Google - The Small Business Savior

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Google - The Small Business Savior

If there's one best friend of your small business or start-up, let me tell you it's none other than the one and only Google... Yes, you heard it right, its Google. If you're starting a new business and you want to keep your software costs down, while keeping a basic level of functionality, there's no better option than Google.

Using Google's multipurpose suite of office applications which includes a strong email program, an online office software suite, internal and external web development apps, website statistics tracking, interactive calendar, advertising and ad revenue sharing programs, and a neat RSS reader, you can get your business up and running in no time and at almost no cost. Here is a quick list of what Google offers:

Google Mail / Gmail

Gmail by far is the best email ever. Gmail uses labels and archiving to organize emails. Unique to Gmail is its method of keeping email messages as "conversations"; no more going back and forth to track the email exchanges. Your account space increases every day in relation to the space already used; so you will never hit your usage limit. The biggest advantage to Google Mail is that you never have to lose e-mails and contacts when you switch to a new computer; and because it is web-based, you can check your messages from anywhere in the world. www.gmail.com

Google Documents

While it may not have all the advanced functionality of the leading office software suites, Google Documents allows users to create and save documents online. Write your business documents using Google's word processor. Use the database, mathematical, and sorting functionality in Google's spreadsheet application. Create a presentation on projected sales of your product product. The collaborative feature of Google Documents allows multiple users to work on the same project at the same time, anywhere in the world. www.docs.google.com

Google Sites

Google Sites is Web design tool that allows you to create a group-specific website. Group websites are handy for keeping up with projects, family, and events within a specific group of people; however, you cannot map a custom domain to the application, and thus Google Sites may not be a good alternative to your business website. www.sites.google.com

Google Maps Business Listing

Help customers find you on Google Maps. Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find you Use the Local Business Center to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they'll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even coupons to print out and bring to your shop. It's easy, free, and you don't need a website of your own. www.google.com/local/add

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors on a website. It tracks visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents. Use Google Analytics to assess the traffic to your site and optimize your Web presence in order to attract more customers. See unique visits, page views, customer segmentation, time spent on pages, bounce rate, geographic location, referring sites, and more. When you sign up for Google Analytics, it will generate a code that you must copy and paste into your website and you'll be all set to track your website's performance.   www.google.com/analytics

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a free online shareable calendar service. With Google Calendar, it's easy to keep track of all your life's important events - birthdays, reunions, little league games, doctor's appointments - all in one place. Using Google Calendar, you can add events and invitations effortlessly, share with friends and family (or keep things to yourself), and search across the web for events you might enjoy. It's organizing made easy. Set up reminders with popups and/or e-mails. Embed your calendar in your blog or website. Encourage colleagues to subscribe to your calendar feed RSS.  www.google.com/calendar

Google AdWords
AdWords is Google's flagship advertising product. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. It allows you to easily create an online ad campaign within your budget. You decide how much you are willing to spend per month on your campaign, and you will pay only up to that amount. Create a simple yet attractive ad, choose keywords, and you're all set. You are charged only when someone clicks your ad. www.adwords.google.com

Google Adsense
AdSense is another advertisement application run by Google. As a website owner, you can enroll in this program to enable text, image, and more recently, video advertisements on your websites. These advertisements are administered by Google and generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. You place Google ads on your site and get a share of the revenue every time a user clicks an ad. www.google.com/adsense

Google Pack

My personal favorite, Google Pack is a free software package that allows users to discover, install, and maintain a number of application programs. No trial versions or spyware. Users can choose which software applications to install. If the application is already installed, Google Updater checks to see if the user has the latest version and upgrades it, if necessary Ready to use in just a few clicks. www.pack.google.com

And, the good News is that's not all...There's so much more Google offers to make your life easier. Blogger, Google reader, Google Checkout, Web Optimizer, Google Talk, Groups, Picasa, Search, Alerts, igoogle, Goog-411, Google notebook and so much more... I'll talk about these in more details, in a separate post. In the meanwhile, take a look at this link to get info all what Google has to offer for your small business... http://www.google.com/options/

Devesh Dwivedi is a successful Management Consultant, Entrepreneur, with a diverse professional background, consulted and worked for a wide range of businesses from start-ups to Fortune 50. One of the all time Top Experts in Small Business & Startup category on Linkedin and an open networker available to help entrepreneurs and businesses. For more information please visit www.idea2inception.com

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