Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How your business can benefit from the iPad

Between watching movies on the go, playing games and reading books you can certainly have a lot of fun with the new iPad. However, for small businesses the iPad is a very serious device that provides a wide range of support. Consider these practical benefits used for the iPad to improve your business:

1.      Portable Information: All of your company’s vital information can be stored in a wide array of document applications available for the iPad. Anything from inventory lists to PDF legal contracts can be downloaded onto the iPad for easy access and review. Keep in mind that these documents aren’t just for reading. Depending upon the application, you’ll have full access to edit, copy, create and email any document you’re working on. The iPad can also serve as your “virtual secretary” by providing scheduling and business meeting reminders.

2.      Communication: Just because the iPad isn’t a phone, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in constant contact with your business associates and staff. The built in Face Time application will allow you to have a live video conference with any other iPad user. For a company that provides its staff members with their own iPads this can be an extremely effective communication tool. You also have full access to email accounts and Skype. An application like WebEx allows you to set up a web conference for multiple users.

3.      Productivity: Just as you would find with surfing the internet on your desktop PC, there is a vast amount of research information available on the iPad. That information will keep you on the cutting edge of any new developments for your business. The iPad allows for extensive note taking whether you’re in a business meeting or flying in a plane. Whatever notes you take on your iPad can be instantly uploaded onto your desktop computer which cuts back on the time it would take to make copies. A good one is called Bamboo Paper.  There is even a whiteboard app which lets you use your iPad as platform to brainstorm through drawings and doodles. If you have a need for your business, there’s going to be an app for that.

4.      Sales on the Go: If your business involves any type of direct customer sales, you can plug in a credit card swipe to any iPad using Squareup. This will allow you to take an instant payment for any service or product. It also provides you with instant inventory records and accounting. Clearly, this is much easier than carrying around a cash register!

5.      Standardization: The iPad you’re using is the same system being used by clients halfway around the world. Aside from some language issues, the iPad is a universal device being used in the same manner by businesses everywhere. Once you become a member of the Apple community you’ll discover a legion of helpful users who will always have a great new app to share.