Why you shouldn’t use a free email service (like Gmail) for your business

Gmail accounts are so easy to set up, and so familiar to most people, that it seems obvious to set one up for your business. But think about what signals you are sending, and how you perceive companies that use these types of email accounts.  Businesses with Gmail or Hotmail email addresses tend to look small, unprofessional and fly-by-night.

And yet it is so cheap and simple to get an email account in the name of your business.

Once you have your own domain name and have it hosted, you can get email addresses linked to this domain.  For example, when you own, you can get an email like  Your hosting service, like Mweb or Afrihost, will allow you to create fifty or more email addresses as part of the hosting service (i.e. at no extra cost).

So, in greater detail:

  • go to an Mweb type business and look for hosting services
  • find where you can do a domain name search
  • look for domains that are close to you company name
  • buy the domain, usually for under R200 per year
  • they hosting company will have a call centre who will talk you through how to set up your email addresses


This is a very worthwhile investment.   If you are worried about changing an email address that your customers already know, then keep the free accounts and simply direct Gmail to forward emails to your new professional account.  Just go to tour Gmail account, click on the cog, click ‘Settings’, click ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’, and you will see the second field down allows you to forward your Gmail emails to your new address.


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