Wednesday 4 October 2017

Office 365 for Small Business

If you have a small business and want a more professional digital image, such as your own email domain e.g., then you may want to consider using Office 365. The benefits of using Office 365 are enterprise level email service, team collaboration through Sharepoint document management as well as video and audio conferencing through Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. Office 365 allows small businesses to use these enterprise level services without requiring the on premise setup of servers and equipment as these are all provided from the Cloud (using Microsoft's services). You will still need your own PCs or tablets to use these services, as well as a reasonable internet connection.

Office 365 plans are based on a subscription model and are charged per user per month. The cost will vary according services provided and the following plans are suitable for small businesses:
  • Business ($7.04/user/month) - Office apps, cloud file storage and sharing. No email.
  • Business Essentials ($13.20/user/month) - Email, cloud file storage and sharing. Video and audio conference through Skype for Business. No desktop office apps provided. 
  • Business Premium ($17.49/user/month) - Includes essentials services plus the office apps. 
Note that pricing is based on a user per month but is billed annually. A pro rata monthly rate will be slightly more expensive (

Just another note on email usage. A user can have multiple email addresses (e.g.,, but all emails will go to one mailbox. It is possible to have multiple business domains E.g. and, but sending from both requires a bit of finessing, but is possible. If you want to keep the emails in separate mailboxes then you will need a subscription for each mailbox.

There are many benefits for small businesses to use the subscription service. Access to enterprise level services at a fraction of the setup costs are a good deal. Note that the initial setup may require a professional to configure, but once setup, should be relatively easy to maintain.