t give you all the functionality you’re looking for, chances are there’s an App in the Google Marketplace that will fill the gap, often at no cost. CRM apps like Insightly and Zoho CRM can boost your productivity to new levels.
10 User Limit
What’s the downside? Gmail for business is free, but only for 10 users. Any more than that, and you’ll need to sign up for one of Google’s paid programs which are available for $5 per user per month or $50 per user per year. Not bad.
The good news is that for most small businesses, 10 users is all they’ll need. What’s important to realize is that users don’t equal email addresses. You can set up addresses that forward to individual or multiple recipients.
Special Deals for Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations with less than 3,000 users are eligible to use Google Apps at no cost. However, an application process is necessary.
How to Set Up Gmail for your Business of Nonprofit
Click here to read my guide on setting up Gmail for your business or nonprofit. Please note that some of the steps involved are technical, and entering wrong information can break your email. For a savvy computer user, the steps should be no problem. But if you’d like some assistance setting up Gmail for Business for your small business or nonprofit organization, I’m available to help at a reasonable hourly consulting rate.