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Grow Your Business Technology

Microsoft Office 365 Personal: More Affordable for Small Businesses

image for AndreyPopov / Getty Images
AndreyPopov / Getty Images
  • Microsoft Office for each individual offers access to a range of extras.
  • Microsoft offers both a yearly subscription and a monthly subscription.
  • Microsoft Office 365 offers personalized options that help to improve overall productivity and so much more.

An individualized subscription to Microsoft Office 365 could be a good fit for small business owners. Microsoft's Office 365 Personal is a more affordable way for individual users to access the cloud productivity suite. Subscribers can install and use Microsoft Office 365 on one desktop computer and one tablet for $70 per year or $7 per month. An Office 365 Home Premium subscription, formerly the cheapest subscription option, will still give you the ability to install the suite on up to five computers and one smartphone or tablet for $100 per year or $10 per month.

Microsoft Office 365 is a fantastic way for smaller companies to ramp up their productivity and make a big impact. Rather than trying to find free programs that may or may not work, your business may be better off using a trusted office suite to help your business grow and evolve.

A Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher and more, and keeps your files backed up and synced across all web-connected devices. A subscription gets you 20GB of space on Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage platform, plus 60 minutes of Skype calling each month.

Microsoft markets Office 365 Personal as a good option for individual consumers who want to access the cloud-connected Office suite, but it could also benefit small business owners who want affordable access to the service. You can save 17% by signing up for an automatic annual renewal.

Alternatively, small business owners can purchase more premium subscription plans for their offices. For $12.50 per user, per month, you get business-class email, online conferencing, file storage and sharing, and desktop versions of the full Microsoft Office suite.

Another option is Microsoft 365 Business. This service is similar to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, but it includes some extra features targeted at businesses. In addition to the programs included in Microsoft Office 365 Personal – like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher – it offers some security features specific to business.

For example, Microsoft 365 Business offers Advanced Threat Protection, which is designed to protect attachments and links. You can secure personal data with PIN access, as well as set who can access, copy and save content. You can also restrict access to certain devices, limit copy and paste, and wipe data from selected devices.

You also get Azure Information Protection, Intune and Exchange Online Archiving, all of which are designed to protect your business information.

The cost for this version of Microsoft Office is not much different from that for 365 Personal. Both suites offer a $5-a-month Business Essentials subscription that comes with mobile apps, team work and communications capabilities, and email and calendaring. However, that version does not work with desktop computers. You can also get an Office 365 Business Premium subscription for $12.50 per user per month.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneDrive are fantastic resources that can help you organize and run the day-to-day aspects of your business as well as increase your productivity. For example, you can use Microsoft Word to create content, PowerPoint to train employees and OneDrive to store information and collaborate.

All of the elements in the Microsoft 365 Personal and Business subscriptions are useful for launching, growing and maintaining your business. Microsoft offers a few subscription and payment options, so you can try out the suite of programs to see if the monthly or yearly cost is worth it for you. For very small businesses with only one or two computers being used daily, the basic Microsoft 365 Personal is a great option.

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.