A good email service is essential for any small business. You need the ability to let your customers and users know what you’re up to, and they need the ability to let you know what they need from you, too. This is what a good email provider must give you, and there are a wide range of them out there to choose from.
Best Email Hosting for Small Businesses
When you sign up to Microsoft Office 365, you get all the standard things you could want from an email hosting provider. You’ll get a 50GB mailbox for your emails, the ability to use your own custom domain and the ability to set up new user emails.
One of the main reasons why you might want to opt for Office 365 is that it actually includes Microsoft Teams with it. If you aren’t familiar with Microsoft Teams, then essentially it’s Microsoft’s version of Google Chat. It gives your entire team the capability to easily call each other, message each other and collaborate on team projects.
Most interesting is that Skype was actually bought by Microsoft a few years ago, and they’re in the process for integrating Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams so that it has the same functionality (it will replace SfB in the long term). So if you feel comfortable using Skype and think that you could use that kind of video calling within your team, then you get that free within the Office 365 package.
Office 365 Features
Obviously, one of the main reasons why you might want to stick with a Microsoft email account is because of their other products. If you use Excel and other Microsoft docs a lot, then it makes sense to try and keep them all together. When you buy the business packages that Microsoft offer, they actually come with apps for Excel, Outlook, Word and Publisher too.
- Microsoft Exchange – Microsoft Exchange is just the name that Microsoft use for their business class email.
- Microsoft Teams – As previously mentioned, you get access to Microsoft Teams, which has Skype-level video integrated into it.
- Microsoft Sharepoint – Microsoft Sharepoint is the easiest way to collaborate with your team on specific documents and files.
- Microsoft OneDrive – Microsoft OneDrive gives you the ability to save your files to cloud storage (it’s the same thing as Google Drive, basically).
Zoho Mail is another choice for those looking for a business mail provider. It’s quite similar to the competitors out there, but there are a few things that differentiate it from the rest of the crowd. It gives you the ability to manage several different domains from the same account, as well as the ability to easily configure them from your own inbox.
Zoho has all the capabilities that you need to get started with a business email account, and you can easily start with the free version if you don’t want to use a paid account. Saying this, you can get a Zoho premium account from as little as £0.80 per user per month, so it’s not like it’s going to break the bank for a small business.
- Shared/Group Calendars – Zoho gives you the ability to have a shared calendar, or even create a group calendar for you to work with your team.
- Documents – Zoho has their own equivalents of the Microsoft Office programs, like Sheets, Word and a Presentation Software.
- Large Attachment Permissions – You can attach files of 250MB with Zoho mail, which you cannot do with most free mail accounts out there.
- IMAP/POP access – You can have IMAP or POP access to any of your emails if you wish.
The only drawback when using Zoho is that it isn’t as ‘plug in and play’ Office 365. When you’re setting up your account, you’ll have to add DNS entries into your domain’s hosting to set it up properly. Whilst this is quite easy for technologically minded folk, it definitely isn’t basic. If you want to see a quick guide on how you’d go about doing that, then here’s a good explanation of how to add DNS resource.
But overall, Zoho Mail is another good option for those looking for a cheap business mail service. Whilst it’s nowhere near as big as Google and Microsoft, it’s not a bad option.
If you want to get up and running quickly, then there’s nothing wrong with going with Gmail’s G Suite option. The upside of option to go with Gmail is that the majority of people already have an account, and you’re probably familiar with how it works. This means that it’s very easy to access your stored files in the Google Drive, and if you use Google Sheets and Google Docs, then it’s the best thing you’re going to get for convenience.
G Suite Features
You’re probably already fully aware of what you can do with G Suite, but let me run through a few things just in case. Obviously, you get your custom email account which you can easily set up with your business name (e.g. Jon@Spacehop.com is mine), which can help your business come across as more professional to clients. You also get access to;
- Google Meet – If you need to have online meetings and conversations, then meet can give you this capability via video conferencing. These aren;t the most advanced video features, but they’re definitely good enough for any small business.
- Google Chat – You also get access to Google Chat, which is a good way to keep in touch with your fellow teammates or employees.
- Google Currents – This is a good way to keep your objectives neatly set out by collaborating with your fellow workers to structure a plan.
- Google Drive – Depending on your level of subscription, you’ll get enough cloud storage to comfortably keep all your documents and files.
- Google Create – Obviously, you’ll get the Google equivalent of everything Microsoft have created, like Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Slides, Google Sites and much more.
Overall, if you’re already using Google as your personal provider, then it might make sense to use them for a business email too. Prices start from as little as £4.14 for one user.
Most Commonly Asked Questions About Small Business Email
What is happening with Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft bought Skype back in 2011 for over eight billion dollars. Now, they’ve started integrating Skype for Business into their Microsoft Teams software, so that Teams users will be able to take full advantage of everything that comes with SfB. This should be completed by 2021 according to Microsoft.
Why is having a business email important?
There are various different reasons for having a business email address. The main reason is that it helps to show clients and potential customers a professional image of yourself – if you’re trying to find clients, some won’t even respond to emails from a @gmail account as they are free for anyone. Plus, a Gmail account is more likely to be marked as spam. It also allows people to know your website solely by looking at your email address, too.
How should I close a business email?
When you’re sending a business email, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to end it properly. If you’re ever in doubt, the safest option is to opt for ‘kind regards’, as this can never be taken out of context or disrespectfully. You can choose to end a business email differently if you already have a relationship with the person.
Is it worth paying for a business email account?
If your business is just starting out, then sometimes you may think it might not be worth paying for a service like G Suite or Office 365. The reality is that it really depends on what you need, and how much you have to invest. At the end of the day, these services typically cost less than £5-10 a month, so it’s probably worth subscribing, even if you start at the lowest pay option.
What are good business email names?
If you’re wondering what to start your business email with, the the standard is to opt for admin@. This is best practice, however if you’re going to be sending emails trying to get clients, then you might be better off going with something different like your first name, or marketing@.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good email setup for your small business then you might want to start at home first. If you’re already using Gmail or Hotmail for your regular emails, then these can be a great place to start because you’re already used to their interfaces and design. It will be easy for you to navigate them without much of a learning curve.