When you start researching tools from Google that can help businesses, you’ll quickly find that you can go down a fairly deep rabbit hole. There are literally dozens of them, and some of them do quite a few different things. Fortunately, Accel Entertainment is here to help you — that is, owners and managers of slot machine businesses — separate the wheat from the chaff.
The list below, which breaks down six Google tools based on complexity, can help you easily determine which could be right for your business. The best part? They’re all easy on your budget.
Google Calendar is exactly what it sounds like, but it’s also a lot more than that. A cloud-based online calendar that can be viewed (and edited) by multiple users, it can help you organize shifts for hosts and hostesses, waiters and waitresses, busboys and kitchen staff, you name it. It can also help you keep track of delivery of food and durables, plan specials, run basic marketing tasks and more.
Google My Business can help you input and enhance the information consumers get — such as food photos, menus and hours of operation — when they find your listing through the company’s search engine or Maps application. But wait, there’s more! It also lets you build a basic business website that’s designed for multiple devices if you don’t already have one. And it provides data reporting for both your search listing and website (should you create one through Google My Business). Oh, and there’s an app for it. The initial set-up of Google My Business is simple, but it gets more complex the more you add to it.
Simply put, it’s the Facebook of email. It’s got more than a billion users worldwide, and for good reason. It’s a simple, intuitive tool for sending, receiving and organizing emails. In fact, the odds are reasonably good that you have a Gmail account right now. So why include it here if you probably already have it? For one thing, you might not be using it to its full potential, with features like Hangouts (i.e., chat) and phone-call functionality. For another, Gmail actually does allow you to customize your email address with your business — as in firstname.lastname@example.org — for a price. (More on that in a minute.)
Cost: Free up to 15 gigabytes (GB) of cloud storage, $1.99 per month for 100 GB
Google Drive allows you to upload and store your files securely in the cloud, from photos to budget documents. For a fair number of bars and restaurants, the 15 GB of data that can be stored on Drive will be more than enough. But for those that need to store lots of photos, videos, brochures, menus and other potentially multimedia-heavy content, it might be worth considering an upgrade to one of the lower tiers of storage available for a small monthly fee.
Not as Simple
Cost: $5 per month for Basic package/$10 per month for Business or Team packages
See the tools in the “Simple” category above? You can have all of those customized for your business (for instance, email addresses with your company name in them) and integrated in a single G Suite package for a not-at-all-unreasonable monthly fee. Google offers a small-business-oriented solution as well, which includes 24/7 support, security protections and — with the Business-level package — pretty much unlimited data storage.
Cost: Free, but “installation” and service costs might vary
Want to know how many people are visiting your restaurant’s website every month? What about learning how many of them are finding your site through search engines versus social media? You can get that kind of information from Analytics, a free web metrics platform from Google. It works by putting a tracking code onto the pages of your site, which then feeds data back to the Analytics suite for reporting current and historic traffic and engagement numbers in an easy-to-understand way. However, unless you, an employee, or a close friend or relative happens to be good with coding, you’ll probably have to pay a web developer to implement Analytics on your site, as well as perform occasional troubleshooting.
Want to know more about digital tools to use for your business?