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Why Google Apps for Work is Perfect for Small Businesses Is there anything Google Apps cannot do?

By Shaun Haase

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Small businesses need all the help they can get when it comes to the early stages of their development. Because of this, Google has developed an ample suite of cloud-based apps that are ideal for helping small businesses improve their work efficiency in every aspect. The best part of using Google Apps is that it's already extremely popular with consumers, meaning that more likely than not, most people in your business are already familiar with programs such as Gmail, Google Drive or Calendar. This familiarity leads to confidence, which then makes transitioning over to the full suite of Google Apps easy and intuitive. Here, we'll take a look at five ways that small businesses can utilize Google Apps to build a stronger foundation and get ahead in business:

Efficiency Through Collaboration

Unlike many enterprise software solutions out there, Google Apps promote efficiency through true and fluid collaboration. Project management has now become much more user friendly and simple ever since it began taking place in the cloud. Every document and piece of information can now be manipulated, saved, edited and shared with others with nothing but Google's app functions. Working on the Google cloud has become such a popular and practical system that by 2020, it is estimated that 78% of all businesses will have adopted cloud computing. Another great perk? Fast-paced accessibility. It is always frustrating to have to send, edit, resend and re-edit documents between team members, especially when emailing and downloading is involved. With Google Documents, this is no longer a problem. Using Google Docs, all team members can edit, make comments and even chat while working together in real-time on the same document; all changes are automatically saved on the cloud so no info is ever lost. You can also share documents and data easily with clients so that they can provide accurate feedback and changes can be made immediately.

Better Data, Smarter Decisions

Besides productivity apps such as Google Documents, Sheets, and Presentations, Google Apps also has many other tools that can enrich your business data. Google Forms is an app that allows companies to quickly and easily create customized forms such as surveys – a tool that is helpful when trying to get direct feedback from your valuable customer list on what products they want. With customer relationship management being a top priority for any business, it's also easy to manage and track customer and sales data right in Gmail with a native CRM solution such as ProsperWorks. Automated customer relationship management is after all, the future of business and with this user-friendly app, it could not get much easier.

Easy Access & Safe-Keeping

Having easy access to all of your company's documents is critical for small businesses. All of Google Apps live in the cloud and with cloud-stored files, it's easy and painless to search for anything you need. This means no more searching for files on a company file folder or network and wasting time trying to find the right document. In the cloud, all your documents are indexed and can be found with a simple search. Don't forget that Google is the leader in search, so there's no better way to search for your files. Another key benefit of using Google Apps is that no matter what part of the world you are in, as long as you have an internet connection you can access anything saved in your cloud storage from any of your devices – and the rest of your team can do the same. The Google cloud serves as a planner, organizational work platform, and digital safe, since your files cannot be stolen, lost or accidentally deleted due to a malfunction with your computer or tragic weather conditions.

Rich Ecosystem of Third-Party Tools

Google Apps also works with many different third-party tools – such as RingCentral, Smartsheet or AODocs – offering small businesses thousands of different add-on's to choose from depending on their needs, and at very reasonable prices. Due to Google's constant fight for improvement, the company encourages every one of their partners – big or small – to growth its community in order to better serve the needs of businesses on Google Apps.

Enterprise Features on an SMB Budget

Google Apps for Work starts at $5 per user per month. Believe it or not, the lowest tier includes email, voice and video calls, integrated calendars, 30GB of storage, access to all core apps, and even 24/7 phone and email support. This a great deal for small businesses who are looking for enterprise software at business-friendly prices. The savings only increase when you factor in the implementation and training costs of most enterprise solutions, which Google Apps doesn't require thanks to it's existing familiarity among consumers and it's unrivaled usability.

Shaun Haase

Contributory Author

Shaun brings more than 12 years of business leadership and entrepreneurial experience to his role as CMO of ProsperWorks. He graduated from Standford, obtained various leadership positions and founded two highly successful companies: Bazaar Advertising Solutions (acquired by Epic Media Group), a performance marketing services platform and DNA Games (acquired by Zynga), a social game development company leveraging big data to structure optimized game experiences. Most recently, Shaun ran online revenue at DocuSign, the #1 SaaS eSignature platform in the world.
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