Because small and medium sized businesses power America, I thought it apt to share how Google can help grow and power your business. From now on I will refer to small and medium sized businesses as SMBs to cut down on unnecessary typing. There are a myriad of services that Google offers which can be used by SMBs, but today I will only focus on two of those: Blogger.com and Gmail.
Let's start with the fact that you're reading this post on blogger.com. Blogger.com is one of Google's many free services available to the aspiring internet entrepreneur. On blogger, you can create a blog, post to it regularly, share pictures and ideas, allow people to comment on your posts and even write about your business. A blog is an excellent place to post news about your business and talk about your business in general. This can also be a great place for attracting potential new customers who happen to run across your business blog while searching the internet. If your business blog talks about environmental issues then people searching for environmental issues may happen across your blog and see that you are in the business of providing environmental news, tips or services. This can be a great boost to your customer base and also give you a free advertising platform moving forward.
Most modern businesses rely on email for day to day communication. Email can be a great internal communication tool as well as a great advertising tool if your customer base signs up for a mailing list from your company. This allows you to email special news, deals and promotions to your customers. Google offers a free email service called Gmail. You can sign up for a Gmail account at http://www.gmail.com Gmail is by far one of the best and most flexible email services out there. It is primarily web-based meaning that you sign in on the internet and send and receive mail from there. It is also very easy to setup an email client like Microsoft Outlook, Eudora or Mozilla Thunderbird to send and receive mail. The one caveat to using Gmail is that by default you will have an '@gmail.com' email address i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to change that, you can purchase a domain name from GoDaddy (http://www.godaddy.com) and tie that domain to your Gmail account pretty easily. Google provides easy tutorials for that, and I'm sure the nice people at GoDaddy would be glad to help if you need it.
I would also like to note here that you should sign up for a Gmail account first because your Gmail login becomes your login for all other Google services that you may want to use. This makes life extremely pleasant with only one username and password to remember for all of Google's services. With that said, I will dive into some other services that Google offers in future posts.