Email — Set It Up Right!

One of the challenges all consultants have in running their businesses is finding and setting up the right technology to support them. Getting your technology set up right can make all the difference in your productivity. So let me give you my #1 organizational tip…

One of the best technology decisions I ever made for my business was getting my email set-up on a Microsoft Exchange server. Before this I collected my email through my POP account provided by my Web hosting service. I’m sure you’re familiar with POP accounts, but if you want to know more about the process find out here.

The Problem with POP Email

When I had POP email, I used Microsoft Outlook and would regularly get the mail from my server; but once it was downloaded, the only copy was on my laptop. If I was out of the office without my laptop, I couldn’t access any saved emails. For new emails, I could select a setting that left the mail on the server and then check email from another computer or a Smartphone. However, any action I’d taken on the emails would not be in sync with the ones on my laptop when I got back to my desk. Plus, it was more trouble than it was worth. And this was just the trouble with managing email, let alone my calendar and contacts.

Microsoft Exchange Makes Syncing a Breeze

With Microsoft Exchange, I can sync my emails, contacts, and calendar on both my laptops (a back-up in case one fails) and my Smartphone. It doesn’t matter which device I am using at a given time because the synchronization is automatic and instant. I can also check email from any Web browser and have access to all my saved email folders, calendars, and contacts — not just my Inbox. Most Smartphones these days allow you to connect to Microsoft Exchange servers, so you can check your email as well as have all your calendar and contacts sync wirelessly. One of the best parts about checking and responding to email on my Smartphone is that my sent messages also sync on the server, so copies are stored consistently.

Managing Virtual Teams Is Easier

I made the decision to use Microsoft Exchange when the only email box I needed was my own. As I’ve grown my business with subcontractors and a virtual assistant, it’s been easy to add mailboxes for them and have all these features available to my subcontractors as well. I am also able to take advantage of all the delegate features of Microsoft Exchange/Outlook so that my assistant can help set-up meetings, respond to messages on my behalf and manage my schedule. I really consider this an important aspect of leading a successful virtual team.

Server-Hosted Email Is Easier Than You Think!

Implementing a professional mail solution can seem intimidating for a solo practitioner or small-business owner. However, companies like 123Together, Mailstreet, 1&1, Intermedia, and others that provide shared Microsoft Exchange hosting services makes it easy. They offer straightforward and affordable mail solutions that don’t require you to invest in your own server or technical support. You use your Microsoft Exchange hosting service alongside your current web hosting service (you’ll get instructions on how to do this from the Microsoft Exchange service provider). So go ahead, make the change. You’ll find a professional mail solution that uses your own domain name is easier than you think.

About Karilee Wirthlin

Karilee Wirthlin, president & CEO of KL Consulting, Inc. is a strategic visionary who works with VPs of Marketing in mid to large high-technology companies to realize the value of high stakes investments that tie website performance to marketing and sales performance. Karilee combines her marketing and sales support experience with her technical background and degree in Computer Science to produce large-scale, strategic website and marketing automation projects. As a long-time member of Women in Consulting, Karilee has held several leadership positions on the WIC Board of Directors, including serving as president from 2006-2007.

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