So I was on a quest this week to create a distribution list for a friend and his business and I got pretty frustrated with Google’s new Admin changes. After some digging I figured it out and figured I’d share my findings with you.
If you do some searches online you’re likely to find yourself on Google support page, something I found less than helpful, so here is a quick break down on what you need to do.
If you’re not familiar with Google Apps, then I highly recommend you look into it. It’s an easy to use solution that allows you to configure a number of things, email being but one of those. I like it though for small and large companies alike, it’s an easy way to configure your company to use it’s domain as an email (.e.g., email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Using your domain is always a more attractive solution, last thing you want is prospective clients getting emails from a generic yahoo.com, gmail.com, or some other free email provider. It’s about appearances, and let’s face it there is a certain level of professionalism that is portrayed when someone gets an email from you that’s under your domain. I can almost hear people chuckling as they read this, but I think many of us in the technical field take this simple feature for granted. Unfortunately many of your local mom-and-pop shops are vaguely familiar with the idea and many yet don’t posses the technical knowledge to configure it for themselves. Many others try to get into the email server business and often integrate the feature with other online properties like chat or website services, that’s a horrible approach. If nothing else, I encourage you to look into Google Apps.
There was a time when this was free, that time has unfortunately passed. So you’re going to have to dig deep and cough up some cash, sorry, but it’s well worth it. The good news is that you can set things up to be on a monthly basis and you can decide how to proceed that way. Currently, it’s set as $5 / user, this isn’t bad until you start thinking through the types of emails you want.
Small snippet of what most organizations will want:
In my daily scan of Facebook comments and posts I saw something that went a little something like this:
Does Company X really only provide phone support for “emergencies”? I recommended them to a friend who needs some help setting up her site, because I thought they had better support than other hosts. But their phone prompt basically says that if it’s not an emergency outage, then you have to go through their website. Is it true that they refuse to speak to their customers via phone unless it’s an emergency? Or does that phone prompt just give the wrong impression?
I found this very interesting, mainly because of how close it hit home.
At my company we are a services company that depends heavily on its support function. For us, it’s perhaps 80% of our focus these days, and it should be. All too often though we have come across this same dilemma with clients. Why don’t you offer technical phone support?
Why isn’t Phone support offered?
I will give you some insight into why an organization might not want to provide phone support for everyone. It really comes down to basics, and you base it, like most things, on an 80 / 20 scale. Can I do with 20% of my clients being unhappy? Often the answer is yes. I do forewarn you though, this isn’t the PG version, it’s the reality perspective. It’s not meant to appeal to your sensitive side, it’s just meant to outline it for what it is.
Here are a few reasons why an organization might not support it:
The life of an entrepreneur is an interesting one. Many from the outside looking in wonder what it’s really about, all the while those in the inside are still not quite sure. In it’s simplest form it’s defined as this:
A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture. – thefreedictionary.com
The act of even defining it is a bit interesting in it of itself, you could likely find dissertations just on the description, but I chose this definition specifically for it’s simplicity. To me that is important, simplicity is key to understanding.
Who does not love Shark Tank?
It’s going on it’s 2nd or 3rd season, not sure, but it’s become every entrepreneurs wet dream. The shear act of getting on the show, on a national stage, and getting the opportunity to boast about your product will often render you serious return, with or without investments.
Young entrepreneurs, and investors alike, watch the show to see what is coming and what opportunities are available to them. If you’re so lucky as the partner with one of the investors your future will likely be riddled with fortunes. Their contacts and financial backing is enough to make the largest of companies a bit concerned.
As much as I love the show, I realize that it’s not the reality for most of us. Some of the products that come on the show are just funny, others are ingenious, many are simply looking for their big break and that show offers them that opportunity. What the show doesn’t show however are all the intricate details in running or setting up a business. I mean, how could they?