Week after week I was seeing small business owners with iPads. They would come into my office and it would sit conspicuously on the table. I waited. Would he open it. Still and unopened it remained.
I didn’t think much more about it. Well, actually it confirmed to me that the iPad didn’t really have much use if you already had a laptop and an iphone. Why spend $500 or more to just surf the internet.
Another week of clients and some brought their iPad and some didn’t. I couldn’t find a pattern. One person would bring theirs one day and then not have it the next. It wasn’t like a cell phone that you would never be caught without.
Finally I asked a client what they used the iPad for in business.
“What? Oh the iPad. I don’t really know. I got it but haven’t figured out what to do with it. My kids like to watch shows on it though.”
This was intriguing to me. You spend a bunch of money on something and don’t know what to do with it.
I repeated the question with various other small business owners. And continued to get a variation of the same answer.
I couldn’t stand it.
Proving the iPad is a Business Tool?
I love technology. I try to get the most out of it as I can. I had purposely not purchased an iPad because I didn’t know how I would use it in business.
But all of the Apple commercials show these amazing business applications. You watch the commercial and these vivacious colorful charts and graphs drift by.
If you go to the Apple store they are certainly using the iPad for their business as you watch them call up schedules, create invoices, set-up appointments.
I have to get one for my clients! I need to figure out how they CAN use this tool for their business. It’s the least I can do.
Once the justification wheels started turning, my husband quickly realized there was no stopping this train. He just moved aside and blessed my purchase.
In this post I will give you a list of many of the ways you can use the iPad if you are a small business owner and then I will add posts to elaborate on a few later this week!
First Round of Key Uses of Ipad for Business
After 90 days with my iPad, intense app studies and experiential research, here are my top really cool uses a small business owners has to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their business with an iPad:
- Eliminate paper and filing using Notes Plus and Evernote for iPad.
- Manage your business and personal finances.
- Create and make amazing presentations to your team and customers.
- Electronically edit documents and drawings and send back to colleagues or staff. I mean pull a document up in your iPad and use a stylus to give it the “red pen” mark-up, save your marked up version and send it back to the originator, never having to print it!
- Email and surf the net from your couch, on the plane, out in the field.
- Keep up with your prospects, projects, and team with apps like 37 signals Basecamp or Podio.
- Take photos anywhere and everywhere – if you are in construction or engineering, take pictures of the site. Bloggers, take pictures for you posts. Sign companies take pictures of a business’ pitiful sign and bring them back a mock-up of a beautiful one. Need a profile pic for LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Take it now.
- Bring your entire book case with you. Both Kindle and iBook work on the iPad. I have access to my entire Kindle library and highlights and notes show up much better on the iPad. If I need sources for a blog post I have the library with me. I can write anywhere.
- Don’t forget your bible! Remember God wants to be a part of our business life as well as the rest of our life. The best source to our relationship with God, in addition to prayer, is the Bible. I have the bible in my Kindle and a couple of great bible study and devotional apps. These are perfect if I am having a stressful moment and need a little encouragement from God.
- Have video calls with your staff, customers, or family, if you are away from home, with the built in Facetime on the iPad. There are huge benefits to being able to see someone’s facial expressions or body language in business.
- Keep all of your forms, invoices and work orders directly on the iPad. Get signatures and email directly to the customer or back to the office.
This is a top 11 list. It is really focused on small businesses. Larger business have even more use as there are apps now for major enterprise data systems that give you all of your company’s information right on your iPad, wherever you are located!
That’s my first round. If you too have attached to your iPad in business, let us know your favorite uses and apps so we can add to the list!
Since I have truly eliminated about 95% of the paper and filing in my office, come back later in the week to see exactly what apps and process I used to do this!