Many of us know about — and use — a Gmail account, a service ubiquitous in the world of personal email. But when it comes to running your business, you might need something more dynamic for coordinating with your clients.
Google might have what you’re looking for. Gmail for business is a secure, private, ad-free email service.
What’s Gmail for Business?
Gmail for small business is a multiuse platform that offers more than just email services. It’s part of G Suite, a set of productivity tools your employees can use such as Drive, Sheets and Slides.
Who could benefit from a Google account for their business?
If your company has multiple employees, Gmail for business can help manage your team. Through Gmail, you can monitor your employees, require 2-step verification and perform information technology tasks such as changing passwords.
Most importantly, you can maintain ownership of company data if an employee leaves the business. If you assign an employee a personal Gmail account to use for their professional correspondence, the employee will own all of that content when they leave the company.
If you’re looking for more perks than personal email offers, Gmail for business has your back.
You can create email addresses that end in @yourdomainname.com, which may appear more professional to clients. Google also provides automatic backups, spam protection, and 24/7 customer service, along with many other useful features.
How can I create a Gmail account for my small business? Let’s walk through the process.
Setting Up Gmail for Business in 5 Steps
It takes 5 steps to start connecting with your clients and employees through Gmail:
First, you have to sign up for G Suite. Enter your business name in the appropriate field, then choose the number of employees, including yourself:
- Just You
After choosing your country, select Next. On the following page, enter your full name and current email address, then click Next. It will ask you to input your business’s domain name, which is the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for your company’s website.
If you already have a domain name, enter it in the appropriate line. If you don’t have one, click on Get a Domain Name for Your Business, which appears after clicking Next when you leave it blank. This webpage will guide you in purchasing a personalized business domain.
A Note on Registering
If you’re starting solo and plan to add employees at a later date, you can easily add accounts from the G Suite Admin console.
If you’re launching a Gmail business account and have employees, you can add or delete users from the administrator dashboard.
2. Choose an Address Format and Add Users
After you have agreed to a domain name for the account, you’ll need to decide on a username and password for yourself. The username will be your new business email, ending with your custom domain name. Click on Agree to finish registering.
To add users to your account, log in to your administrator profile. G Suite’s setup wizard should launch and guide you through the process of adding up to 10 users. If you need to add more, you can choose the Manual Setup option. Each user will require a username and password. For example, an employee named Julia Smith might have the username “jsmith,” making her email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
To add more than one user at a time, you can insert their information in a comma-separated values (CSV) file and upload it. If you are running a large organization that uses a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server, you can use Google Cloud Directory Sync to upload many users at once.
3. Verify Your Domain Name
You’ll need to verify your domain if you purchased it outside of Google. (Google domains are already verified.)
To confirm your domain, click on Domains on the G Suite Admin console homepage. You might have to click More Controls at the bottom to view your domains. Then choose Add/Remove Domains and click Activate Domain next to the one you are verifying.
Choose your domain host (BlueHost, GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.) from the list and follow the host-specific instructions for completing verification. You’ll need your verification record, which Google provides in the first step of the setup wizard instructions. Once you add the verification record, you should be able to click Verify in the G Suite setup wizard.
4. Choose a Plan
Now you’ll need to choose which G Suite edition you would prefer. Are you looking to set up a free account? Unfortunately, that’s not an option. You’ll have to pay for this service. Let’s break down Gmail for business costs:
Google has 3 paid editions to choose from: Basic, Business and Enterprise.
Keep in mind that each plan charges per user per month. A user is someone who holds an individual account, so you and each of your employees are separate users. The cost can add up quickly if you have many employees.
Here’s a breakdown of Gmail for business pricing:
G Suite Basic costs $6 a month per user. This plan comes with:
- Business email address for each user
- Video and voice conferencing
- Secured team messaging
- Shared calendars
- 30 GB of cloud storage per user
The next tier is G Suite Business, which costs $12 per month per user. This plan includes all of the above as well as:
- Unlimited storage
- Cloud searching capabilities across G Suite
- Email archiving
- Basic security controls
The highest tier is G Suite Enterprise. This plan costs $25 per month per user. It comes with all of the above, including:
- Cloud Identity Premium, which provides one console to manage all your devices and accounts
- Enhanced security controls
- Ability to enable 2-factor authentication for all your employees
- Email encryption that increases your business’s security
Google offers a 14-day free trial for new users.
5. Migrate Emails (Optional)
You can migrate your data from other platforms to your Gmail business account. It allows you to move information from the following, among others:
- Microsoft Exchange or Office 365
- Internet Message Access Protocol servers
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Webmail services
Use the G Suite migration tools product matrix to choose the best migration strategy for your business.
What Are the Benefits of Using Gmail for Business?
Gmail offers an entire suite of productivity features that other platforms don’t have. Also, Google promises to protect your data and offers its top-of-the-line cloud security and encryption services.
What’s great about using Gmail for business?
- Access to collaboration tools in the G Suite, such as Drive and Sheets.
- Cloud-based storage for on-the-go productivity.
- More control over your business’s data.
- Enhanced security and encryption features that keep private information safe.