Today I am going to tell you why you shouldn’t be using a Gmail account for your business data.
From time to time when we work with customers they come along and they say, I’m already on Google for my business, and we have to kind of inquire and ask, well, are you using your domain name? Are you paying for a Google Apps or a G Suite/Google Workspace account? And the customer says, no, I just signed up at Gmail. Doesn’t everyone get it for free? And what seems to then transpire is we find out the customer has just signed up for a consumer personal Gmail account and inside that Gmail account, they’re using it for business.
Now, there are a few ways of kind of bringing in your business account into a personal Gmail account and what businesses do sometimes is they will forward their email in or they’ll set up a retrieval system so it comes into Gmail and then goes back out of Gmail as well. But that’s not quite using a business Google account, you’re still effectively using the Gmail account.
The easiest way to tell if you’re using Google Workspace Gmail
The easiest way to tell if you’re using Google Workspace(G Suite), which is the business version of Google, or if you’re just using one of those personal consumer accounts, which is just Gmail, is to look at your login.
When you go to Google and you sign in, if you sign in @gmail.com then you’re just using a Gmail account. If you’re signing in with your business domain name and you’re opening up Gmail or Docs or Drive and you’re seeing your business domain name there then that means you’re on Google Workspace which is the business version of Google.
The risks of using the personal version of Gmail for Business
Now, let’s talk about the risks if you are using the personal version of Gmail. Now, Gmail started as a personal consumer service, and obviously, it’s free, Google support that with advertising, that’s pretty clear.
Google doesn’t really do any nasty stuff with your data but they do certainly make use of that data for advertising and for gaining analytics on their users so they can improve the product and improve their marketing as well.
Now, on a personal account, because there are literally over two billion Gmail accounts there’s basically not really much of a support line to go to. You do have email support
but because there are just so many accounts it’s next to impossible for Google to provide any level of, let’s say, engaged support for that product. And so if anything goes wrong with your Gmail account and, for example, you can’t log in, you lose access, maybe it gets hacked, maybe someone takes it off your hands, there isn’t really a great way of getting it back. There’s no one to just pick up the phone and call if something like that goes wrong.
Now, from time to time we are able to retrieve Gmail accounts if there is a problem but for the most part, once a Gmail account has gone, then it’s gone.
Storing business data inside that Gmail account
If it isn’t already obvious if you’re storing business data inside that Gmail account that is a pretty large risk, because if that Gmail account happens to disappear on you then you can really run into problems if you lose all of that business data. And yeah, sure, there are some backup solutions but I probably just wouldn’t want to trust that Gmail account, particularly if you’ve got email logins and sign-ins for your business all using that Gmail account as your login.
The other advantage of working with a business Google Workspace account instead of using a Gmail account is, it looks more professional. If you’re running a business and you’re using a Gmail account for all of your emails, customers are gonna see that account. And you might say, well, I’ve got my business email forwarded into Gmail, and then I’m sending from my business email address as well.
Well, yes, that works if you’re doing the forwarding trick but when you send a calendar invite from Calendar you’re still going to have your Gmail account going out to your customers. So it just doesn’t look professional.
If you’re running a business
If you’re running a business you really should be using Google Workspace for your data.
Now, let’s talk about some of the advantages of using Google Workspace for your data. As well as having control over your Google account, which means that when you set up staff, when you set up contractors, when you set up anyone else that’s not you in the business,
you have control over their account. Many business owners, if they’re just using a Gmail address for all of their business data, you go and share a folder with someone else in Google Drive, someone else puts something in that folder from their Gmail account, and they remain the owner of that file which means that they can delete that file at any time and poof, disappears from the Google account and then it’s gone. So you don’t really have control over what other people are doing.
Now, on Google Workspace you have control. You can assign accounts, you can add or remove different people from the Google Workspace account using the Admin panel, and so all access to your business data is controlled by you. What that means is that you’ve got everything secured and locked down and so if you’re sharing files it’s all safe within your business.
You Control Everything
If you’re using an advanced feature like team shared drives, that lets you do even cooler things like let your staff put files into a folder but not delete files from a folder. It lets you lock down all kinds of really cool things within the Google account.
Just to wrap it off, once you’re on a Google Workspace account you also get access to support. Now, if you’ve signed up directly with Google you get access to Google Support. What that means is as long as you have access to your domain name you always have access to your Google account. It’s very, very rare that Google would shut down an account or something gets switched off.
The only time someone loses access to their Google Workspace account is typically if you forget to pay the bill.
At the end of the day, it’s just absolutely crazy to trust a Gmail account, and I’m talking about a personal Gmail account, with your business data. You’re putting your business at risk, your business data is at risk. And so for a couple of bucks a month that it costs for the business licenses with Google Workspace, as well as all of the other advantages of working with a Google business account, you also have control and you have access to support should anything go wrong.
Do you need any help with Google Workspace?
If you need any help with your Google Workspace account or if, right now, you’re using a Gmail account and you’re a little bit worried about that I would strongly recommend you make the switch over to Google Workspace and I would also strongly recommend you work with a partner to actually do that.
Google has guides and wizards and step-by-step guides on getting Google Worksapce implemented but they miss-steps, and to be honest if you’re a business owner it is not good to use of your time to be faffing about with trying to set up Google Workspace yourself, it’s better to delegate it to someone who’s done it a million times and knows all the processes and can also support you through the process of answering any questions.
So if you’re interested in that, head along with to our contact us page, and our team will be very happy to help you out. Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we can help with your Google account, and if you need it then be sure to get in touch.