Google vs Microsoft
Working for large corporations throughout my career, they all used the Microsoft platform. Of course, I used that platform to my advantage when I worked for the companies, however, that that I am the decision-maker for my business, I had the opportunity to consider other options. Yes, Microsoft was the trailblazer in office productivity applications. However, Google has been more of the pioneer for building an environment to collaborate with others long before Microsoft began to add that functionality within it.
In my humble opinion, Microsoft is an option, but it is more expensive for a small business owner and doesn’t offer the same flexibility that Google Workspace provides. Google Workspace is cost-effective and increases productivity for any work you need to accomplish.
One of the main reasons I decided to get a Google Workspace account is it allows me to create a unique email address based on my business domain.
Giving me that professional look and feel to the communications you have in your business.
Google is also quite open to the idea that most people are extremely well-versed in Microsoft applications, so much so that they have created Guides from switching from Microsoft.
One of the biggest reasons Google has been so successful with its platform is because it's ALL cloud-based. Meaning I don't have to install any software to access their platform. The tools, or applications, that are included with the Google platform are all accessible via a web browser.
Not having to install software saves me from having to invest in high-end machines to work.
Productivity Apps Included
Although I really enjoyed using Outlook for my Email, Calendar, and Contacts in my corporate job, Google has made some significant changes to their platform that allow me to get the same look and feel I had with the Microsoft solution.
Google was the pioneer with their collaboration options within their document applications. Allowing me to work easily with my clients or partners in my business. Microsoft does provide that same capability with their productivity apps, but I still felt Google was provided me with what I needed for my business.
Chrome Browser Extensions
Chrome Browser has been my browser of choice for many years. Using browser extensions, which were created to enhance those basic applications, gives you the ability to work smarter. Google's platform has been a front runner when it comes to allowing integrations through these extensions that enhance their own productivity applications.
Now I am able to log into a Chrome Browser and have my entire virtual office with me no matter what device I use.
Yep, you are viewing this information on a Google Site... No hosting required! With the changes that Google has made with this application, I have been able to take full advantage of creating a simple website that provides information about me and my business. A place where clients or prospects can learn more about me and my services.
One of the apps that comes with Google’s platform is Google Sites. It’s a drag-and-drop app where you can build a simple website that your domain URL can be forwarded to.
Google Sites are also a great tool for Intranets (internal sites, hidden to only team members) that provide a simple way to host project information or training.
Storage for my Files
Just starting out in my business, I didn't need a lot of storage for my files. Working with my clients began the build for more and more files that would be consumed by multiple people. Once Google came out with the "Shared Drive" option, it gave me the ability to secure ALL files, not only for my own business but for my clients that I worked with.
Video and Voice Conferencing
Google Meet provides me everything that I need either to host a 1:1 or group meeting. Allowing me to keep my activity within the same platform and not having to seek out an additional solution that could cost money.
Zoom and Microsoft teams can be also be used as your primary virtual meeting option, but why invest more money into something that come already standard on this platform?
Phone, Chat, and Email Support
You won't be left to figure out everything on your own. Although I am familiar with technology, I don't know everything. I reached out when I signed up and received the assistance I needed.
Google's support documentation is superior to any knowledge-based documentation I have used in my 20+ year career working in the software industry. That says a lot about what you get when you need just a little help figuring out something.
Don't take my word for it, check out their Google Workspace Learning Center for yourself!
Requirements for Google Workspace
1-Get a Domain for your Business
The first is, you must have a Domain for your business. That’s the URL address that would typically be used for a website. You don’t need to get a full-blown website for your business, you only need a Domain URL. You can get that with Google Domains.
Don’t have a business name? You can use your own name… like I did. Meaning you get a URL that is your first and last name .com. [Example: michelleguerra.com]
2-Get Google Workspace
Next, you will need to get is a Google Workspace account. So what is a Google Workspace account? Google Workspace is Google’s business platform. Yes, it has all the great features and functions that you use with your personal Gmail account but allows you to get that professional email account and much more.
You can start a 14-Day trial of the platform!
Google Workspace is Affordable!
How much does this really cost me? Plans start at just $6 per month, per user. If you are a non-profit organization, they offer the basic plan for Free.
So let’s break that down a bit… essentially… for a Solopreneurs, just starting out, you would pay...
$6 per month, per user X 12 months = $72 annually
Google offers a 14-Day free trial… so you can try before you buy.
See, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to get a professional email for your business. Plus you get lots more from the use of the platform.
If this cost is really a factor for you, I would challenge you to consider this an investment for your business. You can certainly try it out for 14-days to see if this is really a fitting option for you and your business.