Microsoft 365 is a popular suite of apps used by most small and medium-sized businesses, it makes tasks management easier while improving productivity and efficiency since all the applications can be accessed from one source.
Nowadays, most businesses are starting to rely on cloud computing. Some of the services businesses access through Microsoft are collaboration applications like Microsoft teams, cloud storage services like OneDrive, and more.
Although Microsoft 365 is used by many businesses, most of them are small businesses which make up about 61% of all the users. However, before most users subscribe to Microsoft 365, most tend to have one question in mind: can my business get what it needs through the Family plan and is the Business plan essential?
If you are operating with a team of six users and you choose Microsoft 365 family over Microsoft 365 business, you could be saving about $67 a month. Although this seems catchy at first sight, forgoing the business plan could have more consequences and costs for your business than the $67 you think you would be saving.
Why You Should Consider a Microsoft 365 Business Plan Over a Family Plan
Microsoft 365 business plan has features that are tailor-made for your business. This means that if you are running a small business and choose the family plan, you might experience some limitations in terms of service, security and even applications. Here are some fo the reasons why you should consider the M365 business plan for your business over the family option.
Microsoft 365 business has additional applications that will save you money as you would not need to subscribe to other third-party applications. Some applications available in the business plan and not in the family option include applications for task management and appointment booking.
When you consider the family plan, you could be missing out on better deals which saves you money. Other apps include Microsoft forms for performing online surveys and doing quizzes, Microsoft Lists for ticket management, tracking, and more.
Administration and email server management
Most businesses have business class email that uses the business’ domain name. The same case applies to their website. For your business to send an email using the company domain, you should set up your business email on your own or third party server.
Microsoft 365 family does not come with this feature but it is available in the business option. You don’t have to pay for hosting your email somewhere else. You will have exchange for email hosting. The business plan email and server administration includes;
- Businesses can use their custom domain.
- Businesses are provided with email hosting with a capacity of 50GB for the mailbox.
- The email can be used on the web, phones, and desktops.
- You will have a business calendar.
- Mail administration.
A better Microsoft Teams version
There is a free Teams version that doesn’t have similar capabilities as the one in the M365 business plan. The business plan for Teams has the following desirable services;
- You can record meetings.
- You can perform audio conferencing and phone calls.
- With business Teams, you get 1TB file storage while with free Teams, you only get 2GB per user.
- Your scheduled meetings will be integrated into the exchange calendar.
- Better administrative options that enable you to manage security and users in Teams.
Lower priced options to choose from
Small businesses struggle with the budget at times. You might need M365 business options but you have financial constraints and your business is not yet ready for that. This is where Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan comes in handy.
It is only $6.90 per user per month. Although you will not get the desktop version for Microsoft office apps like Microsoft Office, you can still rely on online versions but benefit from other office 365 business essentials.
SharePoint for communication
Microsoft is aware of business needs and it continues making products that fit its customers and their needs. A great example of such a product is SharePoint.
SharePoint facilitates information sharing and communication outside and inside of your organisation. This eliminates back and forth emails and ensures all users have access to the required information.
SharePoint also ensures access control by restricting access to files to certain members of a group. This ensures security and accessibility to the permitted parties. With Office 365 for family, this would be harder to achieve.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
You can access business emails from anywhere from any PC in an exchange program, set meeting times on the calendar, schedule the meeting as necessary and follow reminders.
You have web versions of Outlook Word Excel PowerPoint and OneNote on smartphones, tablets, tablets, and smartphones.
Microsoft 365 business basic allows you to create collaborative projects based on real-time co-authoring to enable multiple users to interact on the same document at once. It also includes OneDrive cloud storage.
You can easily chat in your Windows environment as you go through Microsoft Teams and take the meeting online via dialing audioconferencing.
Hosting a webinar featuring webinar registration forms, e-mail confirmation, or webinar invitations is also possible.
Office 365 Family Security Gaps
This home plan is consumer-grade and not built for business use. You have no control over users and can’t manage them. It has many limitations but also creates security gaps such as:
- You can’t control passwords (i.e.; users could set their password to “1234” and you won’t know or have control).
- You can’t enforce 2FA (i.e.; users can disable 2FA anytime they like and you won’t know or have control).
- You can’t take control of any files on their OneDrive (i.e.; the user owns the account essentially: they can delete emails and files and you can’t recover them).
- You can’t push security rules to phones (eg; if users have no screen lock enforced on their phones anyone can access your work data).
These are the main security gaps, however there are others. So it’s a risky plan to be using in your business: if a user gets hacked, your business gets hacked.
It may seem fine when you are starting a business but it creates problems and security issues. Staying on this plan makes your cybersecurity weaker and exposes your business to risks.
The full list of security features in the basic business plan compared to other plans is listed on Microsoft’s website.
Security & Compliance
Office 365 business plan ensures the following security and compliance features;
- Protect your email against spam, malware, and known threats with Exchange Online Protection.
- Meets key international, regional, and industry-specific standards and terms, with more than 1,000 security and privacy controls.
- Control who and when someone has access to your business information with security groups and custom permissions.
- Create password policies that require users to reset their passwords after a specified number of days.
Microsoft has different business plans i.e. business basic, business premium that you can opt for since they come with better features than a Microsoft 365 family option.
With the business plan, you can conduct online meetings and video calls, better manage your team sites, manage all your devices, and even benefit from mobile device management for their phones. The business option is definitely more secure and convenient.
How cyber-secure is your business? Find out with our free cybersecurity health check.
It’s a 30-minute Zoom call that walks through a checklist to assess your current cybersecurity levels and provide a short report with some advice and recommendations.