The ultimate dream for many environmentalists is a corporate world that is comprised entirely of paperless offices- when even paper taken from sustainable forests is entirely a thing of the past, leaving all trees to flourish without worrying about ending up as the thing that causes an old office photocopier to jam. While this goal is unlikely to be reached anytime soon, we are moving closer to a paperless office, although this is due to the emergence of technology, rather than being driven by environmental concerns. It’s largely thanks to the increasing prevalence of super sophisticated tablet computers like the iPad, and no matter whether your business is large or small, an iPad can be an invaluable business tool. Smaller business owners might be discouraged by the cost, and yet there are so many benefits to having this nifty device in your corporate arsenal. So how can an iPad help your small business? If you’re already using an Apple desktop or a Macbook, then an iPad is a logical next step. While it’s a formidable device in its own right, it’s all those great apps that really make it a perfect small business assistant.
For Your Documents
While Microsoft Office is still the market leader when it comes to working on documents and spreadsheets both at home or at the office, Microsoft has yet to come to the iPad party… although you can bet they’re working on a way into this lucrative market. Not to worry- because there are some apps that allow you to easily create and work on documents, and share them in a variety of ways, which exploits the portability of the device. Astralpad lets multiple users work on the same document at the same time, and even has a video and audio interface that means you can talk about it as you work on it. There’s also iWork, which is the Apple equivalent of the Microsoft Office suite.
For Your Meetings
After using Evernote for your meetings, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. The app allows you to take notes and then view them on any computer, smartphone or tablet. It’s essentially a sophisticated repository that allows you to save notes, websites, schedules and photos. There’s also the program that seems to have replaced long distance phone calls for many of us, and you can always use Skype for meetings when you’re not in the office, and Skype is a breeze with the iPad.
For the Intelligence of Your Business
You might already be using Business Intelligence software for your operations, which transforms raw data into usable information, whether it means a real time update on a customer’s history while you’re visiting them, or identifying additional sales opportunities via customer history before you sit down with the customer. There are many BI programs available, from relatively basic programs to extremely sophisticated programs tailored especially for a specific industry. Depending on the nature of your industry, you might want to consider having some of the devices housed in a special iPad enclosure for customers to look for products and information while in store. The human touch is important, but allowing customers to interact with you via technology can certainly simplify certain parts of your operation.
So while the iPad is great for business, it’s also a fun toy, allowing you to watch Youtube videos and explore Facebook in fantastic resolution and with amazing speed, in a way that was never before possible. Sure, you’ll probably want to use it at home too, but if you buy it for the office, you can always claim it as a business expense…