If you own a small business, you know how important it is to stay organized. Small business owners wear many hats. Balancing life-life and work-life can be overwhelming. In many cases, work-life becomes life-life. Well Google is here to help. Google offers a wide selection of FREE tools that can help you run your work-life more efficiently so that you can have more time to enjoy your life-life. In fact, Google has so much to offer, we’ve had to divide this into a two part series. Let’s start with the basics…
Google Chrome is a browser that’s built for speed, simplicity and security. Using a Chrome browser is very important because it enables all your information to link into a cohesive and intelligent tool to help you run your business. You can set the browser to open to specific pages each time you open it, “click” and “Boom!” you’re already where you need to be. You can find this feature in the Chrome browser advanced settings.
Google Calendar is a MUST for scheduling and events. This calendar merges your documents, contacts, reminders and appointments with Google maps to make sure you make to your appointment on time. Access your calendar when you’re away from your desk with two-way syncing to your phone or tablet. Stay on schedule with reminders, and get notified by email or receive text messages directly to your mobile phone. Google calendar and Google maps using real-time GPS satellites to send you a notification to tell you that “it’s time to leave” for your appointment based on the current traffic conditions and your current location. Never be late again!
Google Maps for Android shows you where you are and gets you to where you want to go. Get free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. Check-in at a place to share your location with friends, and see if any of them are nearby. Guess what…this is a tool many of your customers and clients use to find you! Do a reverse examination of your Google presence to see how accessible you are to your customers.
Gmail is a Google’s email application, which includes 15GB of free storage. You need a Gmail account to access the Google suite of apps listed here. If you don’t have a Gmail account, it is safe to say you are not up to date with the latest FREE business tools available to your through Google.
This is a no-brainer. Save all your contacts in Google via your computer or your cell phone. This is vital to you ability to communicate with your customers in a timely and reliable manner. This also helps you keep your customers and clients on the ball with their appointments. When you “invite” one of your contacts to an appointment or meeting, they will receive all the information they need for the event in one handy email. They will also have the opportunity to accept or decline the invitation.
Google Business Hangouts
Face-to-face meetings with employees and colleagues can be an inefficient use of your valuable time if not formatted and conducted correctly. Think about the amount of time spent before, during and after a meeting that is NOT used to accomplish your goal. Travel expenses and idle chit chat can really suck the productivity right out of a work day. Google Business Hangouts is FREE and it allows you to hold meetings and make presentations all without leaving the comfort of your office.
Google My Business/ Places for Business
Ensure your business is found on Google Search, Maps, and mobile. Make sure your customers find the right information about your business. Google Places for Business generates the listing that pops up for a business when consumers search for related terms through Google Maps. By default, Google includes what it knows about a local business, including customer reviews from across the Web. But you can beef up your listing — and attract more customers — by submitting your own information to Google Places. Creating a Places page on Google Maps is free. In addition to basic business information, you can post updates about coming events, describe specials and more — anything that might attract potential customers who may be searching for certain kinds of nearby businesses.
Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone for free, regardless of which phone or carrier you have. Use a single number that rings you anywhere, get transcribed voicemail messages delivered to your inbox, and make free calls and text messages in the U.S. and Canada. Use your personal cell phone for all your business interactions without giving away your personal phone number! That’s right. Google Voice lets you be completely mobile and, of course, it link with all of your Google information including your contacts and Google Hangouts. The best part? You can TEXT using Google Voice as well!