Starting a small business in 2014 - Email

If I were to start a business today, how would I do it differently than yesterday?  Lucky for us, we now get to practice what we preach without the limitations of standard business practices, legacy hardware and software, or any employees afraid of change.  

It has been a very interesting start indeed.  Being a technology driven company, nothing is more critical than having the technology one needs at their fingertips.  There have been several eye-opening discoveries that help us reinforce the ideas behind what we are doing.  

Cloud-hosted tools are a burgeoning trend and show some distinct advantages.  Real-time access and collaboration using any device on a platform that is always up to date without the hassle of installations.  

 - Email and document editing are essential to every business these days.  When talking business email, you really have two viable options, Microsoft or Google.  With Microsoft, you can choose to go completely self-hosted, or you can host it in the cloud.  Google is completely cloud-hosted.  Price points are quite similar with regards to email, but what about document editing?  Again, the two best options are Microsoft and Google (OpenOffice is a reasonable choice as well).  Microsoft Office can be run as a desktop version  for a one-time fee, or as cloud-hosted apps for an additional monthly fee.  Google Apps are completely cloud-hosted and are included in the fee for email. 

After using Microsoft tools for the past 20 years and switching to Google, I have found some distinct advantages.  Google Apps are assembled around a complete web-based ecosystem.  The main connected applications are Chrome, GMail, Search, Google +, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Contacts, Chat, Video, Maps, and many more.  This interconnectivity is amazing and could only be driven by the web.  It's a real mashup of all of your personal databases reducing the need to duplicate information, connect events, or even research material in a different environment.  

If I were starting a business now (and I am), I would undoubtedly invest in this smart way of working that will keep all of my information connected and accessible wherever I'm at and however I want.  Cloud-based tools are this generation's platform of choice.