Google has a variety of tools that are useful for small business owners, and recently launched a new website that brings all of its resources and services together into one place – Google for Entrepreneurs.
Google for Entrepreneurs is an umbrella effort with three main focus areas. First, there’s a page linking business owners to Google apps, ad services, and other relevant tech. The second area of focus is a page dedicated to programs that encourage and support entrepreneurship worldwide. And finally, there’s a page with a comprehensive list of startup events sponsored by Google.
Google has a number of tools that are popular for both personal and business use, and Google for Entrepreneurs takes the time to highlight which of their tools are useful to small businesses, and why. Google for Entrepreneurs highlights tools we’ve talked about on BusinessKnowHow before, like Google AdWords and Google+, but some of the other tools listed include:
Google Sites: Google Sites is a simple way to build a company intranet, project or team site without having to write code. Google Sites provides a wide variety of pre-built templates, or allows you to create your own customizable templates. Google Sites also allows you to customize permissions, so you can show a client only the relevant part of a project site, and tailor employee access to your company’s intranet.
Gmail: Okay, you are probably already familiar with Gmail. But did you know that you can get a “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address to use with Gmail for free? Plus, Gmail works with desktop email clients like Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. There’s an email delegation feature if you regularly have another person read and respond to your email. There’s also a neat translation feature you can use if you conduct business internationally.
Google Vault: Google Vault is a tool useful for businesses handling sensitive data – it adds capabilities for information governance, archiving and e-discovery to your other Google Apps. You can also run audits and export data as needed. This is a paid service that charges $5 per user per month.
Google Drive: Google Drive is the successor to the Google Docs app. Google Drive has a cloud storage interface similar to Dropbox, so you can access it from any computer or mobile device. And you can create files – word documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations -- right in Google Drive instead of creating them in another program and saving them to the drive. Google Drive comes with 5 GB of cloud storage per user, but can be upgraded to 20 GB of storage for $4 per user per month, and can be upgraded all the way to 16 TB (16,000 GB) of storage.
Google Calendar: In addition to keeping your own tasks organized, Google Calendar can help you keep track of your team and schedule meetings with calendar sharing. Google Calendar also allows you to publish calendars to the web and embed them in your website, so customers can sign up for appointment time slots online instead of over the phone.
Google Developers: If you are a tech startup, Google has a wide variety of useful tools for developers creating web apps, mobile apps, games, and more, such as Google App Engine and Google Commerce APIs for e-commerce.
No matter what kind of business you have, Google probably has a cheap or free tool you can use, and Google for Entrepreneurs is a good way to see what’s out there and explore your options.
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