When you think about the tools that can improve your small business, there are certainly plenty of them. Equipment, software, mobile devices — the possibilities are endless. There’s a lot going on that may help pick your business up especially as far as the apps market goes, and a terrific place to start your hunt for the apps that could improve your small business is to look on Google Apps.
Sure, it doesn’t have the straightforward charm of a cloud-based telephony system, or a hunt group, or any of the nuts and bolts sort of item that can put extra punch in your small business. But from stepping right in to Google Apps for Business, you can tell right away that you’re in for a big help on your small business. How can you tell? Simple–it’s scalable. There are three levels of apps right on the main page: small business, medium business, and enterprise. Naturally, right now we’re dealing with small business only, but considering that most every small business’ goal is to one day become a big business, it’s well worth knowing that there are apps in there that are ready and waiting for you to turn into a big business.
But that’s a future development, and while it’s worth considering, we have to know what’s going on for the small business here. And the answer to that particular question is actually quite a bit. You’ll have access to the standard Google array–Business Gmail for keeping your contacts in touch, Google Calendar for scheduling, Google Docs for sharing documents, and even Google Sites. That right there is a pretty potent array of apps for business, but as it turns out, that’s only scratching the surface.
Google Apps, you see, also contains a third party app marketplace that allows you to pick up a variety of apps dealing with topics like project management, workflow control, sales functions, and others besides. And while this is great, the problem with it is that you’ll have to be a paid member of Google Apps in order to get in on all the downloading. Sure, there’s a 30 day free trial for you to take a look around and see if there’s anything you want to work with, but after that, you’ll need to pay your cover charge to get into the Google App Marketplace. Though it’s not exactly egregious at either $5 a month or $50 a year, it’s still going to be something of a sticker shock to those who are used to getting free apps from the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.
Still though, for small business users who want to get an edge on their competition, it may well be worth a $5 flier to see if you can get some value out of it. There are plenty of possibilities, so it’s worth looking into.