Helping small businesses manage their time and connect with their customers
Vice President, Product Management
Google Workspace Newsletter
Keep up with the evolving future of work and collaboration with insights, trends, and product news.SIGN UP
If you’re a small business, time is one of your most constrained resources. We provide tailored Google Workspace plans to address the specific needs of small businesses, with tools that help you make the most of your time and make everyday tasks easier. Today, we're announcing new features in Gmail and Calendar to help small businesses better connect with customers, grow their businesses, and build their brands.
Helping more small businesses manage appointment bookings
In 2021, we announced appointment scheduling for Workspace Individual subscribers, which allows businesses to create shareable booking pages that let people book time with them, all integrated with their existing schedule in Google Calendar. Appointment schedules make it easier to manage your time by automatically checking your availability so people can only book time when you’re available. Plus you can protect your time by adding a buffer or maximum number of appointments throughout the day.
Today, we’re excited to bring appointment scheduling to even more users by allowing anyone with a personal Google account to create one booking page. Businesses can create pages to easily accept bookings for consultations, appointments, or meetings with customers and partners. Booking pages can also be used outside the workplace to book time with friends and family, or to make yourself available to your professional network. The expansion of appointment scheduling will start today and roll out over the coming weeks.
If you need additional, premium features that allow you to create an unlimited number of booking pages, send automated email reminders to bookers, check multiple calendars for availability, and verify booker emails,* businesses can sign up for a Google Workspace subscription. And starting today, we’re rolling out access to these additional premium features through Google One Premium plans for personal use.
Accepting paid appointment bookings
Another challenge small business owners face is keeping track of payments from customers, including juggling multiple payment platforms and managing no-shows. To make payments easier to manage, we're excited to start offering paid appointment bookings that are integrated into Google Calendar. Simply sign up or link your Stripe account when creating an appointment schedule and set a price. Your customers can then visit your booking page, choose their preferred time, and enter their credit card information. “Making appointment booking and payment ridiculously easy for customers means less administrative work and more revenue for businesses,” said Mike Clayville, Chief Revenue Officer at Stripe.
Some of our customers have already seen the benefit of this feature in testing. Jamie Caudle, a US-based language teacher said “The appointment schedule payments took something off my plate. I don't have to go back and send students an invoice anymore.” Paid appointment bookings will roll out to select Workspace subscribers (Workspace Individual, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Starter, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Nonprofits) in the coming months.
Easily share your availability over Gmail
While appointment scheduling serves the needs of businesses accepting ongoing bookings, sometimes users just need a simple way to set up one-off meetings. Whether you’re trying to grab coffee with a friend or set up a meeting with a vendor, you can now conveniently share your Google Calendar availability directly in Gmail.
While composing an email, you can insert proposed meeting times from Calendar without ever leaving your Gmail inbox. The recipient of the email can then review the proposed times and select one directly from the email to receive an automatic calendar invite. This feature will be available to all Google Workspace users in the coming weeks.
Personalize emails more easily with the help of Google Sheets
We’re also making it easier to connect with your customers via email with new improvements to the Gmail experience. Last year, we made it possible to send individual emails to many recipients with the launch of multi-send in Gmail, and introduced the ability to personalize multi-send emails with mail merge tags like @firstname and @lastname. We’re excited to announce that in the coming weeks, businesses will be able to further personalize their emails with Google Sheets support in mail merge. Select Workspace subscribers (Workspace Individual, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus customers and Nonprofits) will be able to link data from any column in a Google Sheet to personalize an email for up to 1,500 recipients.
Updates to custom email layouts
We’re also making it easier for you to send sleek, professional emails to your audience. Last year, we launched layouts in Gmail to help businesses send professional-looking emails for newsletters, announcements, and more. Users select from a predefined set of email templates, and can further customize these templates with their own color schemes, logos, images, links and more. Now, we’re adding the ability to customize an existing template, reuse a custom layout in multiple email campaigns, or create a brand new layout from scratch. Plus, you can simply drag and drop different sections of an email, making it easier to make changes and move content around. These features will be available to Workspace Individual subscribers in the coming weeks and will launch to other Workspace editions later this year.
All of these new capabilities give small businesses more time to focus on their customers and get things done faster — from scheduling to payments to getting the word out about their next big idea. Get started with Workspace at no cost today.
*Not available with Google One