Best Practices For Business Accounts and Collaboration
One of the inescapable realities of running any business today is that you need a presence online. In the process of setting up and supporting your web presence, it is inevitable that you will sign up for a variety of accounts and services from companies like Google and Facebook. While it may be easy to set up tools like Google Analytics or a Facebook page through your existing personal accounts, you should avoid the temptation and instead separate everything from the start.
If you eventually hire employees or outside help (like an SEO consultant or web developer), they will need access to some of your tools and platforms, and it is easiest if everything is set up in clearly separate business-only accounts. Also, if you ever decide to sell your business, it is simple to hand off all business related accounts without any added hassles, if they are separate from your personal accounts.
Below are our top recommendations to get started – whether you are just now building your business’s web presence, or you have been online for years, you can use these recommendations as a guide to set yourself up for future success.
Start with Google
A good starting place is to set up a new Google/Gmail account that will only be used for your business. You can sign up for a new Gmail address, and by default you will be able to add other Google services to that account. An added bonus is, you now have a dedicated administrative business email inbox that you can use for other accounts you create later. And if you don’t want to worry about managing another inbox, you can use Gmail’s powerful filter tools to forward incoming emails to any other email address you want. We recommend that you use this new account to manage all of the services and tools that your business needs, but we don’t necessarily recommend that this account be used for public communication with clients.
The Google account dedicated to your business can be the hub or foundation of your other business-related admin accounts. Once you have your new Gmail account ready to use, you will use it for these Google services under that same login:
- Google Domains – great for buying a domain separate from any other personal projects you may have
- Google My Business – an essential tool for any geographically focused business
- Google Analytics – powerful web metrics for your website
- Google Search Console – great insights into your website’s performance in Google search
- Google Drive – powerful tools to collaborate on documents with clients, employees, contractors, etc.
- YouTube Channel – publish business-branded videos
- Google Ads – run ads for your business on Google properties
It is commonplace to share access to your business social media accounts among employees or contractors. With Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms you can share your login credentials directly. If possible, when you sign up for accounts at these services give them your new Gmail address, to keep everything organized on that central account.
Because of how Facebook is set up, it is best to create a Facebook Business Manager account with your personal Facebook login, and then share access to your business assets (pages, ads accounts, etc.) from Facebook Business Manager.
Business tools like website hosting, bookkeeping software, cloud storage, productivity software, plugin and software licenses, etc. can all utilize your new business gmail address for login credentials and account communication.
Password Managers & Sharing Access
Sometimes you need to share account logins with other people. If you have a password manager or designated repository set up to track all of your current business account logins, you’ll never lose track of a password. You can sign up for a password management tool like LastPass or 1Password (they even have business plans designed for teams), or use something as simple as a shared Google Drive document with up-to-date credentials for all of your accounts. Of course sharing passwords is never recommended, but it is sometimes unavoidable. The benefit to a true password management solution is they often make it easier to limit and revoke access to login details when necessary.
Overall, your business will run smoother and you will have an easier time with small administrative tasks and collaboration if you treat all business-related accounts as assets of the business, separate from your personal accounts. Keeping things separate and well-documented can make things much smoother as you on-board new employees and work with new contractors.