3 Reasons Your Small Business Needs to Embrace the iPad
Really? iPads for business? Yes. Who cares that they are trendy yuppie-loved angry birds portals. From a business stand point they provide a lot more than hipness. How about increased productivity, higher client satisfaction and more revenue.
iPads increase Productivity
One of my favorite apps-du-jour is DropBox. Love cloud storage for your small business for three reasons.
- 1. You can't forget it
- 2. You can share it
- 3. It doesn't crash
- Files are available 24/7 from any internet connected device. No more kicking yourself for leaving the excel spreadsheet on your home computer. You no longer have to clog email tubes with huge files. Simply upload to DropBox and share the link (or folder). It's even a secondary back-up. When (not if) your computer crashes, your cloud files are untouched. Why do I say Dropbox instead of one of their competitors? I'm impressed by their iPad integration. It makes it simple to pull/push docs on the device.
This has to be most visible one. If you've ever watched a grown man use an iPad for the first time you know what I'm talking about. People are drawn to this device. Your mission is to identify apps that make sense for your business. Do not insert the device if it's unnatural. Let's take a look at a couple of ways real estate agents are using them; real estate agents are collecting e-signatures with iPads, they are letting their clients browse property information in between stops on home tour, and they're using them to manage their open house sign-ins. If you're running a retail business, be sure to check out squareup.com.
Let me pause here for a second. By no means am I trying to say an iPad will save your business from failure. It won't. You have to be good without the iPad first, otherwise you're wasting your money.
iPads increase revenue
Word of mouth is gold for small businesses. You probably rely on it to bring in revenue. Will iPads give your clients something extra to talk about? Yes. How about this, "I worked with this Realtor today who let us take notes on her iPad as we were viewing homes. When we were done, she emailed them to us and saved them in a cloud folder so we never lose them!" It's real. It's happening right now. Like I said, it is not a silver bullet, but if it can help increase productivity and client satsifaction, do the math.
Bottom-line: I think iPads received a bad rap in their infancy because they were looked at as an extra large iPhone/entertainmet tool. As more Apple business apps have been released, and iPad specific apps have come onto the scene I feel it has a definite place in business.