In an endless bid to increase efficiency and profit margins, thriving business live to cut costs. Whether it be downgrading the espresso machine to a jar of Nescafe or cutting a man hour or ten, these days, most businesses feel a compulsion to be lean to survive. So why would any businesses in it’s right mind still be paying for email? Email’s free right?
These days, email services are plentiful and can be set up and accessed with little more than a username and password but is there such a thing as a free lunch when it comes to email for business? After all, if the free stuff was that good, surely everyone would be Yahoo-ing their way back to that Espresso machine?
Here are a few key points to consider before choosing whether to part with your money.
Appearance isn’t everything when it comes to business; anyone who’s watched an episode of the Apprentice will have seen plenty of hapless young go-getters seemingly sell ice to Eskimos. It is however exceptionally important. Correct, you don’t have to wear a suit to be good at your job, just as printing something on headed paper doesn’t mean it has any value at all but first impressions count.
Business contact addresses that are info@mycompany rather than mycompany@yahoo, benefit from instant legitimacy simply by the virtue that they have taken the care to set up an individual, personalised email, rather than set up an account earlier that morning. These impressions may be unfair and inaccurate, but they are the first ones made.
While the majority of emails might be about relatively mundane business matters, cat videos and out of office replies, sometimes they include confidential or personal information, bank details or just plain sensitive material. Using a specialist email provider means that they will, in all likelihood, be using the most up to date encryption methods, ensuring your information isn’t ending up in the hands of a third party.
There’s a particular knot in the stomach reserved for that moment you realise you’ve lost data to the cyber Gods. Whoever you are and however carefully you plan, accidents happen. Servers can crash, data can be lost and mobile devices can be more mobile than you’d like. Non-paying clients tend to take a lower priority when things go wrong, if indeed there’s anything that can be done at all. Fully categorised backups mean that if your servers crash or data is lost, it can be replaced quickly with no loss of vital communications and crucially, no interruption to your business.
Free Is Never Really ‘Free’
Remember, if you’re not the paying customer, you’re probably the product being sold. Companies aren’t in business through philanthropy alone and even the free loving Google is always looking for new ways to gather information about users, in order to better tailor the advertising their selling. Not only do many people find this annoying and intrusive, it also slows down your email service when your connection isn’t superfast.
As schedules get more and more hectic and businesses take enquiries and bookings around the clock, making sure everyone is on the same page becomes a complicated challenge. Using emails and calendars makes the job much more straightforward, but many free services aren’t equipped to deal with the complex interaction of numerous shared calendars being updated from a multitude of different devices. Discovering a week too late that the lead from the service team was never followed up by a sales representative because it didn’t appear in their inbox is enough to leave a sour taste from any free lunch.