9 Apps to Run a Business From Your iPad

Monday, January 18, 2016 - 19:00
 9 Apps to Run a Business From Your iPad

If you need to write a menu, sign a contract, or manage your newsletter, there’s an app that can help.

It’s now quite easy to find apps that claim to allow you to run your business directly from an iPad, the problem is deciding which are actually useful. The list below isn’t a whimsical collection: the tasks that these apps perform are legitimate and vital business functions. In addition, the apps on the list have a track record of quality – most are award winning - and they aren’t likely to be discontinued any time soon. If you run your business on-the-go, either from a market stall or at a client’s premises, your business might benefit by adding these apps to your home screen. So let’s get started. Here are nine apps that will legitimately allow you to manage your business from your iPad:

Document Creation: Google Docs

Any business needs to write up key documents or update those spreadsheets. Google Docs is a great option; it’s designed to be platform-neutral and collaborative. This means you can switch between devices seamlessly, and also allow multiple users to work on the same document at one time.

Document Scanning: Scannable

The paperless office remains a distant dream for most business owners, but you can get a step closer by using this app. Scannable is made by the same people behind Evernote. Integrating with Evernote is easy, but you can also send your freshly scanned PDFs directly to whoever needs them via email, or save them to whichever storage service you use.

Online Storage: Dropbox

Talking of storage, Dropbox has become the standard cloud document storage service in the last few years. The Dropbox app allows you to access all of your documents on your iPad, and if you aren’t expecting an internet connection you can even make key documents available for use offline. Make sure to enable two-factor authentication to keep your business sensitive documents extra secure.

Document Signing: DocuSign

It’s all well and good to digitise all the paper that comes your way, but when you have to print PDFs just to get a signature, digitisation can seem a waste of time. DocuSign lets you create and send documents for signing without the need for any paper. And yes – documents signed through the service are legally binding in the UK.

Content Management System: Wordpress

Wordpress rules the internet: 25% of all websites use this content management system. The Wordpress app allows you to publish content, update your business’s information, and respond to any comments on the go. Keeping your website useful and relevant is a vital business task that needs to happen whether or not you’re sat behind a desk.

Website Analytics: Google Analytics

You can keep an eye on what’s happening on your website with the Google Analytics app. There’s a learning curve to understanding all the data you’ll get, but insight on how your customers use your website can be invaluable.

Communications: Mailchimp / Mailchimp Subscribe

Keep in touch with your customers! Your best customers want to hear about your offers and other news, so give them that information via a Mailchimp newsletter. A business newsletter keeps your customer relationships fresh, and your business in mind. Capturing email addresses in person with Mailchimp Subscribe is a great way to take your real-world conservations online.

Point of Sale: intelligentpos

Most mobile businesses have so much going on it’s hard to stay on top of everything. When helping customers, making sales, and processing payments it’s difficult to keep up with administrative tasks such as recording sales data, tracking inventory, and running a loyalty scheme. Yet this is exactly the type of information that can help you identify growth opportunities for your business. The intelligentpos® app is an easy way to capture this data and keep your mobile business running smoothly.

Payment: iZettle

As ‘cashless society’ becomes less of a buzz phrase and more of a reality it’s imperative to let your customers pay how they’d like to; with their contactless cards and mobile devices. iZettle is a device that processes payments through your iPad (and it plays well with the intelligentpos® app).

Summary

It’s important to think carefully about the tasks your business needs to perform in order to meet your growth targets. You then need to make sure you can still get these tasks done when you’re out-and-about; there’s no need to compromise good business management just because you operate out-of-office. With the apps on this list installed on your iPad, you’re well on the way to managing a truly mobile, well-run business.

Nick Blackbourn