Web Marketing for Small Business

Web Marketing for Small Business

What is Google Apps?

If you've got a Smartphone (iPhone or Android etc), then I'm sure you've heard the word "apps". Afterall, what makes these phones so useful is the ability to download apps to do things that you want or need to do.

Let's start with "what exactly is an app?"

An app is short for Application. In other words, it's a program that can run on your Smartphone (or computer). So when you decide you need something, you visit an app store (or Android Store - in case Apple tries to sue for copyright) and search for an app that can do what you need. You then download it to your Smartphone (or Computer) and start using it. The best bit is that as this app is improved by the Developers, these improvements will be downloaded to your Smartphone or Computer to ensure you always have the latest version.

Oh! and did I mention that in many cases these apps can be free or available for a small download fee or monthly subscription. You no longer have to pay a high upfront price to get some software to help you in your business.

So now we know what an app is, "what is Google Apps?"

Google Apps is a collection of Google Applications that are grouped together into one account. These applications are:

  • Gmail 
  • Google Calendar 
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sites
  • Google Videos
  • Google Groups

So what does that mean to you as a Business owner?

Well it means that you can manage a large portion of your business online. The key things you can do that I believe will help many Small Businesses operate day to day is:

  • easily set up email accounts (using your domain name) for your key staff. You and your staff can then easily sync these emails across multiple computers as well as your Smartphone. 
  • have a calendar to manage your appointments etc and easily share these with your key staff so they can see when you are available (and make appointments for you). Similarly, they can share with you.
  • have access to your contacts wherever there is internet. Also easily share these with your key staff.
  • create and edit or upload and edit documents (think word, excel, publisher etc) to your account and allow others to view and edit. You can then view any edits and accept or reject. A great way to collaborate on a document without the continual backwards and forwards of emails and versions.
  • take quick videos on your Smartphone and then upload to your video site so your staff can then view them. This could be to show how you want a particular job completed or a training video.
  • create a business intranet where your staff can communicate with each other.

This is just a few of the things you can do. But honestly, the potential is nearly endless. At the very least, you can get all the functionality you would get if you bought a Server and created a proper secured network at your business. Except where you would need to pay thousands of dollars to get a Server with the required programs etc, with Google Apps you can get it all for FREE. That's right, you can get this for FREE. But if you want to really take advantage of it (and not get the advertising), then you need only pay US$50 per year per user.

But wait, it gets better!

Remember at the start we talked about what an app is? Well that's where the real functionality of Google Apps comes into it's own. Not only do you get the Google Applications, but there is a whole world of Developers out there who are continually developing new applications that work alongside (and integrated with) the Google Applications. 

As an example, at Probity Web marketing we use an app for Project Management. This great app allows us to create and assign a task to one of our staff members from inside our Gmail account. That means that if you email us with a request for your website, we can immediately create a task for this and assign it to the best person for the job whilst we are still reading your email. Then we can keep track of this in the main program.

But this is just one example. There are apps for bookkeeping, invoicing, timekeeping, CRM's, eMarketing, Surveys and the list goes on. Why not browse through the marketplace and see for your self.

So what are you waiting for?

You can find out more and sign up for your FREE account here. Or if you would like to talk to someone about it, I'm more than happy to discuss the benefits with you. Just give me a call on. I really do believe that this is perfect for small business that is growing beyond a couple of key staff.

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