Having worked in both large corporations and small businesses, I have seen a mixture of tools used in the business environment. But, I feel like Google provides the most integrated, easily adoptable and diverse solution for small businesses. Here’s my top three reasons why:
#1 – It is a complete solution.
Far too often, businesses choose to adopt the “best” software solution for every need. While there is a benefit to having the best tools, inevitably this approach creates silos and waste in your business processes, as these dispersed tools don’t share information or play well together. While Google is not the best at everything (yes, I said it), it does provide an above-average solution for nearly every business-critical task.
For example, in a small business, it’s important to obtain customer feedback to understand your client’s satisfaction, your strengths, and your weaknesses. This allows you to understand what your customers value, which can help with prioritization of improvement opportunities and marketing. While personally I’d recommend SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics CX, or Medallia for the superior insights and trends that they can reveal, a simple Google Form can suffice for a small business. The look and feel of the survey might not be as nice, nor the automated trend analysis as strong, but, you can obtain the information needed to manage and improve your business with a bit of extra manual work.
We had been using Dropbox for cloud storage to communicate with our team and our accountants, but it forced us to use a free, limited version of one of the aforementioned survey tools. Since none of the software solutions had any true integration with Dropbox, we were limiting ourselves to “swivel chair” activity to aggregate information from the satisfaction survey with previously acquired information about our clients, such as industry, type of membership, or lead generation. Additionally, we saved 50% by making the switch from Dropbox’s Advanced Package to the G Suite Business Package, which is far more than a content repository.
#2 – It is truly collaborative.
Google Drive allows you to collaborate real-time with your colleagues and business partners through Google Slides, Google Documents, Google Sheets, Google Forms, etc. Rarely can you find a collaboration tool that works well with individuals both inside and outside your organization, but Google excels in this area.
Other solutions advertise real-time collaboration; however, there’s almost always a lag. With Google, you can actually watch as your clients or partners make edits. Through the comments feature, you can tag and assign tasks, and you can easily review the revision history to see what’s changed since you last viewed your work.
#3 – It is vastly integrated.
Google integrates well with most tools, platforms or software that your small business uses. Recently, we decided to launch a Google Form for onboarding our new coworkers at Beta Bar Coworking. That form was easily integrated into our WordPress site, www.betabar.me, with just a few clicks. Whether the coworker completes the form on our website, through an email containing the link, or through a link posted on our Facebook page, all answers are still available in the same Google Sheet.
We are also considering using Zapier for business process automation in the near future. In our research, we’ve learned that Zapier plays well with the entire G Suite including a variety of workflow automation solutions to minimize the amount of non-value added work in our business.
Nova Ivica d.o.o recently shed our disparate, non-integrated tools for the G Suite powerhouse. Will you join us?