For most small businesses, emails are an important part of their operations. You receive emails from clients, suppliers and employees. To be able to run your small business efficiently you need access to your emails at all times.
Most small businesses don't really know that much about how their emails work or if there are better email options. However, with small businesses receiving more emails with large attachments (including videos and photos) it is important to make sure the system is set up correctly.
This means finding an email system that suits your business and budget. Here are some things to think about when deciding on the best email system for your small business:
1. Default emails with your website
When a business creates a new website it rents a domain name from the Australian Domain Authority (auDA). They make sure only you can use your domain name.
By default, when you set up a website with Dynamic Websites you are provided with some disk space for storing your emails. The amount of space available is determined by your hosting plan. It is also determined by how much space is taken up by your website. This means with a standard plan of 3GB, 0.5GB is allocated to your website. As a result, there is around 2.5GB for emails.
We find that for a lot of the small business that we set up websites for, there is sufficient space for their emails, as long as old emails are deleted on a regular basis. However, we are finding that some clients are receiving photos and even videos via email more frequently. Even a 30 second video can use up 100MB of space. When this happens it doesn't take too long for your allocated space to be used up.
2. Email Access apps
There are different ways you can access these emails. Accessing emails can be done directly through webmail access on any device. Alternatively, it can be set up through an app on your computer or mobile phone.
We find most small businesses find it more convenient to setup an email app. At Dynamic Websites, we use the Mozilla's Thunderbird app. This app is free, and unlike a lot of apps, does not have any ongoing costs. If you need more space then a cloud option is more appropriate. For example, Google plans start at $8.40 per month per user (ie for each email account)
3. Storing emails on your computer
To save space on your email accounts you can choose to store your emails directly onto your computer. In fact, most apps provide a local folder option that allows you to move emails from your server folders to a local folder. By doing this, server space is freed up. Server folders are synchronised with the local computer. This means you are able to access all your emails through the app.
However, if something happens to your computer or mobile phone it means you loose access to your emails. That is why we do not recommend saving your emails onto your computer or mobile phone.
4. Transferring emails to a cloud email account
Many cloud services have been setup to provide email solutions. Gmail is Google's free email solution. In contrast, Outlook is provided by Microsoft for free as well. Although these options are free, we don't recommend using them when you are running a business. This is because it does not look as professional Most of these solutions are well known, but don't provide free options for using your own domain name for the email account.
To use your domain name emails requires something like the Google Workspace option. In technical terms, this option places mail exchange (MX register) information into your hosting server. By doing this, it receives an instruction as to where to send an email. As a result, your hosting service redirects your emails. In turn, this allows Google Workspace to send and receive emails using your domain name space.
If you have an existing hosted server account, you need to go through a special setup process to have all your existing emails synchronised. This process copies your emails from the original server to your new cloud email service. Dynamic Websites can assist with this set up.
A major advantage of cloud email accounts is that you get a much larger storage for your emails. This is great for small businesses that get lots of large emails (especially photos and videos). However, it does come at a cost. For example if you have 6 separate email accounts, the annual cost will be over $600 if you use Google Workspace.
5. Transferring emails on cloud storage without a per email account fee
If you have multiple email accounts and use lots of space then using a solution such as Google Workspace may become quite expensive.
Fortunately, there is another solution. A Cloud storage solution such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox could be what you need. These solutions provide cloud storage that is synchronised with your computer.
As a result you have access to stored information from any of your devices, while still having a local version available when you are offline.
The setup process is a bit more complicated than other systems, but we have experience at Dynamic Websites and as long as it is set up correctly it is quite easy to use.
The cost of running this system depends on the size of the storage needed. You can get 2GB for free but for 5TB it costs around $17.50 per month. This makes it a great option if you have multiple email accounts.
Dynamic Websites specialise in small business web design. We are based in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and provide services throughout Australia. We understand what it takes to get a small business online at an affordable price and with the minimum of fuss. Along with designing websites for small business, tradies and online shops we provide online marketing services. Our online marketing for small business extends to Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), content writing, blog writing and social media marketing.